Chicago’s first Black mayor, Harold Washington, is the subject of a TV miniseries in the works by Ike Holter, who wrote an acclaimed series of plays set in a fictional Chicago ward.
Wayfarer Studios is developing the project with Holter, the creative mind behind “Lottery Day” and the rest of the so-called Rightlynd Saga. There’s no TV outlet yet for the still untitled series, based on the 1992 book “Fire on the Prairie” by Gary Rivlin.
Washington was a U.S. congressman when he won an improbable Democratic primary victory over Jane Byrne, the incumbent mayor, and Richard M. Daley, son of a widely revered former mayor (and a future mayor himself), in 1983. After defeating Republican Bernard Epton in the general election, he faced wide City Council opposition for his agenda in a series of showdowns popularly known as “Council Wars.”
He died in office in 1987.
Executive producers on the project include Justin Baldoni, who played Rafael Solano on “Jane the Virgin” and directed the recent Disney+ film “Clouds,” and Paylocity founder Steve Sarowitz.
Holter, winner of the prestigious Windham-Campbell prize for play writing, was a staff writer for “Fosse/Verdon,” the acclaimed 2019 miniseries on FX.