Sundance Channel will launch the second season of its critically acclaimed music/talk original series ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…’ on Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 10:00pm et/pt with an episode featuring U2′s Bono and The Edge. ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…’ combines the best elements of talk and music television and lets viewers in on intimate conversation and performances with host Costello and his guests, who range from legendary performers to promising new artists. The series, executive produced by Sir Elton John, includes one-on-one interviews, unprecedented pairings and group discussions, as well as extraordinary performances, from impromptu ‘illustrative’ moments to full band (and even multi-band) productions. Among the confirmed guests for the seven-part season are: Bono, The Edge, Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Lyle Lovett, John Prine, Ron Sexsmith, Neko Case, Jesse Winchester, Ray LaMontagne, Nick Lowe, Levon Helm, Richard Thompson and Allen Toussaint.
‘We’re thrilled to launch a second season of ‘Spectacle’ on Sundance Channel,’ said Sundance Channel EVP and GM, Sarah Barnett.
‘The series offers viewers unusually close access to artists through its mix of candid conversations and exciting musical performances. This season’s A-list line-up is a testament to the tremendous respect that artists feel for Elvis Costello as a musician and entertainer.’
‘I am delighted that we can continue where we left off—making intelligent, and informative music programming,’ said Sir Elton John, one of the series’ executive producers.
Elvis Costello commented: ‘In the words of the great Joe Strummer, ‘Let’s rock again!”
The program’s eclecticism and depth reflect its uniquely qualified host. Costello is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; a Grammy and Ivor Novello Award-winning (and Oscar-nominated) songwriter and performer comfortable in almost every genre imaginable; a musicologist of formidable breadth and knowledge; a contributor to Vanity Fair magazine; and a noted wit whose stint as guest host on The Late Show with David Letterman won rave reviews.
‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…’ is taped in front of a live audience at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater in New York City and The Masonic Temple in Toronto, Canada. The series will also air on CTV in Canada.
The schedule for Season Two of ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with …’ is as follows: December 9th at 10:00pm ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bono and The Edge’ Elvis Costello conducts an intimate and revealing conversation with U2′s Bono and The Edge. Recorded at the Masonic Temple in Toronto, Ontario, during their current 360 world tour, Bono and Edge discuss the writing and recording process behind some of their most famous recordings, perform rarities, as well as a show-ending mash-up with Elvis and The Imposters.
December 16th at 10:00pm ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Sheryl Crow, Neko Case, Ron Sexsmith and Jesse Winchester‘ Elvis Costello is joined by guests Neko Case, Sheryl Crow, Ron Sexsmith and Jesse Winchester for an old fashioned “guitar pull” – a swapping of songs and stories – amongst this amazing group of singer/songwriters. Highlights include Crow’s “If it Makes You Happy,” a unique rendition of a song from Neko Case’s acclaimed “Middle Cyclone” album, a Sexsmith and Elvis duet on a Costello classic; and Jesse Winchester reducing the audience (and his cohorts) to tears with his gentle lyrics and voice.
December 23rd at 10:00pm ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Levon Helm, Nick Lowe, Richard Thompson and Allen Toussaint‘ Elvis Costello literally builds a band in front of the audience’s eyes and ears. Joining him for this once-in-a-lifetime jam session are his former record producer, Nick Lowe, on bass; legendary New Orleans producer/pianist Allen Toussaint; U.K. guitar giant/songwriter Richard Thompson; and, from The Band, drummer Levon Helm.
December 30th 6:00 – 10:00pm ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…’ marathon A marathon of five previous episodes of ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…’.
January 6th at 10:00pm ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Elvis Costello’ In this very special edition of Spectacle, Elvis Costello slides from the host chair to guest chair for a revealing conversation with actress/music journalist Mary Lousie Parker. While it’s impossible to cover all of Costello’s 30 year plus musical journey in an hour, he performs a wide selection of his material.
January 13th at 10:00pm ‘Elvis Costello with Lyle Lovett, Ray LaMontagne, and John Prine‘ Elvis Costello explores the role of the singer/songwriter with three of music’s best: the legendary and highly influential John Prine, four-time Grammy winner Lyle Lovett, and the critically acclaimed Ray LaMontagne. Each stands alone in the spotlight to perform and sits for an intimate chat with Elvis on their craft.
January 20th at 10:00pm ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bruce Springsteen part 1′ January 27th at 10:00pm ‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with Bruce Springsteen part 2′ Elvis Costello sits down with Bruce Springsteen for a special two part episode and, with his guitar in hand, he opens up about his pre-E Street Band bands, his early and current inspirations, and the resurgence of New Jersey. E Street Band members Nils Lofgren and Roy Bittan sit in for a couple of songs.
The inaugural season of ‘Spectacle’ featured an extraordinary and eclectic roster of legendary musicians and fascinating personalities including: Sir Elton John, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel, Smokey Robinson, The Police (Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers), James Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Rufus Wainwright, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Diana Krall, John Mellencamp, Jakob Dylan, She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), Norah Jones, Jenny Lewis, Renée Fleming and President Bill Clinton.
Season one of ‘Spectacle’ is now available on iTunes, and a DVD/BluRay box set was released in the U.S. on November 17, 2009.
The series producers have struck an exciting association with the (Product) RED (www.joinred.com) campaign created to raise awareness and money for the Global Fund (www.theglobalfund.org) to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. Select program excerpts and performances will be distributed in a variety of new media and conventional platforms, with a portion of the profits directed to the Global Fund.
‘Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…’ is a co-production of Sir Elton John’s Rocket Pictures, SpyBox Pictures, Prospero Pictures and reinvention entertainment. Executive Producers are Sir Elton John, Elvis Costello, David Furnish, Steve Hamilton-Shaw, Jordan Jacobs, Martin Katz and Stephen Warden. Co-Executive Producer is Alex Coletti. Executive producers for Sundance Channel are EVP and General Manager, Sarah Barnett; SVP Original Programming and Development, Lynne Kirby; and VP Original Programming and Production, Mala Chapple.