For those feeling wolverine levels of hunger for further Duran Duran backstory, Paramount Plus’ revival of the “Behind the Music” franchise plans to meet that need with an episode’s worth of memories — careless, careful or otherwise — devoted to the band. The platform is announcing today the addition of Duran Duran, New Kids on the Block and Bret Michaels episodes, along with a trailer that reveals glimpses of the first eight, dates for which have now been set.
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The revived series (once tied to VH1, but now featuring the MTV logo as part of the official branding) kicks off July 29 with a double-dose of episodes featuring Ricky Martin and LL Cool J. From there, “Behind the Music” will debut a new episode every Thursday through Sept. 9, in what it’s calling the first half of the season. This initial late summer rollout will also include the previously announced Huey Lewis, Busta Rhymes and Fat Joe.
Jennifer Lopez also appears in the new trailer, but her episode won’t be aired until the second half of the season, additional names for which are yet to come.
Viewers will experience some deja vu watching these new episodes, which will contain remastered material from the original “Behind the Music” run augmented by fresh interviews — except for the Fat Joe episode, which is 100% original.
In the distant past, some participating artists complained that their vintage “Behind the Music” episodes focused too much on salacious aspects of their stories, although, of course, the juicy rise-and-fall-and-rise details were what viewers tuned in for. It remains to be seen how down-and-dirty or celebratory the tone of the revived series will be, with the quick excerpts promising both drama (“You’re talking about life and death at this point,” says Poison’s Michaels) but also uplift (“I haven’t even done all the things that I’ve dreamt of,” promises Lopez).
Premiere dates for the first eight episodes of the show’s new incarnation:
July 29 : Ricky Martin
July 29: LL Cool J
August 5: Huey Lewis
August 12: Busta Rhymes
August 19: Duran Duran
August 26: New Kids on the Block
September 2: Bret Michaels
September 9: Fat Joe
“Behind the Music” is one of several series from the heyday of MTV and VH1 original music programming being given a refresh for the Paramount Plus platform, and leads the charge in advance of forthcoming new episodes of “Unplugged.” The platform already debuted a non-legacy music show, the Dave Grohl-hosted and -produced mother/rocker show “From Cradle to Stage.”
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