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Reelz set to tell “The Story of the Songs” with Viacom International Studios UK

American cable network Reelz has ordered a 10-part music documentary series focusing on global music legends from Aretha Franklin to Celine Dion. Viacom International Studios UK (VIS UK) is producing The ...
March 13, 2020

American cable network Reelz has ordered a 10-part music documentary series focusing on global music legends from Aretha Franklin to Celine Dion.

Viacom International Studios UK (VIS UK) is producing The Story of the Songs in partnership with Paramount Network UK, and it will air later this year. It will also air on Paramount Network UK. This marks the first production for an American network by ViacomCBS’ in-house UK studios.

Each hour-long episode will dive into how iconic musicians and bands, including Madonna and Metallica, brought three of their most emblematic songs to life and how they inspired entire generations.

Also produced by VIS UK, the original 90-minute documentary which inspired the format of the new series, ABBA: Secrets of Their Greatest Hits (pictured), has been acquired by Reelz US to air in 2020. The doc first aired on Channel 5 in the UK.

“We’re excited to work with Viacom International Studios on The Story of the Songs which we believe will strike a chord with our viewers who crave real stories about legendary celebrities and entertainers,” said Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at Reelz, in a statement. “We are confident that this series will show viewers the incredible stories that inspired songs we know and love with great storytelling and music.”

VIS Content Sales will distribute the final series internationally.

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.

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