Phantom Planet on the set of “Rockville, CA”
Photo: (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)
Other TV producers and creators who are developing programming for the site include Jeremy R. Littman (“CSI: NY”) and Morgan Gendel (“Law & Order”), whose series “Pushed” will have its premiere this month, and Josh Schwartz, creator of the former Fox hit “The O.C.” and current hit CW show “Gossip Girl,” whose series, “Rockville, CA,” will make its debut on March 17.
The Schwartz series, about a group of friends who hang out in a rock club, will feature a different band in each episode. Mr. Schwartz expects to tie in the series to live concert appearances by the band.
Upon further investigation, the LA Times ran an article waaay back in November which had even more information about the new Schwartz show than our newspaper of record.
“Rockville, CA,” midway through taping its first season with an eye toward an early 2009 debut, takes place largely at a fictionalized version of the Echo and Echoplex, the popular Eastside club complex that doubles as the show’s set. The four-minute webisodes follow a coterie of comely postgrads at various levels of influence and aspiration in the record business as they make out and break up to the strains of local indie-poppers like Earlimart and Nico Stai and chic out-of-towners like White Lies and the Kooks.
The focus of “Rockville, CA” is as much on capturing the spirit of the live performances — curated by Schwartz’s longtime music supervisor, Alexandra Patsavas — as anything happening in the apartment bedrooms of its characters. All the bands are recorded live, making the show a de facto competitor to music-video sites such as Pitchfork.tv and Videogum. [LATimes.com]
UPDATE: Press release for the show after the jump.
Creator/executive producer Josh Schwartz (“Gossip Girl,” “Chuck,” “The O.C.”) teams up with executive producer and music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas (feature film “Twilight,” TV series “Gossip Girl,” “The O.C.,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) on “Rockville, CA,” a contemporary music-themed romantic comedy set in a rock club. “Rockville, CA” stars Andrew West (“Privileged”), Alexandra Chando (“As the World Turns”), Jelly Howie (“Dexter,” “CSI: Miami”), Ryan Hansen (“Veronica Mars,” “Las Vegas”), Matt Cohen (“South of Nowhere,” “Supernatural”), Bonnie Burroughs (“Cold Case,” “Eli Stone”), Lester Speight (“Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay”) and Chris Yen (“A Good Day to Be Black & Sexy”). “Rockville, CA” is an original series on TheWB.com, a new premium, ad-supported, video-on-demand, interactive and personalized network. “Rockville, CA” premieres March 17, 2009.
The series takes place entirely in a fictional Los Angeles rock venue, Club Rockville. The viewer is brought into the lives of a group of twentysomethings from diverse backgrounds who gather regularly at the club to hear their favorite up-and-coming bands, blow off steam, fall in love with the wrong people, and then talk about how they’ve fallen in love with the wrong people. Club Rockville has a life of its own, which is conveyed through the cast of regulars and the bands that appear in each webisode.
The essence of “Rockville, CA” is found in its characters and the relationships that develop as the show unfolds. The series not only explores characters’ interactions with one another, but also the way in which they relate to music and to Club Rockville itself.
The roller-coaster relationship between Hunter (West), the hipster-cute smart guy, and Deb (Chando), the consummate go-getter, is seen throughout “Rockville, CA.” Hunter recently graduated from Brown University, where he wrote a weekly column for the college newspaper called “I Don’t Hear a Single.” Deb, at the young age of 21, has already worked in the music business for a few years after deciding to drop out of college. Hunter meets Deb, his philosophical nemesis and eventual love interest, at his favorite local hangout, Club Rockville. At many points in the series, Club Rockville buzzes with speculation surrounding Deb and Hunter’s relationship.
Syd (Cohen) is the gorgeous-looking male presence at Club Rockville, who drives the girls wild. He is a local bass player and also serves as part-time bartender. Syd hardly ever speaks, but when he does, it is often in the form of a song lyric or a commentary about music. Just as Syd is the primary object of female interest at the club, Callie (Howie) instantly grabs male attention wherever she goes. She recently moved to Los Angeles with her guitarist boyfriend, but, as we quickly learn, he chooses touring with his band over being with her.
Club Rockville wouldn’t remain open without the hard work of Shawn (Burroughs), the club’s part owner and den mother. Years in the music scene have provided her with the wisdom and perspective she needs to battle to maintain Club Rockville’s integrity, while still posting a profit. She was reluctantly forced to sell a piece of the club to 23-year-old Chambers (Hansen), known as “The Douche.” He is the son of a famous record producer and is extremely proud of his band, Pretty Committee. Also, club regulars can’t enter without running into Hugh (Speight), Club Rockville’s menacing bouncer. Hugh is an imposing force who isn’t afraid to lay down the law when necessary.
“Rockville, CA” webisodes are conveyed through a series of moments, many of which are captured by Club Rockville’s resident photographer, Annie (Yen). We never hear a word from Annie but her photographs will be the launching point for each webisode.