Tom Petty, Black Sabbath among REELZ December 2020 specials

The superstar stories of eight music legends and the most iconic songs of the century make their premiere

REELZ has announced its December 2020 premieres with a music themed lineup of new specials, new episodes of returning original series and the REELZ premieres of music documentaries Queen and Adam Lambert: The Show Must Go On, ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas and Keith Richards: You Can’t Rock Me. With each story focused on a different music legend new Story of the Songs specials unveil how three of the most emblematic songs came to life with the extraordinary stories behind hits from Metallica, Whitney Houston and Diana Ross.

Fabled singer, songwriter and 18-time Grammy Award nominee Tom Petty was a musical wonder. His remarkable life unfolds in three new REELZ originals led by Tom Petty: Won’t Back Down about his record setting hits and music industry clashes with never-before-seen footage of his final performance along with personal stories from Kevin Bacon, Roy Orbison Jr. and Country Music Hall of Fame artist Ronnie Dunn. When Petty died suddenly in 2017 just a week after performing to a sold out crowd questions swirled about his health. Autopsy: The Last Hours of…“Tom Petty” examines the circumstances surrounding his untimely passing while the series premiere of Life, Death & Money explores the epic battle over Petty’s estate that would determine the fate of his final dream recording collection.

December also marks the return of fan favorite original Breaking the Band about how heavy metal group Black Sabbath and its frontman Ozzy Osbourne rocketed from total anonymity to international super stardom and the epic rifts within the band that led to its demise.

“The power of music and the stories of the celebrated artists who create it take center stage in our December lineup,” says Steve Cheskin, SVP of Programming at REELZ. “With insightful looks at Queen, ZZ Top, Metallica, Whitney Houston, Tom Petty, Black Sabbath, Diana Ross and Keith Richards the December premieres on REELZ are a playlist of powerful real stories about the legends of music and the fascinating moments, creative clashes, successful collaborations and bursts of pure genius that led to so many memorable songs.”

December premieres begin on Tuesday, December 1st with the REELZ premiere of music documentary Queen and Adam Lambert: The Show Must Go On at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT about the serendipitous pairing of renowned rock group Queen and powerhouse American Idol alumni Adam Lambert revealing how band members Brian May and Roger Taylor dealt with the passing of frontman Freddie Mercury. Continuing without Mercury was unthinkable but so was allowing Queen and their music to fade into history.

On Sunday, December 6th at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT it’s the premiere of Black Sabbath: Breaking the Band about the band’s huge success and subsequent downfall. With their mischievous and prankster lead singer Ozzy Osbourne juxtaposed against the business minded and reserved band founder Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath was at its core a volatile mix. Add on bad management, grueling touring demands and heavy drug use and you get a band that reached its breaking point. Sunday, December 6th at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT also marks the premiere of a new Story of the Songs special with a look at the making of Metallica hits “One”, “Enter Sandman” and “St. Anger” as the three tracks that turned the band from underground thrash metal pioneers to indisputable conquerors of the heavy metal world.

The music themed premieres continue on Tuesday, December 8th at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT with the REELZ premiere of ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas exploring the mystique behind the blues-rock trio and in their own words how the enigmatic band created their signature look and sound.

Then on Sunday, December 13th it’s the premiere of three new stories about rock idol Tom Petty starting with Tom Petty: Won’t Back Down at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. With more than 80 million records sold Rock and Roll Hall of Fame superstar Tom Petty spent nearly his entire life dedicated to music and Tom Petty: Won’t Back Down is the story of his brilliant career with rare audio of Petty himself describing key moments in his life along with a breathtaking run through his hit songs and the stories behind every album. Even in his 60s Petty was still commanding stages but unbeknownst to his fans he was hiding a world of suffering. In Autopsy: The Last Hours of… “Tom Petty” on Sunday, December 13th at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT the story of his abrupt passing is examined with answers to how an untreated injury lead to his sudden heart failure. When Petty died at just 66 years old questions arose surrounding his estate. In the series premiere of Life, Death & Money on Sunday, December 13th at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT see the remarkable true story behind Tom Petty’s $95 million estate that involved unreleased music, a bitter family feud and an unexpected outcome that would forever impact his legacy.

The pantheon of rock stars is not complete without Keith Richards. Making its REELZ premiere on Friday, December 18th at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT is Keith Richards: You Can’t Rock Me presenting his powerful life story with its chaotic and criminal elements mixed perfectly with his incredible success and how he masterfully crafted the sound that made The Rolling Stones one of the biggest bands ever.

December premieres wrap on Sunday, December 20th with back-to-back premieres with Whitney Houston: Story of Her Songs at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT followed by Diana Ross: Story of Her Songs at 10 pm ET/7 pm PT. Whitney Houston: Story of Her Songs relives the making of celebrated and beloved songs “One Moment in Time”, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and “My Love is Your Love” unveiling the legacy of a songstress who possessed the greatest voice of her generation. In Diana Ross: Story of Her Songs see the stories behind her hits “Baby Love”, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” and “Chain Reaction” as told by the Motown songwriters and session musicians who were in the studio with Ross as the hits came to life.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.