The Starz network has announced the USA television premiere of the musical drama Dancing on the Edge, an original miniseries from writer/director Stephen Poliakoff, which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (an actor who’s set to have a really good second half of 2013 with 3 films he stars in debuting).
In the 5-episode miniseries, Ejiofor plays the debonair band leader of his self-titled Louis Lester Band, who befriends an ambitious music journalist named Stanley, played by co-star Matthew Goode.
The miniseries is inspired by accounts of Duke Ellington Band’s mingling with the future Duke of Windsor Edward VIII in Europe, and takes place in London during the early 1930s.
The story illustrates the journey of a group of Black jazz musicians – the Louis Lester Band – as they steadily rise to stardom, a result of performing at various elite social gatherings hosted by London’s aristocrats. Although Britain’s climate was flourishing with extraordinary social change, much of the upper-class loathed the idea of Black musicians performing in polite society. Still, the city’s more progressive socialites (including members of the Royal Household) befriend the ensemble and introduce them to posh life. The blissful eminence surrounding the band abruptly changes when the band members are entangled in a murder conspiracy.
Ejiofor and Goode are joined by Jacqueline Bisset who plays an influential socialite named Lady Cremone, and John Goodman who portrays an affluent American entrepreneur named Masterson.
The songstresses of the Louis Lester Band are played by Angel Coulby and Wunmi Mosaku (who you’ll remember from I Am Slave, and Citadel).
Per the press release, Starz will premiere the 5-episode miniseries in October, with the exact day and time to be announced later.
Dancing on the Edge was filmed on location in London and Birmingham over four months, and was produced by Ruby Film and Television for BBC Two, supported by Endgame Entertainment, Playground Entertainment, Creative England and LipSync Productions.
Dancing on the Edge aired in February in the UK.
Here’s an old trailer for the series; although I’m sure a new one will be cut ahead of the Starz premiere: