HBO and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons team up on music documentary series, taking a similar approach to what Simmons did with sports documentaries on ESPN 30 for 30 series.
The six-part series will ask six filmmakers to explore pivotal moments or periods in an artist’s career, iconic albums or broader perspectives on the music industry. Simmons’ Ringer Films will produce, with Simmons serving as executive producer with Polygram Entertainment and Universal Music Publishing Group executives Jody Gerson and Marc Cimino.
“It’s a dream of mine to get this project going,” Simmons said in a statement Wednesday. “It wasn’t until I started working with Jody and Marc that his potential started to feel real. We see an opportunity to elevate the form of storytelling with musical docs much like 30 for 30 changed the landscape of sports documentaries at the end of the last decade. We don’t want to make music docs that only cover the beginning, middle, and end of someone’s career. We believe there is a different way to do it. And we want to work with the best possible directors, talented filmmakers who have the same passion as us for this project. I couldn’t be more excited for the challenge. Being able to explore that with HBO is like the icing on the cake. “
HBO was an initial investor in The Ringer, and Simmons signed a new deal with the premium cable company in 2018. Ringer Films produced the documentary André the Giant for HBO and working on a second project, Children of showbiz, directed and produced by Alex Winter (Bill & Ted’s excellent adventure).
“We have a long-standing collaboration with Bill, and we’re delighted that he came to HBO with this idea,” said Casey Bloys, president of programming, HBO. “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.”
Gerson, president and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, added, “This series is about storytelling for musicians in a way that has never really been done before. There are countless great artists and songwriters who have stories that define their culture, and for the first time ever, we can share them intimately with fans around the world. Marc and I have been huge fans of Bill’s talent for storytelling for a long time, and we’re excited to partner with him, The Ringer, HBO and Polygram Entertainment on this special project that will share the culturally defining stories of artists and artists. songwriters.
The untitled HBO project is slated to air in 2021. No director or subject has been named.