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With its latest original offering Penny Dreadful, Showtime reteamed Skyfall's Oscar and Emmy-nominated screenwriter John Logan and Oscar-winning director Sam Medes, and the results have been nothing less than spectacular. The network has attracted an even more impressive supergroup in ordering the comedic pilot Roadies, which was created by multi-award-winning director Cameron Crowe with a cast of executive producers including My So-Called Life creator Winnie Holzman, everyman J.J. Abrams and his fellow Bad Robot Production co-founder Bryan Burk (Lost). So obviously Roadies is either going to get cancelled after one great season, or it’s going to last way too long and collapse beneath the weight of its own stories.
Not only did Crowe write the script for the pilot, but he’ll also be directing, making this his first trip into the world of TV. (Unless you count the music videos he directed playing on MTV.) Interestingly, Roadies is getting a one-hour pilot, though they’re aiming to make it a half-hour series should Showtime give it a full order. And seriously, how vile would the show have to be in order to get left behind?
Roadies, as you may have assumed, is centered in the music world, only with the focus placed on the behind-the-scenes heroes who do everything but the actual songwriting. According to the press release, the pilot takes place during a high-profile tour, with an “inside look at the reckless, romantic, funny and often poignant lives of a committed group of characters who live for music, and the de facto family they’ve formed along the way.” In other words, it’s a series that J.J. Abrams can’t possibly insert a massive mystery into. Or can he? (It’s a mystery.)
Showtime president David Nevins calls the script “brilliant, original and full of life.” No big shock, really, considering Crowe seems incapable of forming flat, boring narratives. The fact that he’s returning to the music world that he treated with such finesse in Almost Famous is more than enough to get me behind this project. Crowe is currently in the post-production phase of his STILL untitled romantic comedy with Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone, but it seems likely he’ll be free and ready to go as soon whenever the casting is complete. In the meantime, “you can tell Rolling Stone magazine…”
Holzman, who will serve as Roadies’ showrunner, was also the developer and executive producer on the short-lived ABC Family weight camp dramedy Huge. Abrams and Burk – who saw Bad Robot’s Almost Human, Revolution and Believe get cancelled all in the last few months – are busy working on Star Wars: Episode VII, which you may have heard about on Cinema Blend a time or two.
Does Roadies sound like a certified smash, or just a one hit wonder?