This should be a spectacular spectacular: Director Baz Luhrmann’s first TV show, a musical drama set in 1970s New York City called The Get Down, is headed to Netflix. Vulture broke the news about the project back in December 2013, when Sony Pictures Television was shopping it around to multiple networks (though Netflix was always seen as the front-runner to land the show). The streaming giant now says it has ordered 13 episodes of the series and plans to premiere them all in 2016.
The Get Down will explore the dawn of the hip-hop era in NYC, focusing on what a Netflix release calls “a rag-tag crew of South Bronx teenagers [who] are nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them — except each other, armed only with verbal games, improvised dance steps, some magic markers and spray cans.” The show, set at a time when the city was veering toward financial disaster, will jump around different scenes and musical styles — “from CBGBs to Studio 54,” as Netflix puts it. The Get Down is “a project I have been contemplating and working on now for over 10 years,” Luhrmann said in a release. “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.”
Luhrmann won’t just be lending his name to The Get Down as executive producer: He’s set to direct at least three episodes (the first two and the season finale), and he’s bringing along collaborator (and Oscar winner) Catherine Martin to serve as costume and production designer for the show (as well as exec producer). Other exec producers/writers on the project include Paul Watters (Lurhmann’s Australia), Thomas Kelly (Copper), and the previously reported Stephen Adly Guirgis (Motherfucker With the Hat), Shawn Ryan, and Marney Hochman (The Shield). The Get Down is the biggest project to emerge from a TV deal Luhrmann struck with Sony back in 2012. It’s also yet another example of streaming networks such as Netflix landing top feature-film names to do TV. Amazon recently struck a deal to develop a TV show with director Woody Allen (though Netflix’s agreement with Luhrmann was in place long before the Amazon project was revealed).