Netflix Gets Musical

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Pat Cerasaro

As any entertainment enthusiast would justifiably argue, among the most difficult genres to master is the musical. Many of the greatest artists and directors of the modern age have attempted them, yet valiantly failed - Martin Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, Paul Simon and U2, to name but a few. Displaying a discernible penchant for successful musical storytelling is as rare as horse feathers, so when a major creative figure such as Ryan Murphy or Damien Chazelle attempts a new take on the genre, attention must be paid. Appreciably, Netflix has put its faith and finances behind two new projects from the musical masters responsible for GLEE and LA LA LAND.

First up will be the first of several new series being crafted by the man behind mega-hits NIP/TUCK, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, AMERICAN CRIME STORY and FEUD with the musical comedy series THE POLITICIAN. Created by Murphy alongside his GLEE collaborators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, the politically-tinged show will follow an enterprising young politician in his quest for public office, with each season revolving around a different race. Leading the cast will be DEAR EVAN HANSEN breakout star Ben Platt alongside Academy Award winners Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Lange as well as Dylan McDermott, Laura Dreyfuss, Lucy Boynton, Rahne Jones and Zoey Deutch. While details are scare, as is commonplace with Netflix, the series is expected to premiere in early 2019.

This week, the streaming giant also announced yet another new musical series in the offing from LA LA LAND's Oscar-winning helmer Damien Chazelle. Titled THE EDDY, the Paris-set musical drama will offer a multi-lingual approach to the material, with dialogue presented in French, English and Arabic. Outfitted with an original musical score by Grammy Award-winning JAGGED LITTLE PILL songwriter Glen Ballard, the script is being penned by HARRY POTTER & THE CURSED CHILD scribe Jack Thorne. Casting is underway, with the series expected to debut later this year.

While GLEE, SMASH and RISE may have left the airwaves for good, it is more than merely edifying for fans of musical comedies and dramas onscreen to have not one, but two new series to anticipate as we prepare to begin a brand new year.