Vinyl (TV series)


Title card
Genre Period drama
Crime drama
Created by
Opening theme "Sugar Daddy" by Sturgill Simpson[1]
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Location(s) Steiner Studios, Brooklyn, New York
New York City, New York
Cinematography Rodrigo Prieto
Reed Morano
David Franco
Editor(s) David Tedeschi
Tim Streeto
Kate Sanford
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 53–60 minutes
113 minutes (pilot)
Production company(s)
Original network HBO
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Digital
Original release February 14 (2016-02-14) – April 17, 2016 (2016-04-17)
External links
Official website

Vinyl is an American period drama television series created by Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, Rich Cohen and Terence Winter. The series stars Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, a record executive in the 1970s. It premiered on HBO on February 14, 2016,[2] and concluded on April 17, 2016.

From a teleplay by Winter and George Mastras, and story by Cohen, Jagger, Scorsese and Winter, the pilot episode is directed by Scorsese.[3] The first season consisted of ten episodes.[4] Scorsese had hoped to direct further episodes of the series.[5] Winter left his position as showrunner at the end of the first season due to creative differences, leaving the position to Scott Z. Burns.[6][7]

HBO announced the renewal of Vinyl for a second season on February 18, 2016, soon after the pilot episode premiered.[8] However, on June 22, 2016, HBO reversed that decision and cancelled the series.[9] HBO head of programming Casey Bloys said of the decision, "It didn't land. With limited resources, we didn't think the retooling was worth the producers' time if it would only move the needle a little bit."[10]





No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
1"Pilot"Martin ScorseseStory by: Rich Cohen & Mick Jagger & Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter
Teleplay by: Terence Winter and George Mastras
February 14, 2016 (2016-02-14)0.764[15]
1973, New York City. Together with his partners, Richie Finestra, President of American Century Records, is on the verge of selling his struggling company to German Polygram, an impending distribution agreement with Led Zeppelin part of the package. But after an awkward encounter with Robert Plant, it's clear that the sale is in jeopardy.
2"Yesterday Once More"Allen CoulterTerence WinterFebruary 21, 2016 (2016-02-21)0.667[16]
With German Polygram executives in town to complete the deal for American Century, Richie delivers a bombshell that shocks the prospective buyers as well as his partners: Zak Yankovich, ACR's head of promotions, and Skip Fontaine, head of sales. When the dust settles, the Germans storm out of the ACR offices, leaving Richie to face the ire of Zak, Skip and company attorney Scott Levitt. In Greenwich, Devon ponders what to do about her husband, who broke his promise by going off the wagon, though her anger is tempered by memories of the man she fell in love with back in 1966, when she was a fixture in the downtown art/music scene and a muse to Andy Warhol. Back at American Century, Richie gives the A&R team members a mandate to land a cutting-edge act or lose their jobs. Jamie, pushing Nasty Bits, is encouraged that Richie is interested in the band, but dismayed she'll be working with A&R head Julius "Julie" Silver, who vows to polish the Bits' sound. A devastated Zak considers changing his alibi for a recent injury, while Richie decides to pay a visit to an estranged mentor.
3"Whispered Secrets"Mark RomanekJonathan Tropper and Debora Cahn & Adam RappFebruary 28, 2016 (2016-02-28)0.533[17]
At a record producers' banquet honoring Maury Gold, Richie is embarrassed when the emcee, rival record exec Jackie Jervis, makes a joke about the failed German Polygram deal. Later, Maury and mob cohort Corrado Galasso pay a visit to American Century to probe a detective's recent inquiry, and Joe Corso drops by to pitch Richie a demo by his banquet date, Nora. As Richie cuts down his roster to free up money to sign and promote new artists, junior A&R rep Clark Morelle courts Alice Cooper in an attempt to sign him to a solo deal. Trying to find purpose in the suburbs, Devon turns to Warhol in hopes of raising funds to renovate a Greenwich barn that could house a displaced Russian ballet company. Approaching Lester about releasing some of his old blues demos, Richie reopens old wounds instead. The revamped Nasty Bits fail to win over Richie, prompting Jamie to change up their set list.
4"The Racket"S. J. ClarksonDebora CahnMarch 6, 2016 (2016-03-06)0.577[18]
In lieu of attending a funeral, Richie takes out his anxieties on a couch during a marriage-counseling session with Devon. Later, over the course of a chaotic day at the office, Richie courts funk superstar Hannibal, agrees to let Robert Goulet record an original song on his upcoming Christmas LP, and gets fired up after an acrimonious meeting with Lester. Meanwhile, Zak and Scott ruminate on their futures in the aftermath of the lost deal with German Polygram. On the verge of signing with American Century, Nasty Bits enlist a new manager to work out a favorable deal with Richie. Armed with photos from Richie's temper tantrum, Devon visits a divorce attorney. Skip looks to unload an overrun of bootleg albums, but finds no takers. As he's about to be detained by two new detectives, Richie learns from Cece that Hannibal is being courted backstage by Jervis, and orders his assistant to do whatever it takes to keep the singer in the stable. Later, Richie visits a downtown jazz club in search of an alibi, while Devon has a meltdown at home.
5"He in Racist Fire"Peter SollettAdam RappMarch 13, 2016 (2016-03-13)0.618[19]
Richie visits his father in order to leverage a favor to his advantage. Devon agrees to join Richie for dinner with Hannibal and Cece, playing up the vixen role to keep one of her husband's biggest clients signed. Kip faces a tough dilemma in the wake of Nasty Bits' recent signing: fire one of his bandmates or lose a prime gig opening for New York Dolls. Desperate to shore up PR at American Century, Richie tries to recruit Andrea Zito, a former employee and flame who now works for Jervis. Clark gets a new job after an emotional meeting with Julie, while an indignant Jamie ends up keeping her old one. Richie has an inspiration for the name of his new label.
6"Cyclone"Nicole KassellCarl Capotorto & Erin Cressida WilsonMarch 20, 2016 (2016-03-20)0.570[20]
Devon seeks refuge at the Chelsea Hotel with Ingrid, a friend from her Warhol days. Meanwhile, Richie falls into a deeper well of drugs and depravity, enabled by Ingrid's nihilistic boyfriend Ernst. Zito rejoins American Century and immediately outlines her plans to revive the label. Kip follows an unlikely path towards recruiting a new lead guitarist, Alex, for Nasty Bits. Zak allows his raw emotions to surface at the end of his daughter's Bat Mitzvah.
7"The King and I"Allen CoulterDavid MatthewsMarch 27, 2016 (2016-03-27)0.666[21]
Looking to raise cash for his label, a newly sober Richie flies to LA with Zak, hoping to sell the company jet to a rival record exec, Lou Meshejian. After attending a beachfront party teeming with many of Lou's music clients, Richie and Zak head to Las Vegas in hopes of somehow convincing Elvis Presley and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, to ditch Presley's current label and sign with American Century. The detour includes a steamy encounter in which Zak's fantasies come true, at a price.
8"E.A.B."Jon S. BairdRiccardo DiLoreto & Michael MitnickApril 3, 2016 (2016-04-03)0.567[22]
Rebuffed by a loan officer with high school ties to Zak, a desperate Richie approaches Maury about doing a deal with Galasso. Devon and Ingrid travel to Max's Kansas City, where Devon impresses photographer Billy McVicar with her ability to charm John Lennon into giving up his photo. Tasked by Richie to come up with a new song, Nasty Bits get a crash course in the blues from Lester. Zito fires long-time American Century employee Hal Underwood, angering Richie. Clark finds musical enlightenment from his one-time mailroom nemesis, Jorge.
9"Rock and Roll Queen"Carl FranklinDebora CahnApril 10, 2016 (2016-04-10)0.753[23]
After an unsettling visit with Devon and the kids, Richie weighs his options as the heat surrounding the Frank "Buck" Rogers murder case is turned up. Thrown out of her aunt's townhouse, Jamie crashes with Kip as Nasty Bits finish their record and do a photo shoot. At American Century, Maury Gold pitches a 50s compilation LP, while Zak tries to fund a band for his wedding singer, Gary, aka "Xavier". Zito tongue-lashes Jamie and Cece for getting romantically involved with the talent. Lester bails when he sees Gold in the conference room. Clark and Jorge bond over an Indigo tune. After receiving a phone call from the hotel in Vegas, Zak realizes what actually transpired that night.
10"Alibi"Allen CoulterTerence WinterApril 17, 2016 (2016-04-17)0.730[24]
While Richie begins his deal to bring down Galasso, Zak also strikes a deal with him to bring Richie down. The relationship between Nasty Bits' members implodes right as they're about to open for New York Dolls. With Indigo climbing in sales thanks to Clark and Jorge, the group decides to push further with them. Richie goes to Lester in order to get the rights to his song; Lester uses that to his advantage. Galasso holds a meeting with Richie and Zak after one of his operations is discovered by the police; Corso is executed. Kip overdoses. Gary makes suggestions to Zak. Richie resuscitates Kip before the band goes on stage. Richie fires Jamie from working with the band. Nasty Bits perform to an enthusiastic response. Richie meets a handler to give information on Galasso but doesn't mention Corso's murder. At the launch of Alibi Records back at the office, Richie reads reviews of Nasty Bits' performance and gives a speech.


The music for Vinyl was released by Atlantic Records & Warner Bros. Records. The first soundtrack album for the series, titled Vinyl (Music from the HBO® Original Series), Vol. 1, was released on February 12, 2016, two days before the show's premiere date. Three months prior, Icelandic rock band, Kaleo, released their song "No Good" on November 20, 2015, which was later featured in the second trailer for Vinyl, as well as on the show's Volume 1 & 1.6 soundtracks. After the release of Volume 1, Atlantic and Warner Bros. began featuring EPs for episode 2 to episode 9. Each one was made public on iTunes every week before the premiere of each episode, each featuring five songs.

All the songs featured on Volume 1, The EPs, and Vinyl: The Essentials (Best of Season 1) all consists of a mix of songs recorded from the period between the 1950s and 1970s, covers of songs from the aforementioned period by contemporary artists such as The Arcs, Julian Casablancas, Iggy Pop, and Andrew W.K., and original songs that were written specifically for the show to fit with the style of the period by contemporary artists such as Ty Taylor's "The World is Yours", Royal Blood's "Where Are You Now?", and Alex Newell's & DJ Cassidy's "Kill the Lights".

Aside from the soundtrack music, the majority of the music featured on Vinyl consists of a wide variety of genres, including rock, blues, pop, country, jazz, soul, funk, reggae, punk, and disco.


Vinyl received generally positive reviews from critics. The acting (particularly Cannavale)[25][26] and directing[27] were generally praised, while the writing and storyline, particularly in the later half of the season,[28] which many called "formulaic"[29] and "familiar",[27][30] were criticized.

On Rotten Tomatoes the first five episodes (which were given to critics in advance)[31] holds an approval rating of 77%. The site's consensus reads: "Vinyl doesn't always keep the beat, dramatically speaking, but overall, it capably honors the rock pioneers of the '70s with absorbing stories, a spot-on soundtrack, and rich period detail."[32] On another review aggregator, Metacritic, the first five episodes holds a score of 71 out of 100.[33] But as the series progressed, reviews got significantly more critical.[34][35]

Alan Sepinwall of HitFix gave the first season a B, writing that "there's an awful lot of excess in Vinyl, which perhaps makes sense for a show involving two icons of '70s rock in Jagger and Scorsese. But all of Richie's searching for the next idea, and all of the scenes involving the Nasty Bits or other rising forms of music, suggest a show that really wishes it could strip away all the glam and all the tropes and just do something simple and raw and powerful."[31] Robert Bianco of USA Today wrote that "what follows is a sometimes humorous, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes bumpy ride through the era, with a story that often seems to halt just when it's picking up momentum. Still, every time the story falters, the characters' and the show's obvious love for popular music in all its forms lifts it back up."[36]

On the other hand, Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker had a mixed response, writing that "the show improves slightly after the jankily paced pilot, but it never sheds its air of leaden nostalgia."[37] Verne Gay of Newsday reacted negatively, writing that the show "is a compelling idea in search of a compelling story. There simply isn't much of one, in fact, and--abhorring the ever-present vacuum--a lot of other elements rush in to fill the void. Scenes are padded, lots of flashbacks are even more flaccid, while actors devour the helpless scenery."[28]


Vinyl's renewal for a second season was announced on February 18, 2016 by HBO's programming president Michael Lombardo.[38] Despite the renewal of the series, HBO announced on June 22, 2016 that they have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl.[39]

International broadcast

In Canada, the series premiered on HBO Canada on February 14, 2016, airing simultaneous with the American broadcast.[40] In the UK, the series premiered on Sky Atlantic on February 15, 2016, airing at 2:00 a.m. initially to simulcast the U.S. premiere and then again at 9:00 p.m. the same day.[41] The Australian premiere aired on Showcase on February 15, 2016.[42] On HBO Asia, the series premiered on February 16, 2016.[43] In New Zealand it premiered on February 15, 2016 on SoHo on Sky TV.[44]


  1. Jon Freeman (February 11, 2016). "Hear Sturgill Simpson's Hard-Edged 'Vinyl' Theme 'Sugar Daddy'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  2. Petski, Denise (October 29, 2015). "'Vinyl', 'Girls' & 'Togetherness' Get February Premiere Dates On HBO". Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  3. Andreeva, Nellie (December 2, 2014). "Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger & Terence Winter's Rock 'N' Roll Drama Picked Up To Series By HBO". Deadline. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  4. Petski, Denise (August 6, 2015). "'Vinyl' Teaser: First Look At Martin Scorsese's '70s-Set Rock Drama For HBO". Deadline.
  5. Joe Otterson (January 8, 2016). "Martin Scorsese Hopes to 'Direct a Few More' Episodes of 'Vinyl'". TheWrap. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  6. Elizabeth Wagmeister (2016-04-08). "Terence Winter Out as 'Vinyl' Showrunner Following Creative Differences". Variety. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  7. Andreeva, Nellie (2016-04-08). "'Vinyl': Showrunner Terence Winter Exits HBO Drama Series". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  8. Andreeva, Nellie (February 18, 2016). "'Vinyl' Renewed For Season 2 By HBO". Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  9. Andreeva, Nellie (June 22, 2016). "'Vinyl' Canceled: No Season 2 For HBO Drama Series". Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  10. Andreeva, Nellie (2016-07-30). "HBO President On 'Vinyl's Demise, On-Screen Violence – TCA". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  11. "HBO's Martin Scorsese/Mick Jagger Rock 'N' Roll Drama Adds Cast". Deadline. June 26, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "HBO - Vinyl - Series Information". HBO.
  13. "TV Review: Martin Scorsese's Vinyl". Vulture. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  14. "Vinyl: HBO Releases New Details and Photos - canceled TV shows". TV Series Finale. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  15. Porter, Rick (February 17, 2016). "Sunday cable ratings: 'The Walking Dead' returns a little lower, NBA All-Star Game up slightly". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
  16. Metcalf, Mitch (February 23, 2016). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.21.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  17. Metcalf, Mitch (March 1, 2016). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.28.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  18. Metcalf, Mitch (March 8, 2016). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.6.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  19. Metcalf, Mitch (March 15, 2016). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals:3.13.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  20. Metcalf, Mitch (March 22, 2016). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals:3.20.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  21. Metcalf, Mitch (March 29, 2016). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals:3.27.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2016.
  22. Metcalf, Mitch (April 5, 2016). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals:4.3.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  23. Metcalf, Mitch (April 12, 2016). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.10.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  24. Metcalf, Mitch (April 19, 2016). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.17.2016". ShowBuzzDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  25. Korbelik, Jeff. "Jeff Korbelik: Cannavale packs a punch in HBO's 'Vinyl'". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  26. Rabinowitz, Dorothy. "'Vinyl' Review: An Insiders' Spin on '70s Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  27. 1 2 Tucker, Ken. "'Vinyl' Review: You Can't Always Get What You Want". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  28. 1 2 Gay, Verne. "'Vinyl' review: HBO's disappointing LI, NYC-filmed '70s rock 'n' roll drama". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  29. Hale, Mike. "Review: 'Vinyl' Resurrects the '70s Music Industry, Amid Proto-Punk Squalor". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  30. Owen, Rob. "Tuned in: HBO spins dark, dull 'Vinyl'; 'Better Call Saul' gets better". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  31. 1 2 Sepinwall, Alan. "Review: HBO's 'Vinyl' a classic rock drama that wishes it was punk". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  32. "Vinyl Season 1 Reviews". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  33. "Vinyl Season 1 Reviews". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  34. Sepinwall, Alan. "Can 'Vinyl' be fixed after such a disappointing first season?". Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  35. Edwards, Gavin. "'Vinyl' Season 1 Finale: As Confused as Ever". Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  36. Bianco, Robert. "Review: Tune in as 'Vinyl,' and a stellar Cannavale, rock '70s music". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  37. Nussbaum, Emily. "Waiting on the Man". Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  38. Carpenter, Nicole (18 February 2016). "Vinyl Renewed for Season 2 by HBO". IGN. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  39. Goldberg, Lesley (22 June 2016). "HBO Abandons Plans for 'Vinyl' Season 2". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  40. "This February on HBO Canada: the Epic New HBO Drama VINYL; new Animated Series from the Duplass Brothers, ANIMALS; New Seasons of GIRLS, LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER, VICE, and TOGETHERNESS; and New HBO Documentaries" (Press release). HBO Canada. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  41. "Sky Atlantic to simulcast USA premiere of 1970s New York drama Vinyl" (Press release). BSkyB. November 2, 2015.
  42. "Vinyl - Showcase". Foxtel. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  43. "Vinyl S1 01: Pilot". February 16, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  44. "Vinyl". Sky TV. Retrieved July 1, 2016.

External links

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