Hot on the heels of the surprising success and popularity of Fox’s new hip-hop drama Empire, Netflix has ordered new musical series The Get Down from Baz Luhrmann.
Set in 1970s New York City, the 13-episode series features a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers, who have no one to shelter them but each other and are armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers, and spray cans. From Bronx tenements to the SoHo art scene; from CBGBs to Studio 54 and even the glass towers of the just-built World Trade Center, The Get Down is a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco—told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world forever.
Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby) will executive-produce the series alongside Shawn Ryan, Catherine Martin, Paul Watters, Thomas Kelly, Stephen Adley Guirgis, and Marney Hochman. The drama marks the first time Luhrmann, who will also direct the first two episodes and the series finale, has done a musically driven project since Moulin Rouge.
“From his very first and magnificently original steps on the world stage with Strictly Ballroom to his most recent with The Great Gatsby, Baz conjures worlds we may not recognize initially, but once there, realize they are infused with the same dreams of every person – to belong, to matter, to live life to its fullest,” Netflix Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland said. “We are thrilled to support Baz, Catherine and Paul and their team in their quest to illuminate those same dreams through the artists who came of age in the cauldron of the Bronx in the late 1970s.”
Added Luhrmann: “In this golden era of TV, the Netflix culture puts no constraint on creative possibilities. So it is a natural home for The Get Down, a project I have been contemplating and working on now for over 10 years. Throughout, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of how a city in its lowest moment, forgotten and half destroyed, could give birth to such creativity and originality in music, art and culture. I’m thrilled to be working with my partners at Sony and collaborating with a team of extraordinary writers and musicians, many of whom grew up with and lived the story we’ve set out to tell.”
The Get Down is expected to premiere in 2016.