Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Epix to Rebrand as MGM+; Orders Drama 'Hotel Cocaine' and 'Belgravia' Follow-Up

Epix has today announced that it will be rebranding as MGM+. The premium cable network will relaunch under the new name on January 15, 2023 - coinciding with the third season premiere of Godfather of Harlem, its most successful scripted series to date. The outlet has also made two new scripted pickups today.

"MGM is one of the most iconic and beloved brands from the golden age of entertainment," said Michael Wright, Head of MGM+. "This rebrand is a promise to existing and new viewers that MGM+ is the place to find television that reflects and celebrates the legacy of the iconic MGM brand - cinematic programming with sophisticated storytelling that entertains, delights, surprises, and transports. MGM is television for movie lovers."

Ordered for 8 episodes, the drama Hotel Cocaine will detail the story of Roman Compte, a Cuban exile, CIA operative and the general manager of The Mutiny Hotel, the glamorous epicenter of the Miami cocaine scene of the late '70s and early '80s.

Chris Brancato created the drama, with Guillermo Navarro set to direct the premiere. Epix Studios will produce.

The former limited series Belgravia created by Julian Fellowes based on his novel is receiving a follow-up installment, titled Belgravia: The Next Chapter - set in 1865, 25 years after the events of the original series.

The series will tell the love story of Frederick Trenchard, who has grown up as the third Lord Glanville, and his new love interest, Clara Dunn, who is a newcomer to London society. Unaware that his birth was the product of an affair between his mother Susan and the scoundrel John Bellasis, a troubled childhood has left Frederick deeply insecure, which challenges his courtship of and marriage to Clara.

Helen Edmundson developed the follow-up series. She will executive produce with Gareth Neame, Nigel Marchant and Joanna Strevens. Epix Studios and Carnival Films will produce.

The third season of Godfather of Harlem finds Bumpy Johnson continuing to battle for control of Harlem, with other aspirants to the throne, namely the Cuban Mafia from neighboring Spanish Harlem. Taking on the Cuban mob will put Bumpy, his loved ones, and his community in the crosshairs of not only the rival Italians, but ruthless Latin assassins and, ultimately, the CIA.

The drama stars Forest Whitaker, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ilfenesh Hadera, Lucy Fry, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, Giancarlo Esposito, Michael Raymond-James and Jason Alan Carvell.

Whitaker executive produces with Chris Brancato, Paul Eckstein, Nina Yang Bongiovi, James Acheson, Markuann Smith and Joe Chappelle. ABC Signature produces.