Wednesday November 14, 2012

LOS ANGELES -- What tunes fit a post-apocalyptic society? For NBC’s freshman drama "Revolution," the answer is Led Zeppelin’s "Kashmir" and "Since I’ve Been Loving You."

The songs will be featured in next week’s epi sode of "Revolution," on the same day that Led Zeppelin’s "Celebration Day" album and a com panion documentary on DVD will be released.

Corporate synergy led to the deal for the onetime rock band that rarely allows use of its music in Hollywood projects. "Revolution" is produced in association with Warner Bros. Television, and Led Zeppelin has a deal with Warner Music Group’s publishing arm.

But it was Eric Kripke, creator and executive producer of "Revolution," who brought his series and the band together.

When Warner-Chappell Music sent out an email asking if any producers on the studio lot would be interested in using Led Zeppelin songs, Kripke jumped at the chance.

"The speed and overwhelming enthusiasm with which I responded, I think, frankly weirded them out a little," said the self-described "massive Led Zeppelin fan."

Between "Revolution" and "Supernatural," the CW drama he created, Kripke said he’s probably used Led Zeppelin references in the titles of some 20 episodes. "Revolution," about an American family struggling with the nation’s sudden loss of all electrity and all the technology it powered, was in part inspired by the band’s music and its sense of "mythic adventure," he said.

Warner made a logical pick with "Revolution": The series benefits from a 10 p.m.Monday berth after NBC’s hit singing contest "The Voice" and started strong in the ratings, especially with the advertiser-favored young adult demographic.

The Led Zeppelin-accented episode of "Revolution" will air 10:01 p.m. Monday. A "Revolution" promo spot featuring "Kashmir" will air throughout this week on NBC, with an extended version available on the network’s website.

The "Celebration Day" projects document the band’s 2007 reunion concert at London’s 02 Arena. Original members Plant, Page and John Paul Jones, along with Jason Bonham, son of the late drummer John Bonham, played to honor Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun.

For the group, which disbanded after John Bonham’s 1980 death, the concert was its first full show in 27 years.

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NEW YORK -- NBC is changing the backstage leadership at its struggling "Today" show, which has consistently been behind ABC’s "Good Morning America" in the ratings since replacing Ann Curry as an anchor this summer.

An NBC executive who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the plan is not finalized said that Jim Bell will be replaced as the show’s executive producer. Veteran NBC News executive Alexandra Wallace, top deputy to NBC News president Steve Capus and a former "NBC Nightly News" executive producer, will oversee management of "Today" and a search is under way for Bell’s successor.

NBC Sports said Bell will become executive producer of NBC’s Olympics coverage, a role he took on this summer for the network’s successful coverage of the London Olympics.

The "Today" show had a 17-year winning streak in the morning ratings, the last six under Bell’s tutelage. But its ABC competitors made inroads this spring and after the decision was made in June to have Savannah Guthrie replace Curry as Matt Lauer’s co-anchor, "Today" has fallen consistently behind in the ratings, though "Today" recently has been closing the gap with "Good Morning America."

The change at the morning news show was first reported by The New York Times.