Hulu's latest show, South Beach, is looking to enter the music label show genre with a fast-paced series set in Miami. Two music labels will be working against each other and a third participant as artists attempt to find success in the fickle music world.
Hulu's looking to cash in on the dramatic family drama of the music industry in South Beach. Set in Miami, the main reasons for drama involve two big-time rivals that seem to be intertwining personal and business life.
Produced by Dolphin Digital Media, CEO Bill O'Dowd thinks that "South Beach is the perfect setting for a fun, fast-paced, music-driven series." Chart toppers in several genres are proud of a Miami background and Will Smith pretty much made "Bienvenidos a Miami" a household phrase.
So what’s the plan for the show? And what’s going to make it so fast-paced?
Carmen Suarez (Ana Villafane, Max Steel) is a beautiful singer who charts in both English and Spanish, but finds herself attracted to Michael Bell, a rising DJ from rival label, ADLV Music Group. Her label, Donovan Lear Entertainment, isn't too pleased when the singer starts hanging around Bell and complicates life by bringing Antigone de la Vega into play.
De la Vega and Donovan Lear share a romantic past, but more surprising is that her fiancé Gus Garcia is mysteriously murdered. Even more surprising? He was the mayor of Miami Beach.
And underpinning all the ongoing drama is moves put in place by dangerous Isaac Santero (Jordi Vilasuso, Guiding Light), a leader in the criminal underbelly of the city. Also causing a bit of trouble are nightclub owner Samantha Lear (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, The Bold and the Beautiful) and A&R executive Octavio Cruz (Manny Montana, Graceland).
The show will also star Arlene Tur (Torchwood), Marc Menard (Gossip Girl), Deniz Akdeniz (Graceland), Eddie Finlay (Ocean Ave.) and Steve DuMouchel (Ocean Ave.).
Executive music producer Ali Dee Theodore of DeeTown Entertainment is in charge of score and songs for the series, serving as writer and producer as well. Theodore’s written and produced for acts such as Miley Cyrus, Mary J. Blige, Rev Run (RUN DMC), and the Jonas Brothers.
He’s also worked on soundtracks like first two installments of the Night at the Museum movies, Transformers, Iron Man, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Alvin and the Chipmunks—the last which earned him an AMA Best Movie Soundtrack award. He also produced Anna Kendrick’s “Cups” from Pitch Perfect, which was a triple platinum single according to the RIAA.
If sounding similar to Fox's wildly-successful Empire, the idea of a dramatic soap opera seems to be on the mind of Dolphin Digital Media and Hulu.
But does Theodore have the chops to master Miami and make the show's music really stand out?
"The guilty pleasure themes of love, longing, betrayal and revenge are simply addictive, and are interwoven throughout the script's captivating multi-layered plotlines," said O'Dowd. "We're all very excited for the premiere on Hulu this summer."
The show is predicted to hit the streaming site sometime in the third quarter. So judging by O'Dowd's assessment, South Beach should air right before all the major networks' fall premieres. The press release don't say if the show will follow the Netflix and Amazon model, which is to put all the season episodes out at once.
As for directing the series, Joshua Caldwell (Layover) takes the lead. Known for short films, Caldwell gained a lot of attention last year with Layover, which was shot on a $6,000 budget and popular in the film circuit. The film is almost entirely shot in French, even as the director doesn’t speak the language fluently, and is set to be part of a trilogy that will be completed in the next 18 months.
Working with Caldwell will be scriptwriter Brian Hurwitz (Hiding). Hurwitz has worked with Villafane in Hiding, a movie centered on a girl looking to run from a past that won’t stay hidden.
And Dolphin Digital Media's had series success with Bryan Singer's H+: The Digital Series (Youtube) and Anthony E. Zuiker's Cybergeddon (Yahoo). Moving from Nevada to Florida recently means likely more hands-on approach to the latest series as well.
Looking to break into the Latino market with high quality video and production, the board recently added Nelson Famadas, who served as Senior Vice President of National Latino Broadcasting on SiriusXM. Dolphin Digital Media has also worked with majority on the project in previous developments, such as Hiding.
In order to drum up attention, South Beach will be offering exclusive content to AOL. While it will be harder to gain Empire’s records, networking may help boost the signal and gain a larger audience. Since principal photography’s already started in Miami, the summer timeline looks to be on point.
Catch South Beach on Hulu sometime in 2015.
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Sources: Getfilings, PR Newsire