CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY TO STAR AS MEMPHIS ROCK PIONEER SAM PHILLIPS IN CMT’S “MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET”
Jennifer Holland To Portray Phillips’ Wife Becky, and Margaret Anne Florence To Play Phillips’ Assistant-Turned-Girlfriend, Marion Keisker
Murray, Holland and Florence Join Previously-Announced Cast Members Drake Milligan, Kevin Fonteyne, Christian Lees and Jonah Lees
NASHVILLE – March 14, 2016 – CMT today announced that Chad Michael Murray (“Agent Carter,” “Outlaws and Angels” and “Texas Rising”) will portray rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Sam Phillips in the upcoming scripted drama inspired by the musical “Million Dollar Quartet.” Jennifer Holland (“American Pie Presents: The Book of Love,” “American Horror Story”) will play Sam’s devoted wife Becky Phillips, while Margaret Anne Florence (“Inside Amy Schumer,” and “30 Rock”)is set to play his assistant-turned-girlfriend, Marion Keisker. Production begins this spring in Memphis with the series slated to premiere this November on CMT.
Phillips founded Sun Records, breaking and guiding young musicians like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Ike Turner and more. During the tumultuous civil rights movement, Phillips advocated for racial equality and broke barriers within the music industry. He was aided with the unwavering support of his wife Becky, as well as his longtime assistant Marion, who is best known for being the first person to record Elvis Presley.
Murray and Holland join previously-announced cast members Drake Milligan (Elvis Presley), Kevin Fonteyne (Johnny Cash), Christian Lees (Jerry Lee Lewis) and Jonah Lees (Jimmy Swaggart). The series is timed to the historic 60th anniversary of the famed “Million Dollar Quartet” recording sessions featuring icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
“Million Dollar Quartet” (working title) is a coming-of-age story set in Memphis during the tumultuous early days of the civil rights movement, and tells the untold true story of nothing less than the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Guided by Sam Phillips, young musicians like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis combined the styles of hillbilly country with the 1950s R&B sound created by artists like Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Fats Domino and Ike Turner, and changed the course of music forever. The series chronicles these young artists’ often jarring and sudden meteoric rise to fame in the face of sweeping political change and social unrest.
“Million Dollar Quartet” is produced by Thinkfactory Media with Leslie Greif (“Hatfields & McCoys”) as executive producer, Gil Grant (“24” and “NCIS: Los Angeles”) as executive producer and showrunner, Barry Berg as co-executive producer and Herb Nanas and Colin Escott as producers. Oscar nominee Roland Joffé will direct, with Jayson Dinsmore and Julia Silverton as executive producers for CMT. The series is based on the book written by Floyd Mutrux and Escott, with original concept and direction by Mutrux. Casting done by Fern Champion and Sharon Lieblein.
About Thinkfactory Media
Thinkfactory Media is a full-service production company that creates high-quality entertainment content. Renowned for award-winning productions, the company was the driving force behind the Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated hit mini-series Hatfields & McCoys (History), starring Kevin Costner. Other recent credits include: The 10-hour television event Texas Rising (History), Marriage Boot Camp (We tv), Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars (We tv), Married By Mom and Dad (TLC), Dead of Winter: The Donner Party (The Weather Channel), Vet School (Nat Geo WILD) Preachers’ Daughters (Lifetime), R&B Divas: Atlanta (TV One), R&B Divas: Los Angeles (TV One), Queens of Drama (Pop), Jump! (Lifetime), Strange Love (TLC), Big Giant Swords (Discovery), Gene Simmons: Family Jewels (A&E), Tony Danza: Teach (A&E), among many others. Find out more about Thinkfactory Media and its projects at www.ThinkfactoryMedia.com and follow them on Twitter at @TFactoryMedia.
CMT, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S. CMT, CMT.com and CMT Radio offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and are the top resource for country music on demand. The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music, CMT App, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.