EXCLUSIVE: Showtime is getting groovy with a drama project about the 1970s music industry. The pay cable network has bought Vinyl, a spec script written by Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg, with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas on board to executive produce and Barry Levinson attached to direct, subject to availability. Smilovic will also executive produce, with Barry Grieff, Andy Meyer and Katzberg co-executive producing. The idea for the project originated with Grieff and Meyer, who were A&M Records executives in the 1970s. They took it to Smilovic, who brought in frequent collaborator (and former mentee) Katzberg. Set in 1970s Los Angeles, Vinyl explores every aspect of the music business through multiple vantage points — from the record executives and rock stars to the drug pushers and the prostitutes, from the stage to the boardroom to the DJ booth.
Vinyl is the latest collaboration between Smilovic and Goldsmith-Thomas. Smilovic is writing a feature script Replay for Warner Bros, which landed on the 2010 Black List. Goldsmith-Thomas is producing, with Robert Zemeckis circling to direct. She is also producing The Architect for Warner Bros, which Smilovic will write next. And the two shepherded the Smilovic-penned TV drama project The Detail, which sold to Fox this past development season. Levinson has two features with Al Pacino lined up: an adaptation of the Philip Roth novel The Humbling and Gotti: Three Generations. Katzberg has worked on Smilovic’s three NBC series, Kidnapped, Bionic Woman and My Own Worst Enemy. Smilovic, Katzberg and Goldsmith-Thomas are repped by CAA, Levinson is with ICM. Smilovic and Katzberg are managed by Madhouse.