Gary Levine, President of Entertainment at Showtime, has announced the network’s plans to host a musical drama series backed by a highly successful ensemble of creators and entertainers. Grammy winner Alicia Keys and the Oscar, Tony and Grammy-winning duo of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are slated to executive produce. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who are probably best known for their collaborative work on La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen and The Greatest Showman, also plan on contributing music to the untitled project. Tony winner and Oscar nominee Marc Platt (Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, The Band’s Visit, La La Land), Emmy winner R.J. Cutler (Nashville, American High), Kyle Jarrow (The SpongeBob Musical) and Emmy winner Adam Siegel (Grease: Live!) will join Keys, Pasek and Paul as executive producers.
The musical project will span generations in order to express the complicated family history that bridges characters between present-day and 1959 Detroit and will center on a musician who stumbles upon a mystery after moving back to her childhood home.
Levine expressed his support for the series in a press release on Wednesday. “We have always been intrigued by the prospect of doing a Showtime musical series, but only if the songs could add to the depth and complexity of a great character drama,” he said. “Nobody does that better than Pasek and Paul and Marc Platt…so when they came to us along with a global superstar like Alicia, a talented writer like Kyle, and excellent producers like Adam and R.J., we were all in.”
Keys has 15 Grammy Awards to her name, and her abilities span a broad range of professions: singer-songwriter, producer, actress, musician, best-selling author and activist. She has appeared onscreen in The Secret Life of Bees, The Nanny Diaries and Empire. What is more, she executive produced The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete and she directed part of Five, a multipart film.
Her counterparts Pasek and Paul, who have worked together since their freshman year of college, can likewise boast an award-studded résumé. The two earned an Oscar for La La Land. This win was shortly followed by a Tony for Dear Evan Hansen. Pasek and Paul also have two Golden Globe Awards for The Greatest Showman and La La Land, and multiple Grammy Awards for Dear Evan Hansen and The Greatest Showman.
Meanwhile, Jarrow received a Tony nomination for Best Book of A Musical for his work on SpongeBob SquarePants. He also created the television show Valor and earned an Obie Award for A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant.
Cutler is a two-time Emmy Award Nominee for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program for his work on American High, for which he won the award in 2001. He has won a BAFTA and an additional Emmy for his Showtime documentary, Listen To Me Marlon.
Siegel has an Emmy Award for his work as a producer on Grease Live!
Fox 21 Television Studios will produce the untitled musical drama series.