For a show brought to you by big name talent like Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter, and given untold millions by HBO for what seemed like a no-brainer concept, “Vinyl” has been a disappointment. Lower-than-hoped-for ratings coupled with mixed notices from critics have seen the network react swiftly and surprisingly, firing Winter, and replacing him with Scott Z. Burns (“Contagion“), who will be the showrunner for season two. For now, there is a lot of respect between the network and Winter, who have a fruitful relationship dating all the way back to “The Sopranos.” But speaking at the 8th Annual TV + Film Finance Forum East, the writer wondered if the ’70s setting was simply too close for comfort for the creators.
“Period pieces are really tough,” Winters said of the show that takes place four decades ago. “It’s tough to depict reality that’s still fresh in someone’s mind.”
“Maybe it’s too soon?” he thought out loud. “I don’t know.”
I’m not sure if it was being too close to the material so much as just bungling it in general. Not to mention there have been plenty of films about the era already that have done just fine (Cameron Crowe‘s “Almost Famous,” just to start). And while Winter has had a stellar track record with HBO until “Vinyl,” maybe he just missed the mark. It happens. Meanwhile, we’ll see if Baz Luhrmann has any problems riding similar territory with Netflix‘s “The Get Down” later this year. Thoughts? Let us know below. [THR]