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Callie Khouri, T Bone Burnett Team On Tandem’s ‘Deep City’ Miami Music Drama

Deadline logo Deadline 1/17/2017 Nancy Tartaglione
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EXCLUSIVE: Studiocanal’s Tandem Productions is partnering with Oscar-winners Callie Khouri and T Bone Burnett on Deep City, a Miami-set drama created by From Dusk Till Dawn‘s Juan Carlos Coto. Development is currently underway on the music-driven ensemble series that’s set against the nightlife of Miami’s Midtown and emerging downtown core. Miami expert Coto, whose credits also include Nikita and 24, is writing and will showrun the series. He executive produces with Khouri, Burnett, and Tandem’s Tim Halkin and Rola Bauer.

The project is described as a saga about a cross-section of performers, musicians and criminals — and the collision of lives at a crossroads — in a city where people go to find themselves, reinvent themselves, or escape. It’s about personal and shared dreams which come in different shapes and colors, but have one thing in common: they’re big.

Deep City has a strong musical pedigree with Academy Award-winning Thelma & Louise scripter Khouri, who is married to Burnett, also having created ABC’s Nashville. Iconic and prolific music producer Burnett won his Oscar for Crazy Heart. Universal Music Group, which is owned by Studiocanal parent Vivendi, is also aboard as a partner.

Khouri says, “The most important issues today are around race and immigration, globalism vs. tribalism. If you had to locate the intersection of those four points on a map, you would be in Miami. Then add music, dance and the city where people come to remake their lives into their version of the American dream, that’s our show.”

For Burnett, “I love digging into the rich history of Miami music, with its mix of Rhythm and Blues, Afro-Caribbean and South American vibes. I love the sound of the place and the colors of the place. It is a world intersection. A profound border town.”

“When people think of Miami, they’re often thinking Miami Beach,” says Coto, a University of Miami graduate and former Miami Herald staffer. “That’s all good, but we want to explore the other narratives this city has to offer. The way Midtown’s exploded in the last decade — music, art, food, everything — it’s a whole new way for Miami to tell it’s story all over again. This is a city that is constantly reinventing itself… Put simply, this is a show about the new American dream and it’s a dream project for me. I’ve been writing and producing TV for more than twenty years, and every chance I get, I look to create a show in Miami.”

Bauer chimes in that Miami was a great inspiration for Deep City. “This new generation has put down roots amid a continually exploding cross section of cultures — American, European, Asian, Russian and of course Latin American. The city politically and socially embodies what is happening in the world around us. Our talented partners were also inspired: from the prolific T Bone, Callie’s strong female voice and Juan Carlos’ vision of Miami, together with Studiocanal’s full studio backing and UMG’s support, we are sure to make Deep City an addictive series that will have huge appeal on the global stage.”

Tandem’s other recent series include Crossing Lines and Spotless. Studiocanal will

distribute Deep City internationally.

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