PBS Lands Docuseries ‘Icon’ on History of Music and Rock Photography

PBS Lands Docuseries ‘Icon’ on History of Music and Rock Photography

Legendary music director Dick Carruthers directed and produced the six-part series to air this summer

Brian Welk | May 14, 2021

PBS has acquired the domestic distribution rights to “Icon: Music Through the Lens,” a docuseries about the history of photography for rock stars and musicians through the years.

Dick Carruthers, a legendary music director who has worked with artists like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Beyonce, White Stripes, Oasis, Paul McCartney and Black Sabbath, directed and produced “Icon,” and music photographer Gered Mankowitz curated the series’ many iconic photos.

PBS plans to air the series this summer, which is in six, one-hour parts, as part of the network’s primetime lineup.

“Icon” charts the fascinating lives and often crazy experiences of music photogs, from the earliest darkrooms to the digital landscapes of the present day. The series examines famous studio portraits, record sleeves, music magazine shoots, live shows, exhibitions, social media, coffee table books and fine art to ask what makes an image iconic and discover what the future holds for music photography.

Some of the photographers interviewed alongside Gered Mankowitz about their work in music include Jill Furmanovsky, Kevin Westenberg, Terry O’Neill, Kevin Cummins, Bob Gruen, Rachel Wright, Deborah Feingold, Baron Wolman, Neal Preston, Roger Sargent, Dean Chalkley, Tom Sheehan, Pooneh Ghana, Michael Zagaris, Danny Clinch, Rankin and Mick Rock. They’re also joined by rock stars such as Alice Cooper, Craig David, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Ziggy Marley, Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Zara Larsson, Stefflon Don and Dizzee Rascal and many others.

“Icon: Music Through The Lens”, was produced by FilmRise in partnership with Universal Music Group’s Mercury Studios, a U.K. based producer and distributor of music programming.

“FilmRise and our production partner at Mercury Studios are thrilled that the ‘Icon’ documentary series will be presented to U.S. audiences on PBS,” FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher said in a statement. This is a comprehensive and definitive series that will appeal to all lovers of music and photography and we feel that the series uniquely and distinctly immerses the viewer in the culture and history of this fascinating art form.”

Melissa Wohl, Head of Sales, FilmRise negotiated the deal and Zara Frankel, Director of Programming and Development at Public Broadcasting Service serves as editorial lead on the program.


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