Darren Criss is returning to Fox.
The network is developing a musical workplace comedy from the Glee grad, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The project, titled Royalties, centers on the unseen, unsung and unglamorous heroes behind the pop stars - the producers and songwriters whose job it is to produce hits. Sometimes it's sexy, but most of the time, it's just like every other workplace with office politics, clashing personalities and day-to-day minutiae. The comedy specifically centers on a publishing company, Royalty Music, and the one-hit wonder who returns to the fold in the hopes of making it big again.
Royalties hails from Criss and writers Allyn Rachel and Patrick Carlyle. The latter two will executive produce with The Jackal Group's Gail Berman and Joe Earley. Criss is attached as a co-executive producer (he will not star in the project should it move forward).
Criss most famously spent five years on Fox's former musical comedy hit Glee, for which he also earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding original music & lyrics. The actor, who is currently headlining the Los Angeles production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, also is known for his roles on American Horror Story and in the comedy film Girl Most Likely. Criss is repped by CAA, Hyphenate Creative Management and Hansen, Jacobson.
Rachel and Carlyle previously created the web series Couple Time, which was previously developed at Fox. Rachel also is developing the comedy Ridin' Dirty for FX with The Jackal Group. Rachel is repped by CAA, Truhett Garcia Management and Ginsburg Daniels. Carlyle is repped by CAA, Haven Entertainment and Ginsburg Daniels.
Royalties marks the latest collaboration between Fox and The Jackal Group, which produced the remake of the movie musical Rocky Horror Picture Show. The company also has the drama Camelot and the comedy Mattress World in development at the network.
The project comes in the midst of a rough patch for similar music-centered series. HBO and Showtime axed first-year dramas Vinyl and Roadies, respectively, after one season despite impressive auteurs like Mick Jagger and Cameron Crowe. FX also recently pulled the plug on Dennis Leary's sophomore comedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. ABC's Nashville, centering specifically on the world of country music, also was canceled this year after four seasons, but it was resurrected by CMT and Hulu shortly thereafter.