Vinyl had a 20-year development history, with Scorsese and Jagger originally attempting to do it as a movie. When it was set up at HBO in 2010, Winter was brought in as a writer/executive producer.

The big-budget period drama drew soft ratings for its first season, with viewership between 760,000 and 570,000 for a premiere airing.

The series starred Bobby Cannavale as Richie Finestra, a record label president who is trying to save his company and his soul without destroying everyone in his path. Co-starring were Olivia Wilde, Ray Romano, Ato Essandoh, Max Casella, P.J. Byrne, J.C. MacKenzie, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Juno Temple, Jack Quaid, James Jagger and Paul Ben-Victor.