It’s an oldie…and a goodie. In a new in-development story reported by Deadline, streaming giant Hulu has ordered eight episodes of a limited series detailing the life and legacy of Sammy Davis Jr. Apparently based on the book In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. by Wil Haygood, the series is meant to be a deep dive into the life and career of the stage starlet who redefined what a black man could accomplish in Hollywood.
The official lineup for the show goes like this: Sammy Davis, Jr. rose from childhood stardom on the vaudeville stage to become one of the most famous African-American entertainers of the 1950s and 1960s (and the only black member of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack). At the same time, he spent most of his career shrouded in controversy and ridicule – about his affairs with white movie stars, his 1960 marriage to Swedish actress May Britt, his conversion to Judaism, his closeness with the Kennedys (and later Richard Nixon), and his alcohol and drug problems.
The lead role will be played by Elijah Kelley (The butler, fixative), who will also play a production role and collaborate on the show’s original musical arrangements. Directing the first two episodes and produced primarily by Lee Daniels (the butler), the show will also have executive producers Thomas Westfall (Empire), Marc Toberoff (piranha), and Wil Haygood (Sami, In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr.).
A production date has yet to be set for the series.