or


[01/19/12 - 09:42 AM]
Cameron Crowe Documentary "The Union," About Elton John and Leon Russell, Debuts Feb. 2 on HBO
The film is filled with concert footage of John and Russell throughout their careers, including John's first U.S. appearance at The Troubadour in Los Angeles.

[via press release from HBO]

DIRECTOR CAMERON CROWE CAPTURES MUSICAL LEGENDS ELTON JOHN AND LEON RUSSELL AS THEY COLLABORATE ON THE UNION, DEBUTING FEB. 2, EXCLUSIVELY ON HBO

After 38 years of not seeing or speaking to Leon Russell, Elton John listens to Russell's greatest-hits album while on safari in Africa with his partner David Furnish. He is moved to tears. Distraught at the thought that Russell - whom John considers one of his greatest musical influences - has seemingly fallen into obscurity, he vows to contact his idol and propose that they collaborate on an album together.

So begins THE UNION, an unprecedented personal look into the making of John and Russell's acclaimed album of the same name. Stepping into The Village studio in Los Angeles, director Cameron Crowe captures a myriad of intimate moments involving the two artists, including the first-ever filming of John composing music to lyrics written by Bernie Taupin, his longtime collaborator. Underscoring John's desire that the new album sound like one of Russell's classics, the film is filled with concert footage of John and Russell throughout their careers, including John's first U.S. appearance at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, a show attended by Russell.

THE UNION debuts THURSDAY, FEB. 2 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: Feb. 2 (5:00 a.m.), 5 (2:30 p.m.), 7 (8:00 a.m.), 10 (1:30 p.m.), 15 (12:30 a.m.), 17 (4:00 p.m.) and 20 (noon)

HBO2 playdates: Feb. 8 (8:00 p.m.) and 26 (2:30 p.m.)

This candid portrait of two remarkable talents documents an extraordinary journey of the heart, as John and Russell create many of "The Union"'s signature songs. Following an initial feeling-out phase, the ice is broken when they watch a video of Mahalia Jackson singing "Didn't It Rain" at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. The two head to their respective pianos and start jamming, eventually coming up with the foundation for the song "Monkey Suit." They work on nine songs in three days - and John's dream is well on its way to becoming reality.

With celebrated producer T Bone Burnett on board to produce, Crowe observes as the two musicians develop, rehearse and record such heralded tracks as "If It Wasn't For Bad" (which received a 2011 Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals), "Gone to Shiloh," "Monkey Suit" and "In the Hands of Angels." Taupin, icons Neil Young and Brian Wilson, legendary organist Booker T. Jones, steel guitarist Robert Randolph and a ten-piece gospel choir are seen contributing to the album. Appearances by Stevie Nicks and Don Was also color the documentary, a chronicle not just of music-making, but of the reinvigoration of Russell's career.

As the start of recording, Russell undergoes a five-hour emergency operation to remove brain fluid, but he eventually returns to the studio and completes the ambitious 14-song album. John makes sure that it is a true collaborative effort, sharing vocals as well as writing and performing credits with Russell. As the album is mixed, the pair makes plans to promote it via TV, radio and print interviews, as well as in a special live performance at the Beacon Theatre in New York. On Oct. 19, 2010, in conjunction with the release of "The Union" - which went to #1 on Amazon, entered the Billboard 200 at #3 and was named #3 on Rolling Stone's Greatest 30 Albums of 2010 - Russell and John take the stage at the Beacon for a memorable joint concert.

THE UNION also shows how John has evolved, as an artist and a man. Reflecting on his rise to fame in the "glorious blur" of the '70s, marked by over-the-top costumes and hyperactive performances, he says, "I spent a lot of time in my life feeling insecure offstage, rather than being secure on it. I'm not that way anymore - I want to help people, I want to give back. I love young artists. And if I met the younger me today, I'd probably want to help him, too."

THE UNION, which had its world premiere as the opening-night selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, is the latest installment in Cameron Crowe's already lustrous filmography. His previous films include "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Jerry Maguire" and "Almost Famous." Crowe recently directed another music documentary, "Pearl Jam Twenty," as well as "We Bought a Zoo," starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. He has also been an influential force in music journalism since early in his career, having been Rolling Stone magazine's youngest contributor.

Leon Russell holds an important place in the history of rock as a pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger and band leader. Beginning as a session player, including serving as part of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, Russell subsequently worked with such superstars as Joe Cocker, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Bob Dylan and George Harrison, and enjoyed a successful solo career with songs like "Delta Lady" (also a big hit for Cocker), "A Song for You," "Tightrope" and "This Masquerade" (covered by George Benson and others). Russell joined John (elected in 1994) in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

One of the most successful musical artists of all time, Elton John has sold more than 250 million records, with 50 Top 40 hits, seven consecutive #1 U.S. albums, six Grammy Awards, an Oscar´┐Ż and a Tony to his credit. John was profiled in the 1997 CINEMAX documentary "Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras," which was directed by his partner, David Furnish.

THE UNION is directed by Cameron Crowe; produced by Cameron Crowe and Michelle Panek; executive producer, Johnny Barbis; edited by Kevin Long.





  [january 2012]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[05/23/17 - 04:39 PM]
A Storm is Brewing as TNT's Hit Series "The Last Ship" Returns with a Thrilling Two-Hour Premiere on Aug. 20
Through its first three seasons, the show has ranked one of basic cable's Top 10 summer dramas with adults 18-49.

[05/23/17 - 01:17 PM]
Catch the Premiere of "Big & Little," Tomorrow Night on TLC After "My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now"
The two-part special follows two morbidly obese little people as they embark on a weight loss journey led by fitness guru and fellow little person, Allison Warrell.

[05/23/17 - 12:38 PM]
Comedy Central Announces Series Extension for "The President Show"
"I'm so grateful that Comedy Central has decided to end its tenure as a cable network by renewing 'The President Show,'" said Anthony Atamanuik.

[05/23/17 - 12:33 PM]
Starz App Now Available on Samsung Smart TVs
The app is also available on Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, Apple TV, iPhones and iPads running iOS 8.0 or higher, Roku(R), Sony Android TV, as well as most Android phones, tablets and TV devices.

[05/23/17 - 12:14 PM]
"T.J. Miller: Meticulously Ridiculous," Featuring the "Silicon Valley" Star in His First HBO Special, Debuts June 17
The show offers his offbeat take on topics such as nightmares, the differences between marijuana and alcohol, his favorite historical figure and the challenges of talking about death.

[05/23/17 - 11:52 AM]
Nation's Leading True Crime Network Investigation Discovery Explores the Fall of 'America's Dad' in "Bill Cosby: An American Scandal"
This one-hour special takes viewers deep inside the secret life of Cosby and his family, shining a light on the drama and dysfunction behind this seemingly perfect household.

[05/23/17 - 11:25 AM]
Michael Strahan and ITV America Set Overall Deal
Under the partnership, Strahan and Constance Schwartz-Morini will develop unscripted programming for television and digital platforms.

[05/23/17 - 11:01 AM]
Discovery Family's New Original Series "Reno, Set, Go!" Rewards Individuals Facing Tough Times with the Ultimate Gift - A Covert Home Makeover in Less Than 36 Hours
In each 30-minute episode, a family and a team of expert crafters led by designer Cheryl Torrenueva and contractor Roger Morin perform a top-secret renovation for an unsuspecting homeowner while they are purposely kept out of the house.

[05/23/17 - 10:54 AM]
Nickelodeon Renews Top Hits from Top-Ranked Preschool Portfolio
The renewals of "PAW Patrol," "Shimmer and Shine," "Rusty Rivets" and "Nella the Princess Knight" are part of the network's largest preschool content pipeline ever of returning hit shows and new series for the 2017-2018 season.

[05/23/17 - 10:53 AM]
Country Stars Billy Ray Cyrus and Kelsea Ballerini Guest Star in All-New Blaze and the Monster Machines "Wild Wheels" Specials on Nickelodoen
The first special, "Animal Island," featuring Cyrus as Lazard, a greedy lizard-truck, premieres Monday, May 29.

[05/23/17 - 10:48 AM]
DIY Network Greenlights New Real Estate Investment Series "Buyers Bootcamp with Scott McGillivray"
"Anyone who owns a piece of real estate has the potential to make a great return on their investment," said Scott. "In 'Buyers Bootcamp,' I'm going to show them how."

[05/23/17 - 10:11 AM]
"Man Fire Food" Returns with a Smoking-Hot New Season with Host Roger Mooking
On the 13 half-hour long episodes, Chef Roger Mooking continues his search for the most fascinating ways to cook with flames.

[05/23/17 - 10:04 AM]
Nickelodeon Greenlights Season 12 of "SpongeBob SquarePants," Number-One Animated Series Across All TV with Kids
The pickup comes on the heels of the recent announcement for a third SpongeBob SquarePants theatrical from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies, also slated for 2019.

[05/23/17 - 10:03 AM]
BBC America to Partner with Elisabeth Moss on Developing Mini-Series "Fever"
"Fever" tells the story of the first known healthy carrier of typhoid fever who became known as "Typhoid Mary" as she spread typhoid across the burgeoning metropolis of early twentieth century New York.

[05/23/17 - 09:10 AM]
"DC Super Hero Girls" Embark on New Adventures, With New Animated Series Coming to Cartoon Network in 2018
The new series is a global initiative with Cartoon Network and builds on the successful DC Super Hero Girls direct-to-video movies as well as digital webisodes launched in 2015.