Starz and Lionsgate will be teaming up again for a new original drama series in development, “Fleet Street,” executive produced by Piers Morgan and set in the newspaper world in 1970s London. Through the eyes of an American journalist, the drama will chart the rise of tabloid journalism and the sexual revolution and class warfare of the era.
The series will be produced by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced, Octagon Entertainment and Piers Morgan’s Ferret Productions. BAFTA Award-winning screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst (“Shameless” UK) will write the pilot and executive produce along with Morgan (host of CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” and a former judge on “America’s Got Talent”), Octagon Entertainment’s Managing Director John Ferriter and Jason Felts, Justin Berfield and Michael Forman (Virgin Produced).
On the history of Fleet Street, Piers Morgan commented, “Imagine an industry where every single opponent worked in the same street, competing with each other by day — drinking, brawling, fornicating, nightclubbing and cocaine-snorting with each other by night. A street full of the most ruthless and amoral people in the world existed, and it was called Fleet Street. In the early ’70s, it became the breeding ground for modern popular journalism, as foreign media tycoons stomped over the British establishment to re-define ‘news,’ suddenly exposing the rich, powerful and famous in spectacular front-page scoops.
“It was the dawn of the celebrity era, in all its gruesome detail — a revolution that changed pop culture, and the relationship between the press and politicians, royals, and stars. Fleet Street in the ’70s was a hotbed of scoops, shagging, flairs and devastating world that was also unbelievably exciting. Danny Brocklehurst has brought Fleet Street to life in a way that I believe will grip audiences.”
“STARZ is looking forward to working with Lionsgate again on a project we have a tremendous amount of faith in,” said Starz Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht. “Fleet Street in the 70’s was the Madison Avenue of the media world. The wild times and fantastical characters of Piers’ past make for compelling storytelling that the STARZ audience craves.”
Starz is currently all about the flashy period dramas — the second season of the 1950s-set “Magic City” is premiering this summer, the pirate series “Black Sails” is set for January and the Renaissance historical fantasy “Da Vinci’s Demons” is currently in the midst of its first season.
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