STARZ Develops Hip-Hop Drama ‘Turf’

A new ‘70s era project will explore the early days of Hip-Hop music.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

While STARZ has had its greatest success with historical fantasies, the network is getting ready for a possible jump to the ‘70s.

According to Deadline, STARZ is developing “Turf,” a new potential TV series created by Patrick Macmanus that will follow the rise of the Hip-Hop movement in the Bronx during the 1970s. “Turf” will also reportedly explore the dangerous gang life of that era.

It should be noted that the previous attempts by STARZ to break out of the “Spartacus” mold haven’t completely worked yet. “Boss” lasted only two seasons, while another period drama, “Magic City” was modestly rated going into its second season next year. But the desire to pursue another period drama in “Turf” may help the network standout on the crowded cable market place. And there aren’t any other major dramas currently set in that decade.

With “Spartacus” set to wrap up early 2013, STARZ is already considering a spinoff series centered upon Julius Caesar in addition to the already confirmed dramas, “Da Vinci’s Demons,” “Marco Polo” and the pirate drama, “Black Sails.”

STARZ is also developing a potential series about the historical "Vlad Dracula” from "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski in addition to the sci-fi series, “Incursion” and the adaptation of the Anime series, “Noir.” By comparison, “Turf” is a more conventional program than any of these shows.

Prior to bringing “Turf” to STARZ, Macmanus was on staff for both “Marco Polo” and “Noir” before co-writing an update on “Sleepy Hollow” with Grant Scharbo for the CW’s current development slate.