CMT ANNOUNCES NEW TITLE AND PREMIERE DATE FOR “SUN RECORDS,” BASED ON TONY AWARD®-WINNING MUSICAL “MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET,” ON THE HEELS OF THE HISTORIC 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LEGENDARY RECORDING SESSIONS
Limited Eight Part Series Starring Chad Michael Murray and Billy Gardell to Premiere on Thursday, February 23 at 10 PM ET/PT
NASHVILLE – December 14, 2016 – CMT today revealed a new title and premiere date for its upcoming limited eight part scripted series “Sun Records,” formerly known as “Million Dollar Quartet” and based on the Tony Award®-winning musical, on Thursday, February 23 at 10 PM ET/PT. The announcement comes on the heels of the 60th anniversary of the historic Million Dollar Quartet recording sessions featuring Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins on December 4, 1956 at the Sun Records Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. “Sun Records” will join “Nashville” to complete CMT’s new Thursday line-up.
Set in Memphis during the tumultuous early days of the civil rights movement, “Sun Records” tells the untold 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.
The all-star cast includes Chad Michael Murray (Sun Records founder Sam Phillips), Billy Gardell (Presley and Arnold’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker), Drake Milligan (Elvis Presley), Kevin Fonteyne (Johnny Cash), Christian Lees (Jerry Lee Lewis), Jonah Lees (Jimmy Swaggart), Trevor Donovan (Eddy Arnold), Keir O’Donnell (Dewey Phillips), Jennifer Holland (Sam’s wife Becky Phillips), Margaret Anne Florence (Sam’s assistant Marion Keisker), and Kerry Holliday (Ike Turner).
“Sun Records” is a part of CMT’s growing roster of scripted programming including the highly-anticipated new season of “Nashville” on Thursday, January 5 and the second season premiere of “Still The King” starring Billy Ray Cyrus this spring. The network also recently announced the pilot “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 (“Hatfields & McCoys,” "Texas Rising") 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 directs, with Jayson Dinsmore and Julia Silverton as executive producers for CMT. The series is based on the musical written by Floyd Mutrux and Escott, with original concept and direction by Mutrux. Casting done by Fern Champion and Sharon Lieblein.
For more information on “Sun Records,” visit CMT.com and the CMT app, like the show’s official Facebook page and join the conversation using #SunRecords.
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. Recent credits include: the Writers Guild Award-nominated Lifetime biopic, Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le, Million Dollar Matchmaker (WEtv), 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), Strange Love (TLC), 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.