Today, Showtime confirmed that it had given a pilot order to Roadies, a rock comedy series from Jerry Maguire filmmaker Cameron Crowe, My So-Called Life creator Winnie Holzman and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams. Crowe, whose experiences working as a music journalist for Rolling Stone and directing The Union and Pearl Jam Twenty partially inspired the show, will both script and direct the pilot.
The series, which takes place during a successful rock tour, will focus on “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.” It will mark a return to musical territory for Crowe, whose semi-autobiographical feature Almost Famous dealt with similar material (and won him a Best Original Screenplay Oscar).
Crowe said of the show’s premise:
“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.”
“I love that we’re finally doing Roadies. J.J. and I have been talking about it for some time. 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. Roadies is Cameron Crowe at his most musically passionate, colorful character best. 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.”
David Nevins, Showtime’s president of original programming, pitched in, noting:
“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.”
Showtime is running short on comedies at the moment. It had a series called Happyish in the works with Philip Seymour Hoffman, but that was obviously abandoned after the actor’s unexpected death. Flagship comedy Californication is also wrapping up with its final season premiering soon. That leaves House of Lies, Nurse Jackie, Episodes and Web Therapy as the only comedies currently on the premium cable network.
With all the talent involved, I’m sure Roadies will be a terrific addition to Showtime’s lineup. No doubt the pilot won’t be all we see from the show – check back in the coming months, as we’ll be sure to update you with news about Roadies as it emerges.