Usher has signed on to executive produce “Storyville,” a new series about the birth of the Jazz Age in development from Starlings Television. The multi-Grammy Award-winning performer will exec produce along with creators and showrunners Bill Macdonald (“Rome”) and Walt Becker (“Wild Hogs”).
“Storyville” is set in New Orleans and follows the tale of five brothel madams as they fight to control the red light district. The show reps the first series drama to be exec produced by Usher, whose TV credits include serving as a judge on NBC’s “The Voice.”
“’Storyville’ is an epic tale sparked by the origins of the sound that inspired my career – a story that touches the nerve of social and cultural relevance today,” Usher said in a statement.
Starlings TV President/EP Chris Philip and CEO Karine Martin will also executive produce the series with Becker, Macdonald, Usher and Marcus Morton, with whom they initially developed the project.
“Usher’s massive global appeal, musical and acting genius will propel this unique and compelling original series into must-see viewing worldwide,” Philip said. “His invaluable creative and musical contributions to Storyville fulfill our vision of contrasting the gritty, sometimes brutal sides of New Orleans life with it giving birth to a beautiful, diverse and defining new artform.”
“Storyville” which will be targeted for global sale much like its current slate, which includes the thriller drama “Departure,” which airs on Peacock in the U.S., and the young adult sci-fi actioner “Pandora,” which has aired for two seasons on The CW and is entering its third season around the world. Starlings is also behind “Sherlock’s Daughter,” from EP/showrunner James Duff (“The Closer”) and creator/writer Brendan Foley (“Cold Courage”); and “Shadowland,” along with Athena Pictures. Jacqui Barcos created that series, which has been sold to global streamer Viaplay in multiple territories.
Barbara Goicoechea and Bruce Orosz will serve as consultants “Storyville.” Usher is repped by Patriot Management and WME; Macdonald by Gersh; and Walt Becker by A3 Artists and Lubir Roklin. Usher was represented by Kenny Meiselas of Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks in the deal.