NBC Planning Eight-Episode Event Series Focusing on the Rise of The Beatles

By June 16, 2014

After bringing the story of Henry VIII to televisions with the Showtime series “The Tudors,” Michael Hirst is heading into much more modern history with his next rockin’ project.

Deadline has word that Hirst is writing and executive producing an eight episode event series that will focus on the rise of the British imported pop rock band The Beatles. Sometimes called the greatest band of all time – depending on who you talk to – The Fab Four of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr have left an undeniable mark on music history forever, and this event series will show how they accomplished that.

It’s crazy to think that there haven’t been many attempts to bring the story of the iconic band to life, but “The Tudors” executive producers Ben Silverman and Teri Weinberg are also ready for the challenge. The event series falls in line with NBC’s recent attempts to push that kind of programming as a major event, like they did with their live stage production of The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood, or their miniseries adaptation of Rosemary’s Baby.

The Beatles - Ed Sullivan

There’s a lot of pressure that comes with an event series like this, because you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has ever heard music who doesn’t know about The Beatles (though there are probably some clueless members of a younger generation out there). Casting will likely be the most difficult part, and it’s a good bet that NBC will go with some lesser known actors to bring John, Paul, George, and Ringo to life since any major stars would bring their star baggage with them and might take viewers out of the experience.

The news comes just as the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” passed earlier this year, so there’s no better time for NBC to tell the story of The Beatles, and maybe get a whole new generation obsessed with the teen idols, just as many generations have when they came of age and started discovering rock music of all kinds.

This is certainly something new for Hirst, who found success with “The Vikings” on The History Channel, and we hope that he can bring the story of The Beatles to the small screen without making it too cheesy or cliche. Stay tuned for more.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.