TV Critics Tour: Elvis Costello To ‘Spin Plates’ On Sundance


Beverly Hills, Calif.—Elvis Costello will interview musical icons like Elton John, Lou Reed and…er, Bill Clinton in his upcoming series on Sundance Channel.

The performer explained to television critics that the selection of the ex-president for Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... was based on Costello's interest in how music has been a thread through the politician's life, lending cadence and pacing to his life.

The other guests are musical performers, however only “guests about whom I am curious,” he said. “I don't want to fake enthusiasm for people.”

Each hour of the 13-part series, beginning Dec. 13, will open with a song by or related to the featured performer. For instance, the opening number for the Clinton episode will open with Mystery Train, a musical reference to the fact Clinton's White House nickname was Elvis.

Elton John, also a producer of the show, spends the majority of his hour talking about other performers’ music. Costello said the show has a lot of variety in performers and topics of discussion. His term for the show was “vaudevillian plate-spinning.”

Costello fended off a question about new artists he is listening to today. Performers might not like a mention from him, Costello said, adding modestly that a mention from him “might make 'em unhip.”

The performer would not say whether his wife, singer Diana Krall, would be a full-fledged guest on the show. She has performed in one of the episodes already taped.

Before the series bows, however, Sundance will present Architecture School. Despite the unexciting name, the six-part series, debuting Aug. 20, is a compelling look at Tulane University architecture students who compete to create a design for affordable homes that can be used to replace the Hurricane Katrina-damaged housing stock in New Orleans.

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