EXCLUSIVE: The team that brought to the small screen the story of King Henry VIII is taking on another English royalty, this time in the world of rock & roll. I have learned that NBC is in early stages of development of an eight-episode event series about the Beatles that would tell the story of the greatest band of all time. The series will be written by The Tudors creator/executive producer Michael Hirst who will executive produce with Tudors executive producers Ben Silverman and Teri Weinberg. The project reunites the trio with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt, who greenlighted The Tudors while he ran Showtime. The Beatles limited series is part of NBC’s push in event programming area that includes live productions like The Sound Of Music, miniseries like Rosemary’s Baby, and limited series like the 12-part Bible follow-up A.D.
There have been very few attempts to tell the story of the Liverpool quartet — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — on screen. The 2009 feature Nowhere Boy chronicled Lennon’s early years. The Fifth Beatle, a movie about the Beatles manager Brian Epstein, had been in the works with Peyton Reed attached to direct. It had been granted access to the John Lennon/Paul McCartney music catalog. The only surviving Beatles members, McCartney and Starr, reunited in February to mark the 50th anniversary of the group’s first U.S. TV appearance. Hirst is the creator/executive producer of the History drama series Vikings, while Silverman exec producers new CW series Jane The Virgin.