CMT has retitled its coming eight-part limited series about the early days of rock and roll. “Million Dollar Quartet,” a drama about the first steps taken by musicians like Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, will now be called “Sun Records” and will air Thursdays starting February 23 along with the Viacom network’s pickup of country-music drama “Nashville.”
“Sun Records” is set in Memphis and depicts the rise of the aforementioned musicians along with Carl Perkins and others even as the burgeoning civil-rights movement grips the nation.
The cast includes Chad Michael Murray as Sun Records founder Sam Phillips; Billy Gardell as Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s manager; Drake Milligan as Presley; Kevin Fonteyne as Cash; Christian Lees as Lewis; Jonah Lees as Jimmy Swaggart; Trevor Donovan as Eddy Arnold, and Kerry Holliday as Ike Turner.
The network is working to develop a roster of scripted programs, having snared rights to “Nashville,” formerly on ABC and launching a second season of the Billy Ray Cyrus comedy “Still The King.” CMT recently announced that a pilot for “His Wives & Daughters,” including Jane Seymour, Gail O’Grady and Jeff Kober, will begin production this January. Additional scripted projects in development include a script order for a television adaptation of “Varsity Blues.”
“Sun Records” is produced by Thinkfactory Media with Leslie Greif as executive producer, Gil Grant as executive producer and showrunner, Barry Berg as co-executive producer and Herb Nanas and Colin Escott as producers. Roland Joffé will direct, and Jayson Dinsmore and Julia Silverton will serve as executive producers for CMT. The series is based on the book written by Floyd Mutrux and Escott.