Jagger makes the jump to TV comedy
It sounds like something Keith Richards might have dreamed up while under the influence of a controlled substance. But this is no hallucination: Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones, really is expected to star in a new sitcom starting on United States television in the autumn.
Sitcoms tend to work best when the premise is a familiar one to which all viewers can relate—Friends, after all, was about a group of friends who just hung out together. It is not clear where this leaves ABC’s latest planned offering, a 24-part series about a group of hard-up New Yorkers who decide to rob Mick Jagger.
Not much of the budget appears to have been dedicated to finding a name for the show, either. It is provisionally entitled Let’s Rob Mick Jagger. A pilot episode is in production, and a final decision from ABC executives is now awaited.
Originally, the show’s co-writer Rob Burnett explained, the title was going to be Let’s Rob Jeff Goldblum, but that had to be rethought when an insurmountable difficulty arose: Goldblum was unavailable. Instead, the team contacted Jagger.
“He was enthusiastic,” Burnett told The New York Times, recalling a 2am call with the singer. “He asked all the right questions. How would the series build? Could the idea sustain? He seemed like a guy who cared a great deal about the quality of the work he gets involved with.”
While that is undoubtedly true when it comes to music, Jagger’s history as an actor is patchier. His first appearance, in Nicholas Roeg’s 1970 film Performance, was well-received, but his lead role in Ned Kelly the same year drew opinions ranging from disparaging to lukewarm.
Comedy, however, is a new field for him, and Let’s Rob Mick Jagger is being billed as a new kind of comedy. Burnett, an executive producer for David Letterman, says he wants to experiment with a plot-based sitcom series—“a comedy version of Lost or 24”—which has no precedent in US television, though British comedy dramas such as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy may have come close.
The series will follow a New York janitor who sees the singer showing off his expensive penthouse apartment on TV and then decides to rob it .
Jagger has already filmed his scenes for the pilot, using a luxury hotel suite in Auckland, New Zealand, as a stand-in for the New York apartment. “He did a lot of ad libbing,” Burnett said. “Some of the funniest stuff in the pilot came from him. He’s just a smart, funny guy.”
Let’s Rob Mick Jagger will probably not be the final title if the series goes ahead, since it would severely limit the range of potential plotlines for future seasons.—Guardian Unlimited Â