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Thursday, January 07 2016 20:55

HBO's 1970s Music Industry Series, VINYL, Set for February Debut...

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One new series (for grownups) that I've been waiting for was first announced back in 2014, and now it has a premiere date.  The HBO drama series, VINYL, kicks off its ten-episode season SUNDAY, FEB. 14 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT) with a pilot directed by Martin Scorsese, from a story by Rich Cohen & Mick Jagger & Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter, and teleplay by Terence Winter and George Mastras, followed by hour-long episodes debuting subsequent Sundays at the same time. VINYL is a fictionalized look at the music business of the 1970s, with New York as the backdrop for an era that witnessed the birth of punk, disco and hip-hop. Check out a preview below...

"Richie Finestra, the founder and president of American Century Records, is trying to save his company and soul without destroying everyone in his path. With his passion for music and discovering talent gone by the wayside, and American Century on the precipice of being sold, he has a life-altering event that reignites his love of music, but severely damages his personal life."

 More from the Official Premiere Announcement:   

VINYL stars two-time Emmy® winner Bobby Cannavale (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”), as Richie Finestra, SAG Award nominee Olivia Wilde (HBO’s “Doll and Em”) and multiple Emmy® winner Ray Romano (“Everybody Loves Raymond”). Scorsese, Jagger and Winter executive produce along with Rick Yorn, Victoria Pearman, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, John Melfi, Allen Coulter and George Mastras. Winter serves as showrunner.

Richie Finestra’s wife, Devon (Olivia Wilde), a former actress and model who was part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene in 1960s New York City, is now a suburban mother of two. Richie’s personal and professional crises put additional stress on their relationship, inspiring a desire to return to her Bohemian roots.

Meanwhile, as head of promotions and a partner at American Century, Zak Yankovich’s (Ray Romano) experience in the industry and hundred-dollar handshakes make him an invaluable part of the company, though he works in Richie’s shadow. Their professional relationship is strained by disagreements over how to guide the company through the music landscape of 1973.

Other series regulars include: Ato Essandoh as Lester Grimes, Richie’s first client in the early 1960s; Max Casella as Julius “Julie” Silver, head of A&R of American Century, who struggles to stay hip and relevant in the young man’s game of rock ‘n’ roll; P.J. Byrne as Scott Levitt, company attorney and junior partner at American Century, whose legal maneuvering and abrasive personality continually test Richie’s patience; J.C. MacKenzie as Skip Fontaine, head of sales and partner at American Century, whose savvy and sometimes questionable business practices inflate American Century’s profits; Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as Ingrid, a member of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene in the 1960s, and a former friend of Devon and Richie; Juno Temple as Jamie Vine, an ambitious A&R assistant at American Century, who uses her keen abilities to blend into the various subcultures of the New York music scene; Jack Quaid as Clark Morelle, a junior A&R executive with misguided ambition; James Jagger as Kip Stevens, founder and lead singer of The Nasty Bits, a raw New York City rock band; and Paul Ben-Victor as Maury Gold, Richie’s mentor and owner of Rondelay Records.

Episode #1: “Pilot” Debut: SUNDAY, FEB. 14 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)

New York City, 1973. Together with his partners, Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), president of American Century Records, is on the verge of selling his struggling company to German Polygram, in a deal that includes an impending distribution agreement with Led Zeppelin. But after a disastrous meeting, it’s clear that the sale is in jeopardy.

Heading home to Greenwich, Conn., Richie takes a detour to an unplanned reunion with Lester Grimes (Ato Essandoh), a musical artist with whom he has a complicated history. With thoughts of Lester weighing on him, Richie heads to the office, where, in addition to the Led Zeppelin situation, he learns of another problem: Bombastic Frank “Buck” Rogers (Andrew Dice Clay), owner of a chain of radio stations, is about to boycott American Century due to a perceived slight by one of the label’s artists.

In crisis mode, Richie gives his A&R department the mandate to find new acts, prompting office assistant Jamie Vine (Juno Temple) to bring in The Nasty Bits, a proto-punk band unlike anything anyone has ever heard.

Meanwhile, Richie enlists thuggish independent promotion man Joe Corso (Bo Dietl) to help with the Buck Rogers situation. After a three-day coke binge, Corso summons the sober Richie to Rogers’ home, where things go horribly awry.

Despite American Century’s troubles, Richie learns that Polygram has agreed to buy the company after all. That night, with both Lester and the Buck Rogers debacle on his mind, he goes violently off the wagon, trashing the den of his Connecticut home and severely jeopardizing his relationship with his wife, Devon (Olivia Wilde), and their two children.

Richie ultimately finds himself coked out and on his own, drawn by a crowd of young people to the Mercer Arts Center in Manhattan, where he sees The New York Dolls perform, a night that sets him on a completely new course..

For more: http://www.hbo.com/vinyl

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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