Cameron Crowe announced today on Twitter that his Roadies series has been picked up by Showtime for 10 episodes. The series — created, written by, and directed by Crowe — will follow the day-to-day life of a hugely successful rock outfit (called Staton–House), as seen through the eyes of the unsung heroes: the crew.
But the project has gone through several changes, the most major one coming after the departure of Christina Hendricks from the series earlier this year. Originally set to play a character called Shelli, described in a press release at the time as “ingenious, tough, but privately emotional, married to her job… and scary-good at it,” Variety reported a few months ago that Crowe completely rewrote the pilot and the character for Carla Gugino, who will be taking over. Shelli will be the band’s production manager and right hand to the tour manager, played by Luke Wilson.
The series is being billed as a one-hour comedy, and feels somewhat reminiscent to the setting of Crowe’s film Almost Famous (which I love), at least from the teaser trailer. I’m expecting a kick-ass soundtrack, and hopefully a great series.
The high-profile project (the latest to feature a film director making the leap to TV — once considered sacrilege) also has J.J. Abrams as an executive producer, as well as Winnie Holzman as the showrunner. The cast also includes Imogene Poots, Rafe Spall, Peter Cambor, and Keisha Castle-Hughes. Check out the teaser and the full press release below; the series is set to debut on Showtime in 2016.
NEW YORK – October 14, 2015 – SHOWTIME is boarding The Staton-House Band bus – the network has picked up the highly anticipated pilot ROADIES to series with 10 episodes. Oscar® winner Cameron Crowe will write, direct and executive produce. Emmy® and Tony® nominee Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life, Wicked) will executive produce. The music-infused, one-hour ensemble comedy is a backstage look into the lives of a tight-knit group of rock band “roadies.” ROADIES will premiere across all SHOWTIME platforms in 2016, including on linear, On Demand and over the internet. The series will go into production early next year.
Emmy winners J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest) and Bryan Burk (Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest) will also serve as executive producers. Kathy Lingg (Person of Interest,Fringe) is co-executive producer. ROADIES is produced by Bad Robot Productions, Vinyl Films and Dooley & Company Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Created by Crowe, ROADIES is an insider’s look at the reckless, romantic, funny and often poignant lives of a committed group of “roadies” who live for music and the de facto family they’ve formed along the way. The series chronicles the rock world through the eyes of music’s unsung heroes and puts the spotlight on the backstage workers who put the show on the road while touring the United States for the successful arena-level group, The Staton-House Band. Kelly Curtis, Pearl Jam’s manager and a regular collaborator with Crowe, is also on board as producer and music supervisor.
“I’ve long wanted to work with J.J. and Winnie, and coming together to tell these stories has been beyond a blast,” said Crowe. “SHOWTIME has a great track record with music-based projects, and they’ve been wonderful partners. The actors are all so passionate about music too, and the whole show has the feeling of stories and music shared between friends. We can’t wait to bring it all to life in 2016.”
Luke Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Old School, Enlightened) stars as the band’s tour manager opposite Screen Actors Guild® Award nominee Carla Gugino (San Andreas, The Brink, The Space Between Us) as the production manager. Their unique personal and professional relationship is forever crashing and colliding as they guide the daily events of the band and crew of roadies. Imogen Poots (The Look of Love), Rafe Spall (One Day), Academy Award® nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), Peter Cambor (NCIS: Los Angeles), Colson Baker a.k.a. Machine Gun Kelly (Beyond the Lights) and Ron White (Blue Collar Comedy Tour) star in the ensemble cast. Luis Guzman (Boogie Nights), Jacqueline Byers (The Strain), Finesse Mitchell (Saturday Night Live), Branscombe Richmond (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Tanc Sade (Matador, Gilmore Girls) guest star.