NBC's The Beatles Series Facing Music Rights Issue
NBC may need extra effort to bring the story of The Beatles to the small screen. Days after its was reported that the network's working on an event series about the Fab Four, Billboard reports that the Peacock has not secured rights to the British band's music.
At the same time, NBC will have to compete with Sony Pictures Television which is developing a project with similar theme. Marty Bandier, chairman/CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing which published many of the Beatles compositions, says he has long eyed a Beatles TV show aimed to air on pay cable channel like HBO or Showtime.
"About six months ago, we were working with Sony Pictures TV on a show centered around the journey of the Beatles, and at one point we were talking about working with Baz Luhrmann," Bandier says, adding that Sony/ATV hasn't been approached by NBC regarding the potential rival project. "We hadn't taken the next step, which is to reach out to the Beatles. The proposal is still on the table."
Bandier additionally notes that "NBC couldn't produce a show without the songs, and we can't produce a show without approaching the Beatles for their likeness rights."
Sony Pictures TV, however, refused to comment on the supposed Beatles project, while sources from NBC say the report is premature.
NBC has reportedly tapped "The Tudors" creator/executive producer Michael Hirst to write and executive produce the Beatles eight-part series, with "Tudors" executive producers Ben Silverman and Teri Weinberg also involved in it.
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