Starz Orders Magic City TV Show Set in 1960s Miami Beach

With Mad Men reviving interest in the swank side of the '60s, and Miami always a popular setting for TV show it was only a matter of time until someone launched a show set in 1960s Miami. Premium cable channel, Starz, today announced that they've greenlit Magic City, a drama set in a fancy Miami Beach hotel set amongst the political and organized crime drama of the time. Unlike some Miami-set series, Magic City will be shot in Miami starting in 2011 and it's expected to hit small screens in 2012.

The show is the brain child of Miami Beach High album Mitch Glazer. He's known for writing movies like Scrooged, Great Expectations and The Recruit. He also produced Lost in Translation.

"I was born and raised in Miami Beach, grew up in those swank hotel lobbies. I love that world and those stories," Glazer said in the statement. "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."

The show will be set at the fictitious Miramar Hotel, which from the description sounds like it might as well be a stand in for the famed Fontainebleau. The action centers on the hotel's owner Ike Evans as he deals "with the Mob, his complicated family and a city in the midst of dramatic change as Fidel Castro takes control of Cuba, just 200 miles offshore."

The show also promises to deal with all your favorite Miami Beach standards like drugs, crime, strippers, crooked cops and, of course, racial tension.

Starz is a relatively new player in the world of original programming, but has critically adored shows and cult favorites like Party Down, Spartacus, and Head Case to its credit. Miami is already featured prominently on pay cable on Showtime's Dexter, and HBO was set to produce a show based on Cocaine Cowboys, but we haven't heard anything new about that for nearly two years now.

Casting for the show is expected to begin soon. The project sounds exciting, but the only nitpick we have is that the term "Magic City" is usually more associated with the city of Miami, and not so much the city of Miami Beach. Oh well.

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Kyle Munzenrieder