Bill Simmons and HBO are partnering on a multi-part documentary film series focused on music. There will be six parts. The untitled project “will concentrate on pivotal moments or stretches for a popular artist or band, an iconic album or the music business as a whole,” said HBO, with each episode featuring a different director.
Simmons’ digital media company The Ringer is in on the project. The series is scheduled to debut in 2021 and will be a six-week event.
“We’ve had a longtime collaboration with Bill, and we are thrilled that he came to HBO with this idea,” said Casey Bloys, president HBO Programming. “We look forward to working with him and the team at The Ringer to illuminate many of the fascinating artists and moments that have shaped the music industry.”
Simmons is executive producing with Jody Gerson, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, and Marc Cimino, chief operating officer, UMPG. Polygram Entertainment is executive producing too.
“It’s been a dream of mine to put this project together,” said Simmons. “It wasn’t until I started working with Jody and Marc that the potential of it started to seem real. We see an opportunity to elevate the storytelling form with music docs much like 30 for 30 changed the landscape for sports documentaries at the end of last decade. We don’t want to make music docs that just cover the beginning, middle and end of someone’s career. We think there’s a different way to do these. And we want to work with the best directors possible, talented filmmakers who have the same passion for this project that we do. I couldn’t be more excited for the challenge. Being able to explore this with HBO is like the cherry on top.”
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.