Musicians get their close-ups in cable documentary series

Waxing eloquent on the differences between American and Japanese culture, wearing a bathrobe and smoking a cigarette, is not generally the way Mos Def presents himself. But that’s what you get when you do an in-depth interview and spend a few days with a star off stage, an approach adopted by Current TV’s hour long show titled “Embedded”.

Mos Def stars in the debut episode of the series and will be followed by Common, Ben Harper, Thievery Corporation, Silversun Pickups and the Decemberists. After the initial run of 6 episodes, the independent channel expects to air a few “best of” compilations from previous shows, after which it plans to continue the series with 6 more episodes. “No one is committing to this type of music programming in the television space, “says Davis Powers, Vice President of Music Programming at Current TV. “We wanted to commit to doing real music journalism and documentaries — and that comes with working with the artists on the ground floor.” To put it in real terms that meant spending seven days with Mos Def at various Venues in Tokyo and Osaka as he performed.

The network will feature the debut episode in its entirety online on its website, a move that is targeted to appeal to the 18- to 34-year-old demographic which is Current TV’s target market. The networks website will also offer goodies in terms of outtakes of artistes on the show as well as additional performances. As part of a deal with Virgin America, “Embedded” will also be shown on the airline’s in-flight programming on cross country flights.

The show debuted on Current TV on the 14th of October.