Haitian-born Fugees principal Wyclef Jean has cut a deal with HBO to produce and star in a comedy series loosely based on his life. The project, now in the early stages of development, will be penned by Jean along with writers Seth Rosenfeld and Danny Hoch (HBO’s “Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground”). Jean also is set to write and produce original music for the series through his Platinum Sound studio.
The son of a minister, Jean absorbed the local Creole and folk traditions that would later influence his hip-hop and world music recordings. His family moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., when he was 9, and later to New Jersey. By the time he was a teenager, he had taken up the guitar and joined forces with Lauryn Hill and Pras Michael to form the Fugees.
The band has remained silent since 1996’s breakthrough, “The Score,” but recently reunited to lay the groundwork for a follow-up disc expected in early 2006. The trio will launch a European tour in Vienna on November 30.
During the Fugees’ hiatus, Jean kept busy. He released his first solo album, “Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival,” in 1997 and has worked as a producer and songwriter with such artists as Destiny’s Child, Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana and the Black Eyed Peas. He earned a Golden Globe nomination last year for penning the song “A Million Voices” featured in “Hotel Rwanda.”
Jean has branched out into acting in recent years. He appeared in four episodes of the NBC drama “Third Watch” this year. He also has roles in the current indie features “One Last Thing,” which screened last month at the Toronto International Film Festival, and “Dirty,” set to debut at next month’s AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival.