Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…

James Taylor, Diana Krall and President Bill Clinton are the next special guests for CTV’s latest hit original series SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH…. After premiering with rave reviews three weeks ago, the series is averaging 646,000* viewers Friday nights on CTV. This past Friday, SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH…KRIS KRISTOFFERSON, ROSANNE CASH, NORAH JONES and JOHN MELLENCAMP once again won its timeslot for a non-sports program with 650,000 viewers. The series continues to serve up a spectacular array of international guests on the music-centric talk series in the coming weeks, including a special episode in which Sir Elton John interviews Costello’s wife Diana Krall (May 1), scheduled to air in the middle of her cross-Canada tour.

The next three episodes of SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… are:

SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… James Taylor
Friday, April 24 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV
Saturday, April 25 at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday, April 26 at 7 p.m. ET (special time) on Bravo!
James Taylor epitomizes the term “singer-songwriter,” and in this rare, in-depth interview, he sheds light on the various influences that have shaped his music over the past 40 years. With a guitar readily at hand throughout the hour, Taylor shifts easily and engagingly from conversation to performance mode, playing some of his best-known songs and some of his favourites by other writers, including Carole King and George Jones. Costello joins Taylor in song a few times, to charming effect. The intimate conversation includes the very personal (Taylor’s upbringing, family and occasional struggles with personal demons) and, naturally, the very musical (influences, collaborations and inspirations). Throughout it all, the pure, sweet James Taylor voice that has seduced music fans for four decades remains a thing of beauty and comfort.

SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… Diana Krall
Friday, May 1 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV
Saturday, May 2 at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday, May 3 at 6 p.m. ET on Bravo!
In this very special episode, Spectacle host Elvis Costello recuses himself from the proceedings when his wife, Diana Krall, turns up as the featured guest. Spectacle executive producer Sir Elton John steps into the breach to conduct his first-ever interview. Sharing their love of the piano, jazz, sad songs and great singers, Krall and John engage in playful banter, explore some history and even team up for a duet on one of John’s biggest hits. The very talented Christian McBride (bass) and Karriem Riggins (drums) join Krall on a couple of extraordinary performances, while Costello shows up again at the end to join his wife and John for a funny and charming closing number.

The episode airs in conjunction with Krall’s cross-country tour, in support of the release of her latest album Quiet Nights, including stops in Winnipeg, MB (April 22); London, ON (April 25); Kitchener, ON (April 26); Hamilton, ON (April 28); Toronto, ON (April 30 and May 1); Ottawa, ON (May 2 and 3); Kingston, ON (May 5); Montreal, QC (May 6 and 7); Moncton, NB (May 9); Halifax, NS (May 10); and Vancouver, BC (May 14 and 15).

SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… President Bill Clinton
Friday, May 8 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV
Saturday, May 9 at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday, May 10 at 6 p.m. ET on Bravo!
Elvis Costello and the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, sit down for an unprecedented and revealing chat about President Clinton’s early career aspirations as a jazz saxophonist; the astonishing degree to which music shaped him as a man, a politician and a president; the challenges – and critical importance – of music education; and the shared skills of musicians and politicians, with observations on Elvis (Presley), John Coltrane, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Nina Simone and N.W.A..

Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… is produced by Toronto’s Tri-Fi Productions Inc. (a partnership of SpyBox Pictures, Prospero Pictures and reinvention entertainment) and Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s Rocket Pictures, in association with CTV, Sundance Channel, Channel 4 and FremantleMedia Enterprises. Executive Producers are Sir Elton John, Elvis Costello, David Furnish, Steve Hamilton-Shaw, Jordan Jacobs, Martin Katz and Stephen Warden. Co-Executive Producer is Alex Coletti. Susanne Boyce is President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.

Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT

The critically-acclaimed series SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… continues on Bravo! during the month of May. In a special episode airing May 2, music legend Elvis Costello steps aside and lets Sir Elton John interview Canadian jazz sensation Diana Krall. Other exciting guests this month include Bill Clinton (May 9), Rufus Wainwright (May 16), Tony Bennett (May 23) and an episode with up-and-coming indie talents Jakob Dylan, Jenny Lewis and She & Him (May 30). Conceived and developed in Canada by Executive Producer Stephen Warden, SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… explores the creative process, the power of music and the impact it has on creators and the world at large. (Encore Presentation: Sundays at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT – check local listings)

After drawing rave reviews from critics, SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… is a hit with audiences as well. CTV’s new talk/music series drew 861,000 viewers for its premiere episode last Friday on CTV, featuring a musical tête-à-tête with host Elvis Costello and special guest Sir Elton John. The episode marked the most-watched series premiere for a homegrown program on Canadian television since SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA.

The one-hour premiere won its timeslot at 10 p.m., drawing 36% more viewers than NUMB3RS (Global/CBS; 634,000) and improving the average audience for CTV’s previous time period occupant (RAISING THE BAR) by 40%. The audience grew throughout the broadcast, peaking at nearly one million viewers. On Bravo!, the series premiere garnered 59,000 viewers at 8 p.m. on Saturday along with 44,000 viewers at 1:15 a.m. and 64,000 viewers at 6 p.m. on Sunday, for a total audience engagement of 1,028,000 viewers.

SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… was scheduled to follow an all-new episode of FLASHPOINT, which once again won the night with 1.35 million viewers at 9 p.m. The two homegrown series ensured that original Canadian programming ruled the airwaves from 9-11 p.m. Friday night.

This Friday at 10 p.m. ET, CTV presents the second episode of the series, SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH…The Police, featuring the iconic band’s final television performance and interview as a group – and their first since 1984. This seminal television event was filmed at the world famous Apollo Theatre in New York last year, on the eve of their final farewell concert at Madison Square Garden. Costello sits down with Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland for a fascinating look at their careers and musical influences, followed by a raucous group session.  The encore presentation of CTV’s Friday night broadcast airs on Saturday, April 11 at 8 p.m. ET and Sunday, April 12 at 7 p.m. ET (following INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO) on Bravo!

SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… The Police provides a rare glimpse into the combustible chemistry that made The Police the biggest band in the world in the 1980s. In addition to the illuminating talk, Sting illustrates the original incarnation of “Roxanne,” the song which put The Police on the map; Sting and Costello harmonize together on a one of Elvis’ early signature songs and on a bit of “Elizabethan blues”; Summers and Costello team up for something jazzy; and, for the finale, Costello and his band, The Imposters, join forces with The Police for an unprecedented “mash-up” of a Costello classic and a Police essential. 

Conceived and developed in Canada with CTV, SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… has been acclaimed by critics across the country.  “SPECTACLE is a show that lives up to its hype,” wrote the National Post. “[T]he new interview/concert series SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… is exactly that: spectacular, absolutely spectacular,” said Winnipeg Free Press. “[Q]uite simply the tastiest showcase of quality music ever created,” remarked Calgary Herald.

Upcoming episodes of the series include SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… Kris Kristofferson, Roseanne Cash, Norah Jones and John Mellencamp (April 17), SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH… James Taylor (April 24) and SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH…Diana Krall (May 1).

Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… is produced by Toronto’s Tri-Fi Productions Inc. (a partnership of SpyBox Pictures, Prospero Pictures and reinvention entertainment) and Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s Rocket Pictures, in association with CTV, Sundance Channel, Channel 4 and FremantleMedia Enterprises. Executive Producers are Sir Elton John, Elvis Costello, David Furnish, Steve Hamilton-Shaw, Jordan Jacobs, Martin Katz and Stephen Warden. Co-Executive Producer is Alex Coletti. Susanne Boyce is President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.

Friday, April 17 10 p.m.

The “guitar pull” is said to have started in Johnny Cash’s living room in Tennessee, with writers and musicians such as Kris Kristofferson, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan taking turns playing their songs for the Man in Black and his guests. Some years later, Elvis gathers a stellar group for a “guitar pull” of his own – and it includes a couple of people who were at the original gatherings in the Cash home, namely, American songwriting royalty, Kris Kristofferson and Cash’s daughter, Rosanne. Rounding out the group are the golden-voiced Norah Jones (who brings along a “new” song co-written by Hank Williams) and American rock superstar John Mellencamp, who strips his music down to the bare essentials. If not exactly a hootenanny, this star-studded edition of Spectacle is a showcase for and an embarrassment of riches of the craft of songwriting, from some of the best-known (and loved) tunes of the past 40 years to brand-new, previously-unheard compositions.

Friday, April 10 10 p.m.

Fresh off the concert trail together, Elvis and The Police team up for an action-packed hour that includes individual interviews with Sting, Andy and Stewart, as well as a raucous group session. It all provides a rare glimpse into the combustible chemistry that made The Police the biggest band in the world in the 1980s. In addition to the illuminating talk, Sting illustrates the original incarnation of “Roxanne,” the song which put The Police on the map; Sting and Elvis harmonize together on an Elvis gem and some Elizabethan blues; Andy and Elvis team up for a bit of jazz; and, for the finale, Elvis and his band, The Imposters, join forces with The Police for an unprecedented “mash-up” of a Costello classic and a Police essential.

Friday, April 3 9 p.m. 10 p.m.

Elvis and Elton explore Elton John’s love and passion for many of the musicians who’ve had an impact on his life and career – from Leon Russell to Laura Nyro – with some candid and hilarious anecdotes along the way. Elton sheds light on his 40-year working relationship with lyricist Bernie Taupin, and the show also includes an amusing exchange about Elvis and Elton’s real and stage names. In a television first, Elvis and Elton perform together with Elvis covering some of Elton John’s most beloved songs.  Special musical guests include Allen Toussaint and James Burton joining Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher of Elvis Costello’s band The Imposters.

Saturday, Apr. 4 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Bravo

Music legend Elvis Costello strikes a chord when creative minds come together for intimate discussions and unparalleled musical performances on the critically-acclaimed series SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH…. The hour-long series kicks off on a high note with guest Sir Elton John, as the two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers discuss each other’s work and give the viewer priceless insight into their collective creative genius. Upcoming episodes feature The Police, Tony Bennett, Rufus Wainwright, Diana Krall, Bill Clinton, Herbie Hancock, Smokey Robinson and more. Conceived and developed in Canada by Executive Producer Stephen Warden, the series explores the creative process, the power of music and the impact it has on creators and the world at large.

It’s the ultimate front row seat for any music fan. Music legend Elvis Costello strikes a chord when creative minds come together for intimate discussions and unparalleled musical performances in the greatly-anticipated new CTV/Bravo! original series SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH…. As announced last night during CTV’s broadcast of THE ACADEMY AWARDS®, the Canada/United Kingdom production premieres Friday, April 3 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV, immediately following hit drama series FLASHPOINT (visit ctv.ca to confirm local broadcast times). Premiering just days after CTV’s broadcast of THE 2009 JUNO AWARDS, the music series will air throughout the weekend, with encore presentations of CTV’s Friday night broadcast airing on Bravo! Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET and Sundays at 6 p.m. ET (following INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO), beginning April 4.
Conceived and developed in Canada by creator/Executive Producer Stephen Warden, SPECTACLE is co-produced by Toronto’s Tri-Fi Productions Inc. (a partnership of SpyBox Pictures, Prospero Pictures and reinvention entertainment) and Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s Rocket Pictures.

In the critically-acclaimed, hour-long series, music legend Elvis Costello conjures up eclectic performances and candid conversations about the creative process, the power of music and the impact it has on creators and the world at large. The collaborators featured with Costello in the series reads as one of the best concert line ups ever. He is joined by musical heavyweights The Police (in their final TV performance and interview), Sir Elton John, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, Kris Kristofferson, Herbie Hancock, Renée Fleming, Rosanne Cash, Smokey Robinson, John Mellencamp and James Taylor, among others.

The series also features a fascinating hour with President Bill Clinton and highlights Canadians Rufus Wainwright and Diana Krall, as well as a new generation of influential musical voices including Norah Jones, Jenny Lewis, Jakob Dylan and She & Him (actress Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward).

“SPECTACLE is for the inquisitive. Each week viewers eavesdrop on fascinating conversation while being treated to front-row seats at intimate performances,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “It’s a window into the musical world that each guest inhabits, that only Elvis Costello can open up.”

“It has been quite head-spinning to find myself in conversation with some of my favourite musicians and even share a song or two with them,” said Costello.

“The response we’ve had to the show is so gratifying – not only from people who’ve seen it, but all the artists who’ve come on with Elvis have been thrilled to be a part of something that’s genuinely – and passionately – about music,” said Executive Producer and guest star Sir Elton John. “We can’t wait for Canadians to see it.”

“SPECTACLE is an international success story that is truly Canadian at its core,” said Jordan Jacobs, Executive Producer and President of Tri-Fi Productions and SpyBox Media. “SPECTACLE was conceived, developed and produced by Canadians, has been hailed by U.S. critics as one of the very best shows on American television and has been sold around the world. As producers (and host) who live in Canada, we are thrilled to share the series with our fellow Canadians and watch it at home on CTV and Bravo!”

SPECTACLE was taped last year in New York, with exciting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat, night-of-your-life, sold-out tapings at the world famous, legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, as well as the infamous, rocking SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE studios at 30 Rockefeller Center. The series premiered to critical acclaim on the Sundance Channel in the U.S. and Channel 4 in the U.K. in December 2008. It made numerous year-end, Top 10, Best-Of lists from Los Angeles to London with The New Yorker exclaiming, “Costello’s ear, intelligence, and musicianly generosity are all in play in SPECTACLE.”

The series kicks off on a high note with “SPECTACLE: Elvis Costello With…Elton John” (Fri., April 3 at 10 p.m. ET). The two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers prove that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery as the artists discuss each other’s work and give the viewer priceless insight into their collective creative genius. Executive Producer Sir Elton John, an admitted Costello fan, discusses his love and passion for many of the musicians who have had an impact on his life and career. In a television first, Elvis and Elton perform together, and Elvis covers some of Elton John’s most beloved songs. Special musical guests include Allen Toussaint and James Burton, who join Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher of Elvis Costello’s band The Imposters.

Consistent with executive producer Sir Elton John’s long-standing commitment to philanthropy and music, the series producers have struck an exciting association with the (Product) RED (www.joinred.com) campaign created to raise awareness and money for the Global Fund (www.theglobalfund.org) to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. In addition to giving a portion of the profits of the series to the Global Fund via (RED), select program excerpts and performances are given for free to the cutting edge (RED)WIRE digital subscription service, which delivers exclusive music and video content to subscribers and pays all profits to the Global Fund.

Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… is produced by Toronto’s Tri-Fi Productions Inc. (a partnership of SpyBox Pictures, Prospero Pictures and reinvention entertainment) and Sir Elton John and David Furnish’s Rocket Pictures, in association with CTV, Sundance Channel, Channel 4 and FremantleMedia Enterprises. Executive Producers are Sir Elton John, Elvis Costello, David Furnish, Steve Hamilton-Shaw, Jordan Jacobs, Martin Katz and Stephen Warden. Co-Executive Producer is Alex Coletti. For CTV, Ed Robinson is Executive Vice-President, Programming, CTV. Susanne Boyce is President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.

The Police will tape an episode of CTV’s Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… in August in New York City. The television farewell will air as part of CTV’s new talk/performance series, set to premiere later this year in Canada, the United States (on Sundance Channel) and in the U.K. (on Channel 4).

For this historic music television event, Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland will perform and discuss with Elvis their varied and respective interests in music as individuals, as well as the remarkable chemistry together that has made The Police one of the biggest bands in music history.

This exclusive engagement with Elvis follows an exciting spring and summer for the host who has been touring with The Police on their massively successful reunion tour, to widespread acclaim.

Motown legend Smokey Robinson will also tape an episode of CTV’s Spectacle in August, exploring with Elvis his extraordinary 50 year career as a songwriter, singer and guiding light of soul/R&B.

“The Police and Smokey Robinson – it doesn’t get any better than this,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “Spectacle continues to make good on its promise to deliver an unpredictable and unprecedented television experience.”

With filming of four episodes of the highly anticipated new series Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… complete, CTV announced today the initial guest lineup for the groundbreaking new music television series. The series boasts an impressive international guest list which includes Sir Elton John, Tony Bennett, Lou Reed, artist-director Julian Schnabel and former President Bill Clinton. Additional guests appearing this season will be announced soon. Production of Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… continues this summer and fall; the series will premiere later this year on CTV and Bravo!

As previously announced, the Canada/United Kingdom co-production will air on CTV in Canada, Channel 4 in the UK and the Sundance Channel in the U.S. (broadcast schedule is yet to be announced). FremantleMedia Enterprises will handle sales of the show to the rest of the world.

Fusing the best of talk and music television, the first episode taped for this 13-part series invites viewers to enjoy an intimate conversation between host Elvis Costello and Spectacle Executive Producer Sir Elton John before they make music history by performing together for the first time on television.

“I’m hoping that future shows continue to embody the great joy, passion and celebration of music we’ve had thus far, mixed with rare poignant and powerful moments,” said Spectacle host Elvis Costello. “It’s early to say too much about Spectacle other than it has been a wonderful and surprising experience.”

“You very rarely get to hear what a great musician has to say. You’re on and off in five minutes,” said Sir Elton John. “This is an intelligent show hosted by an extremely intelligent man – with intelligent artists as guests … and to get this on tape is important. It’s very hard to do something like this … give Elvis 10 out of 10 for balls.”

“This eclectic group of international performers will not only provide memorable performances, but through the intimate environment of the show, viewers will also be exposed to a new side of some of their favourite musicians,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.

“Elvis Costello plus three music legends, an art world maverick and one uniquely engaged former President of the United States produced some of the most insightful conversations about music (and a few other things), as well as a stack of extraordinary and original musical performances that were almost certainly once-in-a-lifetime moments. All in all, not a bad start,” said Executive Producer and creator Stephen Warden.

“My partners and I set out to make a program that we would want to watch. Spectacle is an unapologetically intelligent and massively entertaining show about music and contemporary culture that has no parallel in television today. Our first few episodes feature a knight, a president and the guitar player to the king,” added Executive Producer Martin Katz, referring to Sir Elton John, President Bill Clinton and James Burton, Elvis Presley’s long-time band member.

Additional musical special guests confirmed for this season include musicians Davey Faragher, Pete Thomas and Steve Nieve of The Imposters; guitarist James Burton, who played with Elvis Presley; legendary producer, pianist, writer, arranger and singer Allen Toussaint; three-time Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist Charlie Haden; jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny, winner of 17 Grammy Awards; jazz pianist Bill Charlap; Larry Campbell and Tony Garnier of Bob Dylan’s touring band; keyboard player Kevin Hearn, of Barenaked Ladies; and violinist/vocalist Jenny Scheinman. More will be announced soon.

The series of 13 one-hour episodes of Spectacle will feature everything from intimate one-on-ones with legendary performers and notable newcomers to thematic panel discussions.

The program’s eclecticism and depth reflect its uniquely qualified host. Elvis Costello is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee; a Grammy and Ivor Novello Award-winning (and Oscar-nominated) songwriter and performer comfortable in almost every genre imaginable; a musicologist of formidable breadth and knowledge; a contributor to Vanity Fair magazine; and a noted wit whose stint as guest host on The Late Show with David Letterman won rave reviews.

Consistent with Sir Elton John’s long-standing commitment to philanthropy and music, the series producers have struck an exciting association with the (Product) RED (www.joinred.com) campaign created to raise awareness and money for the Global Fund (www.theglobalfund.org) to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. Select program excerpts and performances will be distributed in a variety of new media and conventional platforms, with a portion of the profits directed to the Global Fund.

The producers of Spectacle: Elvis Costello with… are Stephen Warden, former music journalist and artist manager (Remy Shand) of reinvention entertainment; entertainment lawyer Jordan Jacobs (numerous Grammy and JUNO winners) of SpyBox Pictures; and film producer Martin Katz (Hotel Rwanda) of Prospero Pictures. The three, based in Toronto, formed Tri-Fi Productions to produce the series in partnership with David Furnish and Steve Hamilton-Shaw of Rocket Pictures. The series is produced in association with CTV, Sundance Channel, Channel 4 and FremantleMedia. Executive Producers are Sir Elton John, Elvis Costello, David Furnish, Steve Hamilton-Shaw, Jordan Jacobs, Martin Katz and Stephen Warden. Co-Executive Producer is Alex Coletti.