The Beatles’ publisher claims NBC do not have rights to the band’s music for planned TV series

Marty Bandier also reveals plans for a separate, rival show on The Fab Four

A TV drama series based around the career of The Beatles has not secured rights to any of the iconic band’s music, it has been revealed.

Earlier this month (June), it was reported that Michael Hirst, who has previously acted as executive producer on The Tudors, will produce a series on The Fab Four for NBC in America.

However, in a new interview with Billboard, Marty Bandier, chairman/CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, publisher of all but six of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s Beatles compositions, says he has not cleared any of the band’s songs for use in the show and that there is also another series in development, possibly involving Sony TV.

“About six months ago, we were working with Sony Pictures TV on a show centered around the journey of the Beatles, and at one point we were talking about working with Baz Luhrmann,” says Bandier. “We hadn’t taken the next step, which is to reach out to the Beatles. The proposal is still on the table.”

He adds: “NBC couldn’t produce a show without the songs, and we can’t produce a show without approaching the Beatles for their likeness rights.”.

Any prospective drama will join other recent attempts at transferring the story of The Fab Four onto the big screen such as Nowhere Boy, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as a young John Lennon. Meanwhile, The Fifth Beatle, about the Beatles manager Brian Epstein, has been in development for years and has been granted access to the Lennon/ McCartney archives.