Cameron Crowe Reveals How ‘Almost Famous’ Inspired His Showtime Series ‘Roadies’

Roadies Showtime
Courtesy of Showtime

Following major movie successes from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” to “Jerry Maguire,” Cameron Crowe will make his television debut with Showtime’s “Roadies,” which premieres later this year. But his inspiration for his first TV show came from one of his most beloved films.

“I love music and I love stories where music is a character. I think over time I was struck how ‘Almost Famous’ spoke to people,” Crowe said Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., when asked why he wanted to create the show. “I wanted to revisit the world of writing about music,” he continued, “but in a contemporary setting.”

Crowe was also enticed by the television format, having more time to tell a story over the course of many episodes. “It was just a wonderful opportunity to tell a story that didn’t end at 90 minutes, but continued through chapters,” he said.

The idea for “Roadies” — which revolves around a road crew for a rock band on a multi-city tour — came mostly from Crowe’s love for the world of music.

A former Rolling Stone journalist who passionately wrote about rock bands, Crowe said, “The premise is let’s just celebrate music and the people that are passionate about it.”

Asked by a reporter if rock is dead, Crowe noted, “If you look at the outpouring over David Bowie, you know that it’s not just nostalgic,” referring to the recent death of the rock icon, who lost his battle with cancer this past Sunday.

With a cast led by Luke Wilson and Carla Gugino, the Showtime series is also exec produced by “Star Wars” director J.J. Abrams, who shared that he’s been talking with Crowe about “Roadies” for almost a decade. “Many, many years before ‘Star Wars’ started shooting or even came up, Cameron and I started working on this show,” Abrams said. A lover of music, Abrams said he is inspired by Crowe’s wealth of rock experiences. “I don’t think anyone can claim to share the rock star background that Cameron has,” he said. “Twenty minutes with Cameron, hearing stories that he has, rivals the best possible story in music that any of us would have.”

Quick on his feet, Crowe quipped, “I told him in 2007, when you direct ‘Star Wars,’ I’ll do a TV show.”

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  1. R Morris says:

    While Almost Famous was superbly written and directed, Roadies falls short in many categories. Despite the outstanding cast (thank you for losing Ron White in the first episode), the script is so disjointed that even the write/director himself couldn’t pull it off. It lacks basic structure, and seems to rely on ill timed one-liners to try and bring the audience back from boredom and confusion. It is never apparent where the story is going, nor are the characters developed other than cheesy personality issues that bring no clarity to the story line.

  2. Rena Moretti says:

    How sweet it would be if Variety finally stopped publishing “articles” that sound like they came from PR releases…

    Seriously.

    That kind of articles killed the printed version.

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