Fresh off of the premiere of their first ever period drama, The CW has gone ahead and purchased another one--but at least this one takes place in the last century. CW has purchased 'Players,' a one-hour drama set in the 1930s in Los Angeles, known as the Golden Age of Hollywood. Of course, back then it was Hollywoodland, but who's counting?
The project comes from Ellen Degeneres' studio A Very Good Production, in partnership with Warner Bros. Television. Specifically, 'Players' will be about a young Midwestern woman who moves to Los Angeles to avenge her sister’s death at the hands of a predatory Studio head and finds herself swept up in the Hollywood star-making machine, unwittingly becoming the ingénue in a closeted movie star’s “lavender marriage” and a pawn in a Studio fixer’s scheme against the mob. Phew--there's a lot going on there.
It's possible that the plot of the sister's death could be based on the story of Peg Entwistle, better known as the Hollywood Sign Girl. After moving to Hollywoodland to try to make it in the pictures, a failed and beaten Entwistle leaped to her death off of the 'H' in the Hollywoodland sign, in 1932. In a tragic postscript to Entwistle's demise, her residence received a letter offering her a starring role in a theatrical production the day after she died. There are several stories like Entwistle's that are all worthy of winding up on screen, so hopefully 'Players' will dip into the true-story bucket now and then.
Most exciting is the possibility that current era stars could appear in the series, playing the stars of the Golden Age. Imagine getting to cast the roles of Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Janet Gaynor, Sonja Henie or Robert Taylor? It would be an actor's dream and a very nice way to pay homage to a bygone era. But, if 'Reign' is any indication, The CW won't concern themselves with historical accuracy overmuch.