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Sometimes music documentaries and concert performances do quite well on television while other times they come and go without making waves. A few months ago, pop singer Beyoncé put together a successful documentary for HBO, and now her husband Jay-Z will follow suit with another subscription cable network, Showtime. On Friday, the network put out the first trailer for the documentary, which is rolling with the title Made In America, which follows a festival the prolific rapper and producer put together on Labor Day weekend last year—and is repeating this year.
The documentary is set to hit Showtime’s schedule on October 11, and the trailer fills us in on a little bit of what we can expect from the new endeavor. In the promotional clip, Jay-Z talks a lot about the shared experience of humanity (which shouldn’t shock anyone who has seen the man’s philosophical musings before). Additionally, we get to see some concert footage from a bunch of big names, including Jay-Z, Pearl Jam, Run DMC, and plenty of the other artists that collaborated for the festival.
Jay-Z’s got pretty big shoes to fill. In February, Beyoncé: Life Is But A Dream premiered to 1.8 million total viewers during its first run on HBO, making it the most highly-watched documentary the subscription cable network rolled out in over a decade. Showtime’s audience is typically a little smaller than HBO’s, as well, so Jay-Z has his work cut out for him.
Luckily, he seems to have a pretty damn good team to back him up. We’ve known since August of 2012 that Ron Howard was putting together a Jay-Z documentary. At the time, he was busy editing the film Rush and the project seemed to be a lofty idea. However, the director took his sweet time with the Made in America documentary, and more than a year later, fans will actually get to see the footage. The documentary was also produced by Jay-Z, along with RadicalMedia and Participant Media.
Concert footage can often feature a lot of fun, emotional performances and since that event has been chronicled with Howard’s capable eye, it should be a pretty exciting watch. Deadline is reporting that Showtime’s President of Entertainment David Nevins would agree.
“As soon as we saw this film we knew it was a perfect fit for Showtime. Ron Howard and Jay-Z have crafted an inspirational portrayal of American resilience, drive and creativity, interwoven with an incredible showcase of musical talent.”
I suggest you forget all of that “resilience” crap and watch Made in America for its window into an event that took plenty of planning and thought but didn’t disappoint.