“Greatest Hits,” a music series combining original artists singing the biggest hits of a five-year period on each of its six episodes at times joined by current artists, premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday on ABC.
Thursday’s episode has Pitbull, REO Speedwagon, Ray Parker, Jr., Jason Derulo, Kenny Loggins, Kim Carnes, Rick Springfield and Kool & The Gang performing such hits from 1980-85 as “Ghostbusters,” “Footloose,” “Bette Davis Eyes” and “Jessie’s Girl.”
Artists performing in future episodes include Backstreet Boys, Bonnie Raitt, Boyz II Men, Chicago, Coolio, En Vogue, Foreigner, John Legend, Little Big Town, LL Cool J, Meghan Trainor, Miguel, Wilson Phillips and Wiz Khalifa.
“I was looking for people who had these resonant hits, who had songs that people really wanted to revisit,” said executive producer Ken Ehrlich, who has produced the Grammys since 1980.
“In a lot of cases, it was pairing them up with current artists, who were influenced by, admired … these artists who went before them and were excited about working with them.”
Ehrlich says “Greatest Hits” may give rise to nostalgia but “is an extremely fresh approach to a music show.” It will have songs from a variety of genres, he said.
“There’s country, there’s pop, there’s R&B, there’s rock,” Ehrlich said. “We happen to cover an era in music where all of those things dominated. There wasn’t one that was more dominant than another. The fact of the matter is they all had their individual peaks.”
The series is hosted by comedian Arsenio Hall and country music star Kelsea Ballerini.
Ehrlich told City News Service he “had pitched a similar show to ABC three years ago which they didn’t buy at that time.”
“They then called me while I was with this year’s Grammys to discuss an idea they had that was similar to my show,” Ehrlich said. “We developed it together and within two months were in production.”
—City News Service
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