Showtime has given a pilot production order to Roadies, a comedy that follows the day-to-day life of a successful rock tour as seen through the eyes of music's unsung background players - the crew members who help get the show on the road.
Cameron Crowe, who won an Oscar for brilliantly chronicling the highs and lows of rock and roll life as witnessed by a Rolling Stone magazine cub reporter in his semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous, wrote and will direct the one-hour pilot (for a potential half-hour series). Crowe will executive produce with Emmy and Tony nominee Winnie Holzman (Huge, My So-Called Life, Wicked), who will serve as showrunner, as well as Emmy winners J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest) and Bryan Burk (Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest). Kathy Lingg (Person of Interest, Revolution) is co-executive producer. Roadies is produced by Bad Robot Productions, Vinyl Films and Dooley & Company Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television.
The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President, Showtime Networks Inc., who released the following statement.
"Cameron Crowe is one of my all-time movie heroes. Winnie Holzman created and wrote one of my favorite TV shows ever. J.J., among many other things, is a consummate television producer. Best of all: the comedy script they've come up with together is brilliant, original and full of life."
Cameron Crowe also issued the following statement regarding the new show.
"I love that we're finally doing Roadies. J.J. and I have been talking about it for some time. We're fans of crews, those workers up on the rigging towers, or walking feverishly with eight phones on their belt. Those quietly devoted people live huge lives, they're often the real keepers of the flame. So happy to also be telling these stories with Showtime, and also with one of my very favorite writer-producers ever, Winnie Holzman. Let's get this show on the road!"
Producer Winnie Holzman also offered the following statement.
"The opportunity to work with Cameron Crowe is both an honor and a dream come true. I'm grateful to J.J. Abrams, and to Showtime, and thrilled to be along for the ride."
J.J. Abrams had this to say about Cameron Crowe's story in a statement.
"Roadies is Cameron Crowe at his most musically passionate, colorful character best. We had been talking about the series for so long, but when he actually handed me the script, it was funnier and sweeter and wilder than I had ever imagined. Showtime is the perfect home for these characters - and there is no one I've been hoping to work with more than the truly brilliant Winnie Holzman."
Roadies follows a hot-ticket tour, but with a simple twist: the band is in the background and the roadies take the spotlight. It's 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.
Award-winning director and writer Cameron Crowe is responsible for such generation-defining, now-classic films as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Say Anything and Jerry Maguire. His additional screen credits include Singles, Vanilla Sky and We Bought a Zoo. Winnie Holzman began her television career as a writer on the seminal series thirtysomething, followed by the coming-of-age drama she created and co-executive produced, My So-Called Life, featuring Homeland star Claire Danes. She is also a Tony nominee for writing the book for the hit Broadway musical Wicked. J.J. Abrams is currently at work writing, producing and directing the highly anticipated feature film Star Wars: Episode VII, and he is also producing the next installments of the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek movie franchises. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions is best known in television for its string of hit series including Felicity, Alias, Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest, among others.