Looking back to a bygone era when mobsters ruled the Miami landscape, Starz has ordered ten episodes of Magic City, a new 1960s-era drama from a cable network still angling to successfully rival premium peer HBO in the original content department.
With Party Down, Spartacus, and Head Case already carrying the Starz original programming banner, Magic City will take the period-piece lead of Boardwalk Empire and borrow a page from Showtime's Dexter, which similarly focuses on the mean streets of Miami.
According to executive producer Mitch Glazer, Magic City revolves around Miramar Hotel boss Ike Evans, whose entanglements with mobsters and even some within his own family complicate a life already dramatized by Miami "dopers, dealers, strippers, gangsters and those who arrest them." Some TV critics, naturally, already doubt whether a period piece invested so heavily in the Miami nightclub scene can result in a winner for Starz. But if Boardwalk Empire, HBO's hit series set in Prohibition era Atlantic City, can enthrall audiences, the prevailing logic at Starz is that a show like Magic City can too.
A Miami Beach native familiar with and enamored by the "magic" of his childhood stomping grounds, Glazer says Magic City has the potential to deliver riveting dramatic content.
"I was born and raised in Miami Beach, grew up in those swank hotel lobbies. I love that world and those stories...Miami in the early '60s was a tropical crossroads, America's Casablanca - the Rat Pack, CIA, the mob, JFK and anti-Castro warriors - all hanging out in the same Collins Avenue nightclub."
An anomaly of sorts among contemporary Miami-based film and television projects, Magic City will actually be shot on location in Miami beginning next year, in hopes of an early 2012 series premiere.
According to Starz President Chris Albrecht:
"Mitch has created a world populated with unforgettable characters and with a big, dynamic story...The talented creative team that has come together for Magic City will ensure a show that we think audiences won't want to miss."
Glazer is famous for his producing and writing work on films including Scrooged, Great Expectations, The Recruit, and Lost in Translation.
Magic City hopes to hit the airwaves sometime in early 2012.