HBO to feature Timberlake concert

Madison Square Garden show to air Sept. 3

HBO will produce and air a Justin Timberlake show — its first concert in four years — and release the concert on DVD at a later date.

Show will be taped at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 16 and air Sept. 3. Concert is part of the former ‘N Sync member’s “FutureSex/LoveShow” tour, but the particular date was added at the behest of the pay net. HBO will tape a second show as backup.

Marty Callner, who has worked on concerts ranging from the Rolling Stones to Garth Brooks for HBO, will produce and direct.

The last HBO concert was a Rolling Stones event in 2003 and since then many in the TV biz have all but given up on the music special. NBC garnered mediocre ratings last year for concert specials from Madonna and Tony Bennett.

“We do these differently from the networks,” Nancy Geller, senior veep of HBO Entertainment, said. “When we do a concert, it’s a promotion, a big event.”

The selection of Timberlake for this concert reflects HBO’s interest in attracting younger auds, which topper Chris Albrecht has said is a priority for the pay net. Timberlake also appeared in an HBO concert special when he was in ‘N Sync.

Timberlake has drawn strong critical and commercial response for his album “FutureSex/LoveSounds,” which came out last fall. Album has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide.

Net says that it could air another event in the next year or two but that it isn’t expecting a wholesale plunge back into the biz.

“This was an unusually long hiatus for us,” Geller said. “I believe in the concert. But I don’t believe we should do it just for the sake of doing it.”

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