CMT ANNOUNCES NEW SCRIPTED DRAMA CHRONICLING THE RISE OF ROCK ‘N’ ROLL ADAPTED FROM THE TONY AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL “MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET”
Limited-Run Series from the Producer of “Hatfields & McCoys” Premieres Later this Year
Nationwide Casting Search for Young Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Ike Turner and Carl Perkins to be Held at Presley’s High School Alma Mater in Memphis on Saturday, February 13
NASHVILLE – February 3, 2016 – CMT today announced it is partnering with the producer of the Emmy Award-winning miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys” to adapt the Tony Award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet” into an eight-episode limited-run scripted drama premiering later this year. 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.
Set in Memphis during the tumultuous early days of the civil rights movement, “Million Dollar Quartet” (working title) tells the untold true story of nothing less than the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Guided by Sam Phillips, young musicians like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins 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.
Beginning today, CMT and Thinkfactory media will begin a nationwide casting search for actors to portray young Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Ike Turner, Carl Perkins, Elvis’ girlfriend, Trixie Dean, and supporting roles. Auditions will be held at the historic Humes Preparatory Academy Middle School (formerly Humes High), Presley’s alma mater, on February 13. The line for casting forms at 7 a.m. for a 9 a.m. casting call and those auditioning are asked to arrive in 1950s hair and wardrobe. For more information on the casting call, visit www.mdqseries.com. Production is set to begin in Memphis this spring.
“‘Million Dollar Quartet’ will capture the star-crossed Memphis moments which led to the most explosive pop culture movement of the 20th century, the birth of rock ‘n’ roll,” remarked Brian Philips, CMT president. “The characters are all larger than life, so casting is a daunting challenge, but we’re counting on the magic of Memphis to come alive again! This is among our most ambitious projects ever, and we entrust it to a proven epic filmmaker, Leslie Greif.”
“We are thrilled to be working with CMT as they enter the scripted drama arena,” said Leslie Greif, CEO & Founder of Thinkfactory Media. “At Thinkfactory Media, we pride ourselves in finding, developing and delivering products that fit the networks we work with, and ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ is perfectly suited for CMT because of its deep ties to country music and Nashville. The entire Thinkfactory Media team and I are proud to be part of their expansion into rich new territory.”
“Million Dollar Quartet” is produced by Thinkfactory Media with Leslie Greif and Gil Grant serving as executive producers, Barry Berg as co-executive producer and Herb Nanas and Colin Escott as producers. Jayson Dinsmore and Julia Silverton executive produce for CMT.
“Million Dollar Quartet” marks one of two scripted series coming to CMT this year. This summer, CMT will premiere “Still The King,” an ensemble comedy starring Billy Ray Cyrus, Joey Lauren Adams (“Big Daddy,” “Mall Rats”), Madison Iseman (“Laid in America” and Nickelodeon’s “Henry Danger”) Lacey Chabert (“Mean Girls” and “Party of Five”), Leslie David Baker (“The Office”), Kevin Farley (“Eight Crazy Nights” and “The Waterboy”) and more.
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.