Within the first 24 hours Daisy Jones and the Six at the top of the television and music charts.
Within hours of their respective releases, the series charted at #1 on Amazon Prime Video’s top 10 list in the US, as well as being the series’ debut album aurora made it #1 in the US on iTunes. The vinyl version of the album also snagged the #1 slot on Amazon. Daisy Jones and the Six is the first fictional band to hit #1 (more than once).
The series is technically about a fictional band based on the New York Times Bestselling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but this cast of actors morphed into a real band during filming. They went to band camp, and Stars Slash lead singers Riley Keough and Sam Claflin took their first singing lesson together.
The story follows this band led by two fractious but charismatic lead singers, Daisy Jones (Keough) and Billy Dunne (Claflin). Her Voices blend beautifully, but their chemistry isn’t just on stage, which complicates things for the band as a whole.
The drama unfolds over the soundtrack to the band’s fantastic music. There are 11 original songs on the aurora Album produced by Blake Mills, with additional production by Tony Berg.
There are certainly parallels between Fleetwood Mac and the heated relationship between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Series creators say the duo is part of the fusion of influences. However, the story is not based on that.
How Reid’s book originally ended up with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine is also an interesting story. It was mid-2017 when married couple Scott and Lauren Neustadter discovered the book pre-release and unpublished. In separate interviews, the couple explained how everything turned out.
Lauren recently joined Hello Sunshine as President of Film & TV. It began in May, and Reid’s book landed in Scott’s hands in July. Celeste Ng had already brought them with her Little fires everywherewhich would become a limited series for the company.
Scott received an early draft of the manuscript from Reid’s manager, Brad Mendelsohn. “Anyone who knows me knows I’m a little music nerd,” he said. “After reading maybe 100 pages, I was hooked. And I did something I probably shouldn’t: I wrote to my wife, Lauren, who had just been hired to oversee film and television for Reese’s new company. Usually Lauren gets the hot new material much earlier than I do, but in this case she hadn’t heard about it and I said, ‘You have to read this right now or you’ll lose your mind.’ And I was right.”
“Scott knew Reese would freak out about this,” Lauren recalled. “He told me I had to go through the right channels to get it.”
She 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 and loved it. They knew they had struck gold.
“I was totally captivated,” she said. “I knew it was going to be an incredible competition and we had to attack with everything we had. I woke up to an email from Reese saying how much she loved it and was willing to give it all.”
It became a bit of a family affair. Scott co-developed the series with Michael H. Weber, and the two wrote the pilot. Scott served as executive producer and co-showrunner alongside Will Graham, who also served as executive producer. Lauren became 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 throw in some pop music, even better.”
Then he thought about a lunch he had with Witherspoon years ago. “She asked me what my dream project would be. I told her I’d like to do something about Fleetwood Mac doing this rumours Album. Well, good luck getting the rights to this story! But Taylor’s book is even better. While it starts from the premise that talented artists go through immense relationship turmoil and put everything into the art they create, it expands it in all sorts of exciting directions that true story never could. Also, 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 family and had a lot of fun throughout the process, Lauren described the many challenges they faced: It’s a historical play with an original music soundtrack that under normal circumstances would take three years to complete. Throw a pandemic into the mix, and it took six years from start to finish.
“Covid presented a large number of challenges. It also allowed us to slow down and take this great group of actors and turn them into a real band,” she explained. “To their great credit, they made the most of the time and honed their craft as actors and musicians, and they became Daisy Jones and the Six. It feels like we’ve done something pretty groundbreaking here.”
Scott agreed. “We’ve always said the bar was high and the bullseye tiny, but we couldn’t be happier with the result.” When asked if there might be a second season, he said they’re planning it as a limited series with a definite would see a beginning, a middle and an end. “Even so, I’ve always believed that the best endings are the ones that answer all your questions but then ask a few new ones. Well, we’ll see.”
Camila Morrone, Will Harrison, Suki Waterhouse, Josh Whitehouse, Sebastian Chacon, Nabiyah Be, Tom Wright and Timothy Olyphant direct alongside Keough and Claflin with James Ponsoldt, Nzingha Stewart and Will Graham.
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 24th.