Amazon’s ‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ tops the music and TV charts

Within the first 24 hours, Daisy Jones & The Six top TV and music charts.

Within hours of their respective releases, the series reached No. 1 on Amazon Prime Video’s US Top 10 chart and the series’ debut album to coincide Dawn managed to #1 in the US on iTunes. The vinyl version of the album also hit the No. 1 spot on Amazon. Daisy Jones & The Six are the first fictional band to reach No.1 (more than once).

The series is technically about a fictional band based on New York Times bestselling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but this group of actors transformed into a real band during filming. They went to “Band Camp” and stars Riley Keough and Sam Claflin took their first singing lesson together.

The story follows this band with two conflicted but gifted singers, Daisy Jones (Keough) and Billy Dunne (Claflin). Theirs voices they mesh beautifully, but their chemistry isn’t just on stage, complicating things for the entire band.

The drama unfolds over the soundtrack of the band’s fantastic music. There are 11 original songs on the Dawn album, produced by Blake Mills, with additional production by Tony Berg.

There are certainly parallels between Fleetwood Mac and the warm relationship between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Those behind the series say the duo is involved in the fusion of influences. The story, however, does not rely on them.

How Reid’s book made its way to Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine in the first place is also an interesting story. It was mid-2017 when husband and wife duo Scott and Lauren Neustadter discovered the book was pre-published and sans publisher. In separate interviews, the couple explained how it all unfolded.

Lauren recently started at Hello Sunshine as President of Film & Television. It started in May, and Reid’s book arrived in Scott’s hands in July. He had already brought Celeste Ng’s Small Fires Everywherewhich would become a limited run for the company.

Scott received a rough draft of the manuscript from Reid’s manager, Brad Mendelsohn. “Everyone who knows me knows I’m a bit of a music nerd,” he said. “After reading maybe 100 pages, I was in. And I did something I probably shouldn’t have done: I texted my wife, Lauren, who had just been hired to run film and television for Reese’s new company. Usually, Lauren gets the hot new material before I do, but in this case, she hadn’t heard it yet, and I said, “You need to read this right away because you’re going to lose your mind.” And I was right.”

“Scott knew Reese would get through it,” Lauren recalls. “He told me I had to go through the proper channels to get it.”

He picked up the phone and called Mendelsohn to ask if he would officially share the book with Hello Sunshine. As soon as she got the book, she and the team, including Witherspoon, read it and loved it. They knew they had struck gold.

“I was completely absorbed,” he said. “I knew it was going to be incredibly competitive and we had to go at it with everything we had. I woke up to an email from Reese saying how much she loved it and was ready to go all in.”

It became a bit of a family affair. Scott co-created the series with Michael H. Weber and the two wrote the pilot episode. Scott executive produced and served as co-host along with Will Graham, who also served as executive producer. Lauren became an executive producer alongside Witherspoon on Hello Sunshine and Mendelsohn on Circle of Confusion.

“I like to write about complicated relationships and love stories where people themselves are the obstacles to their happiness,” Scott said when asked what drew him to the world Reid created. “If you can sprinkle in some pop music, even better.”

Then he thought back to a lunch meeting he had had with Witherspoon years earlier. “He asked me what my dream job would be. I told her I’d like to do something about making Fleetwood Mac Rumors album. So, good luck getting the rights to this story! But Taylor’s book is even better. While it starts with the premise of talented artists going through massive relationship turmoil and putting it all into the art they create, it builds it in all kinds of exciting directions that the true story never could. Plus we could write our version of a classic 1970s pop album, a dream come true for someone like me.”

Although the cast and crew became a family and had a lot of fun throughout the process, Lauren described the many challenges they faced: it’s a period piece with an original musical soundtrack that, under normal circumstances, would have taken three years to complete. Throw a pandemic into the mix and it took six years from start to finish.

“Covid has presented a huge number of challenges. It also allowed us to slow down and take this great group of actors and turn them into a real band,” he explained. “To their great credit, they made the most of the time and honed their craft as actors and musicians, becoming Daisy Jones & The Six. It feels like we’ve done something pretty groundbreaking here.”

Scott agreed. “We always said the bar was high and the bullseye was small, but we couldn’t be happier with the result.” When asked if there could be a second season, he said they see it as a limited series with a definite beginning, middle and end. “That said, I’ve always thought the best endings are the ones that answer all your questions, but then ask a few new ones. So, we’ll see.”

Camila Morrone, Will Harrison, Suki Waterhouse, Josh Whitehouse, Sebastian Chacon, Nabiyah Be, Tom Wright and Timothy Olyphant star alongside Keough and Claflin with James Ponsoldt, Nzingha Stewart and Will Graham directing.

The 10-episode Amazon series premiered on March 3 with three episodes. Three new episodes will be released next week, with two each week leading up to the finale on March 24.

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