THE SUPERSTAR STORIES OF EIGHT MUSIC LEGENDS AND THE MOST ICONIC SONGS OF THE CENTURY MAKE DECEMBER 2020 PREMIERES ALL ABOUT MUSIC
'Story of the Songs' Reveal the Fascinating Stories Behind the Most Iconic Songs From Metallica, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross
'Tom Petty: Won't Back Down', 'Autopsy: The Last Hours of... "Tom Petty"' and 'Tom Petty: Life, Death & Money' Give an Unprecedented Look at the Life and Towering Career of the Rock 'N' Roll Master
'Black Sabbath: Breaking the Band' Presents the Raucous Story of How the Infamous Heavy Metal Band Skyrocketed to Success and the Turmoil that Tore Them Apart
'Queen and Adam Lambert: The Show Must Go On', 'ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas' and 'Keith Richards: You Can't Rock Me' Make Their REELZ Premieres
(Albuquerque, NM) Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - REELZ today announced its December 2020 premieres with a music themed lineup of new specials, new episodes of returning original series and the REELZ premieres of music documentaries Queen and Adam Lambert: The Show Must Go On, ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas and Keith Richards: You Can't Rock Me. With each story focused on a different music legend new Story of the Songs specials unveil how three of the most emblematic songs came to life with the extraordinary stories behind hits from Metallica, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross. Fabled singer, songwriter and 18-time Grammy Award(R) nominee Tom Petty was a musical wonder. His remarkable life unfolds in three new REELZ originals led by Tom Petty: Won't Back Down about his record setting hits and music industry clashes with never-before-seen footage of his final performance along with personal stories from Kevin Bacon, Roy Orbison Jr. and Country Music Hall of Fame artist Ronnie Dunn. When Petty died suddenly in 2017 just a week after performing to a sold out crowd questions swirled about his health. Autopsy: The Last Hours of... "Tom Petty" examines the circumstances surrounding his untimely passing while the series premiere of Life, Death & Money explores the epic battle over Petty's estate that would determine the fate of his final dream recording collection. December also marks the return of fan favorite original Breaking the Band about how heavy metal group Black Sabbath and its frontman Ozzy Osbourne rocketed from total anonymity to international super stardom and the epic rifts within the band that led to its demise.
"The power of music and the stories of the celebrated artists who create it take center stage in our December lineup," said Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at REELZ. "With insightful looks at Queen, ZZ Top, Metallica, Whitney Houston, Tom Petty, Black Sabbath, Diana Ross and Keith Richards the December premieres on REELZ are a playlist of powerful real stories about the legends of music and the fascinating moments, creative clashes, successful collaborations and bursts of pure genius that led to so many memorable songs."
December premieres begin on Tuesday, December 1 with the REELZ premiere of music documentary Queen and Adam Lambert: The Show Must Go On at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT about the serendipitous pairing of renowned rock group Queen and powerhouse American Idol alumni Adam Lambert revealing how band members Brian May and Roger Taylor dealt with the passing of frontman Freddie Mercury. Continuing without Mercury was unthinkable but so was allowing Queen and their music to fade into history. On Sunday, December 6 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT it's the premiere of Black Sabbath: Breaking the Band about the band's huge success and subsequent downfall. With their mischievous and prankster lead singer Ozzy Osbourne juxtaposed against the business minded and reserved band founder Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath was at its core a volatile mix. Add on bad management, grueling touring demands and heavy drug use and you get a band that reached its breaking point. Sunday, December 6 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT also marks the premiere of a new Story of the Songs special with a look at the making of Metallica hits "One", "Enter Sandman" and "St. Anger" as the three tracks that turned the band from underground thrash metal pioneers to indisputable conquerors of the heavy metal world.
The music themed premieres continue on Tuesday, December 8 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT with the REELZ premiere of ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas exploring the mystique behind the blues-rock trio and in their own words how the enigmatic band created their signature look and sound. Then on Sunday, December 13 it's the premiere of three new stories about rock idol Tom Petty starting with Tom Petty: Won't Back Down at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. With more than 80 million records sold Rock and Roll Hall of Fame superstar Tom Petty spent nearly his entire life dedicated to music and Tom Petty: Won't Back Down is the story of his brilliant career with rare audio of Petty himself describing key moments in his life along with a breathtaking run through his hit songs and the stories behind every album. Even in his 60s Petty was still commanding stages but unbeknownst to his fans he was hiding a world of suffering. In Autopsy: The Last Hours of... "Tom Petty" on Sunday, December 13 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT the story of his abrupt passing is examined with answers to how an untreated injury lead to his sudden heart failure. When Petty died at just 66 years old questions arose surrounding his estate. In the series premiere of Life, Death & Money on Sunday, December 13 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT see the remarkable true story behind Tom Petty's $95 million estate that involved unreleased music, a bitter family feud and an unexpected outcome that would forever impact his legacy.
The pantheon of rock stars is not complete without Keith Richards. Making its REELZ premiere on Friday, December 18 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT is Keith Richards: You Can't Rock Me presenting his powerful life story with its chaotic and criminal elements mixed perfectly with his incredible success and how he masterfully crafted the sound that made The Rolling Stones one of the biggest bands ever. December premieres wrap on Sunday, December 20 with back-to-back premieres with Whitney Houston: Story of Her Songs at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT followed by Diana Ross: Story of Her Songs at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. Whitney Houston: Story of Her Songs relives the making of celebrated and beloved songs "One Moment in Time", "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and "My Love is Your Love" unveiling the legacy of a songstress who possessed the greatest voice of her generation. In Diana Ross: Story of Her Songs see the stories behind her hits "Baby Love", "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" and "Chain Reaction" as told by the Motown songwriters and session musicians who were in the studio with Ross as the hits came to life.
Below is December 2020 programming listed by premiere date and time. Full synopses for every show follows this list.
Tuesday, December 1
*NEW* Queen and Adam Lambert: The Show Must Go On at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
Sunday, December 6
*NEW* Black Sabbath: Breaking the Band at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
*NEW* Metallica: The Story of The Songs at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
Tuesday, December 8
*NEW* ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
Sunday, December 13
*NEW* Tom Petty: Won't Back Down at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
*NEW* Autopsy: The Last Hours of... "Tom Petty" at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
*NEW* Tom Petty: Life, Death & Money at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT
Friday, December 18
*NEW* Keith Richards: You Can't Rock Me at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
Sunday, December 20
*NEW* Whitney Houston: Story of Her Songs at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT
*NEW* Diana Ross: Story of Her Songs at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT
Below are detailed descriptions for December 2020 programming listed by premiere date and time:
Queen and Adam Lambert: The Show Must Go On Makes its REELZ Premiere Tuesday, December 1 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. In 2018 British rock band Queen had achieved the seemingly impossible. A multiple Academy Award(R) winning hit movie in Bohemian Rhapsody and a worldwide sell-out tour saw the band become bigger than ever nearly 30 years after the tragic loss of their legendary frontman Freddie Mercury. This documentary picks up where Bohemian Rhapsody leaves off starting at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992 with Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor struggling with Mercury's passing and seeking a new direction for the band. What followed was a journey of reconnecting with their audience through the record breaking "We Will Rock You - The Musical" concert in Cape Town for Nelson Mandela's 46664 charity. At the same time a young singer destined to pursue a successful career in musical theater makes the bold decision to enter American Idol. Adam Lambert has since become one of the most popular and memorable contestants ever to appear on the show with extraordinary vocal range and flair for showmanship. A phenomenal rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" provided the moment that would change Lambert's life forever culminating in a performance of "We Are The Champions" in the show's season finale. Bohemian Rhapsody tells how fate delivered Mercury to May and Taylor while Queen and Adam Lambert: The Show Must Go On reveals how lightning struck twice when it delivered them Lambert. What has followed is an eight year partnership that has captivated the world and brought a whole new legion of fans to Queen's music. Queen and Adam Lambert: The Show Must Go On is produced by Eagle Rock Entertainment.
Black Sabbath: Breaking the Band Premieres Sunday, December 6 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. Often called the godfathers of heavy metal rock music Black Sabbath came from humble origins to become some of the most successful and outrageous of rock stars. Their hedonism and antics on stage were unparalleled as was their volatility off stage. Black Sabbath: Breaking the Band follows their journey from the band's early beginnings in Birmingham England in the 1960s to heavy metal infamy and their eventual break up. Combining rare behind-the-scene footage and stylized dramatic reconstructions for moments the cameras missed, extensive archive and revealing interviews see the turbulent history of a band that battled with egos, crippling drug and alcohol addictions and music business mobsters who almost robbed them of everything they had. Sharing their personal stories of the band are former road managers Geoff Lucas and Graham Wright and Ozzy's former personal assistant David Tangye along with insight from band biographer Steven Rosen and music journalist Sylvie Simmons. Black Sabbath: Breaking the Band is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Metallica: The Story of The Songs Premieres Sunday, December 6 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. Metallica is the most popular metal act in history with eight Grammy Awards(R) and $1.4 billion in live ticket sales but what was the inspiration behind their three career defining songs? Starting with their 1989 breakthrough anti-war anthem "One" hear from engineer Michael Barbiero who provides unique insights into the recording process, the controversy and self-sabotage that almost derailed the recording. Metallica would later release the gruesome and chilling "Enter Sandman" that skyrocketed them to global commercial success and a bigger mainstream audience. Viewers will also see the band's bickering and infighting as told by Mike Tacci who was sound engineer on the frontlines while Metallica music video director Wayne Isham lifts the lid on filming the nightmarish video for "Enter Sandman". With the band at breaking point after a slew of critically panned records and with frontman James Hetfield battling crippling addiction and personal demons their next album proves to be their toughest challenge yet. Title track "St. Anger" sees Metallica risk their commercial credibility releasing their most experimental and raw sounding record to date. We hear from long-time Metallica sound engineer Mike Gillies who witnessed the aggression and implosion of a band teetering on the brink of collapse and recalls the unique recording process that led to this huge hit. Relive Metallica's wild ride and the three songs that saw them become the biggest heavy metal band on the planet. Metallica: The Story of The Songs is produced by ViacomCBS International Studios UK.
ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas Makes its REELZ Premiere Tuesday, December 8 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. Unravel the extraordinary tale of a band whose image we know but whose story we don't. See how three oddball teenage bluesmen in Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard became one of the biggest most beloved bands on the planet all while maintaining a surrealist mystique that continues to intrigue fans 50 years after the band's inception. In candid interviews Gibbons, Hill and Beard reveal intimate details about everything from playing on the Jimi Hendrix Experience Tour as a fledgling act to the story behind the name ZZ Top and the three hour jam session that solidified the band's fate together ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas runs the gamut from the absurd to the poignant, from squalid Texas bars to MTV heroics all in celebration of this private but larger than life power trio. Also included is never-before-seen archive footage of the band, celebrity fan testimonials from Billy Bob Thornton, Josh Homme and more along with an exclusive performance at the storied Gruene Hall in New Braunfels Texas with ZZ Top playing their greatest hits and sharing stories behind each song. ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band from Texas is produced by Eagle Rock Entertainment.
Tom Petty: Won't Back Down Premieres Sunday, December 13 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. With a career spanning more than 40 years singer, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Tom Petty was one of the most successful American artists of all time. Petty was uncompromising, hardworking and totally devoted to his fans and collaborators but ironically his selfless work ethic may have been what led to his untimely demise at just 66 years old. Tom Petty: Won't Back Down takes viewers through his journey from teenage band Mudcrutch and their tireless efforts to get a single on the radio to his towering string of hit albums and stunning 28 top-10 hits on the Billboard mainstream rock chart. But his success wasn't a smooth ride as Petty's adversarial relationship with the music industry and its influences on his creative vision would forever cement his reputation as an artist who wouldn't back down. With never-before-seen footage including his final moments on stage and rare audio of Petty discussing his inspirations listening to Elvis records, what success meant to him, the moments he knew a hit song was born and his reaction to the controversy surrounding his 1985 music video "Don't Come Around Here No More" Tom Petty: Won't Back Down offers a revealing look at the legendary artist. Also featured are intimate interviews with those connected to his life and career from Mudcrutch bandmate Tom Leadon and Shelly Yakus who was a sound engineer on four Petty albums to Country Music Hall of Fame artist Ronnie Dunn. Also sharing their personal stories of Petty are Kevin Bacon and Roy Orbison Jr. along with insight from Warren Zanes author of "Petty: The Biography" and entertainment critic Grae Drake. Tom Petty: Won't Back Down is produced by AMS Pictures.
Autopsy: The Last Hours of... "Tom Petty" Premieres Sunday, December 13 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. On October 2, 2017 news of Tom Petty's sudden death at the age of just 66 shocked the world. As one of the most adored singers and songwriters his career spanned more than four decades. Petty overcame a troubled upbringing in Gainesville Florida to become a fabled rock and roll artist as frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, co-founder of supergroup The Traveling Wilburys and as a solo artist producing timeless hits such as "Free Falling", "American Girl" and "I Won't Back Down". On September 25, 2017 he played the last night of a sold out six month tour with his beloved Heartbreakers bandmembers to a sold out Hollywood Bowl. But just one week later he collapsed at his Malibu home and was rushed to hospital where he died the following day. Now forensic pathologist and medical examiner Dr. Michael Hunter wants to investigate the circumstances of Petty's mysterious death. Hunter will analyze every detail in the Petty autopsy report to piece together what led him to die so suddenly and unexpectedly. Autopsy: The Last Hours of... "Tom Petty" is produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios.
Tom Petty: Life, Death & Money Premieres Sunday, December 13 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. At the time of his death in 2017 Tom Petty was worth an estimated $95 million with an estate that included multiple properties, vintage guitars, exotic sports cars and a trove of unreleased and highly valuable music. He had appointed Dana York his wife of 16 years as the sole trustee to his estate but soon after his passing tensions would arise between York and Petty's two daughters from a previous marriage. This would eventually erupt into a bitter family feud over control of his artistic properties including unreleased music and the ongoing management of his image. Shortly after his demise the two camps draw battle lines and the fight would continue for almost two years with no sign of either side backing down until an unexpected turn of events unraveled after a heated and expensive court case. Tom Petty: Life, Death & Money is produced by Buck Productions.
Keith Richards: You Can't Rock Me Makes its REELZ Premiere on Friday, December 18 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. Keith Richards has smashed through the barriers of tradition for more than five decades. He is the heart and the soul of emblematic rock band The Rolling Stones as co-founder, guitarist, secondary vocalist and co-principal songwriter crafting some of their classic hits that cemented the band into the history books. Richards has lived a life full of success and excess from performing on a stunning 86 albums, multiple world tours and even movie roles as Captain Teague in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to extreme drinking, drug use and countless legal troubles over the years. But despite any setbacks Richards continues to create phenomenal rock 'n' roll songs filled with character and his signature riffs. Follow the journey of this singular and timeless talent who became a rock star outlaw, pop culture figure and influence for generations of musicians. Keith Richards: You Can't Rock Me is produced by EntertainMe.
Whitney Houston: Story of Her Songs Premieres Sunday, December 20 at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT. With seven consecutive number one hits, more than 200 million records sold and millions of adoring fans across the world Whitney Houston was a powerhouse diva. Whitney Houston: Story of Her Songs highlights the three songs that took her from the church choir to cementing her as an indisputable music icon. Sharing their first-hand accounts are the producers, songwriters, back-up singers, choreographers, journalists and industry experts who witnessed it all. Houston burst onto the mainstream scene in 1987 with up-tempo pop smash hit "I Wanna Dance with Somebody". Grammy Award(R) winning producer and trusted Houston friend Narada Michael Walden recalls working with her in the studio to create the song and her remarkable ability to harness otherworldly talent and electrify their recording sessions. Back-up vocalist Jeanie Tracy takes viewers through the recording session when Houston showcased her breadth and brilliance once again with the jaw dropping power ballad "One Moment in Time" hitting the high notes to secure the anthem for the prestigious 1988 Olympic Games and defining her status as America's sweetheart. Record producer and songwriter of Houston's 1999 reggae influenced comeback hit "My Love is Your Love" Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis shares his story of recording the track that was a celebration of Houston's motherhood that took her back to the top of the charts. Whitney Houston: Story of Her Songs is produced by ViacomCBS International Studios UK.
Diana Ross: Story of Her Songs Premieres Sunday, December 20 at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT. Her dazzling career spans more than six decades with accolades including 12 Grammy Award(R) nominations, seven American Music Awards(R), a Golden Globe Award(R) and induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Diana Ross: Story of Her Songs celebrates her stellar career with a look at the three tracks that showcase her fabulous rise to become a pop, disco and soul sensation. Hear from renowned Motown songwriters and session musicians, music video directors, choreographers, arrangers and movie soundtrack composers who were in studio and on set with Ross. Diana Ross & The Supremes were Motown's most commercially successful act to date captivating mainstream America and conquering worldwide charts. Prolific Motown songwriters Brian and Eddie Holland were responsible for 10 number one singles for The Supremes including 1964's "Baby Love" and they share intimate details about writing and recording the massive hit. After a phenomenal decade and unimaginable success it was time for Ross to dazzle as a solo artist. "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" proved Ross could be a hit at the box office while also topping the Billboard charts. Movie soundtrack composer and arranger Lee Holdridge shares his story of taking a simple song and helping Ross turn it into an astonishing success. This run of hits continued into the 1980s when Ross teamed up with pop heavyweights The Bee Gees to release "Chain Reaction" to great critical and commercial acclaim. Esteemed director David Mallet and celebrated choreographer Arlene Phillips share how they recreated 1960s Motown in the spectacular music video for "Chain Reaction". Relive the journey of the three songs that saw Ross become one of the most powerful artists in pop. Diana Ross: Story of Her Songs is produced by ViacomCBS International Studios UK.
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REELZ is a leading independent cable and satellite general entertainment network focused on celebrity culture with poignant stories about Hollywood in revealing documentaries and character profiles of the famous and infamous. Programming ranges from the critically acclaimed and award-winning The Kennedys to Real Story of... revealing the true stories behind hit movies including American Made and Selena. Along with shows about movies, fame and celebrity lifestyles the network is also home to true crime stories and Autopsy: The Last Hours of... which examines the final days of popular celebrities from Lucille Ball to Prince.
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