Million Dollar Quartet has a new man. Today, CMT announced Mike & Molly star Billy Gardell has been cast in the network’s upcoming drama series.
Million Dollar Quartet is based on the famous 1956 Sun Records recording session, which featured the big four: Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash.
Gardell joins the cast as Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Drake Milligan, Kevin Fonteyne, Christian Lees, Jonah Lees, Jennifer Holland, Margaret Anne Florence, and Keir O’Donnel will also star.
Read the full details below:
NASHVILLE – March 23, 2016 – CMT’s “Million Dollar Quartet” (working title) ensemble continues to expand as the network today announced that Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”) joins the scripted drama as Colonel Tom Parker, a visionary who was central to the success of Elvis’ career. Keir O’Donnell (“Fargo,” “American Sniper”) joins as disc jockey Dewey Phillips, a man who ran one of the most successful radio stations in Memphis and was most notably the first DJ to play Elvis.
Gardell and O’Donnell join previously announced cast members Chad Michael Murray (Sun Records founder Sam Phillips), Drake Milligan (Elvis Presley), Kevin Fonteyne (Johnny Cash), Christian Lees (Jerry Lee Lewis), Jonah Lees (Jimmy Swaggart), Jennifer Holland (Sam’s wife Becky Phillips) and Margaret Anne Florence (Sam’s assistant Marion Keisker). 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. Production begins this spring and the series is slated to premiere this November.
“Million Dollar Quartet” 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.
The series marks one of two scripted projects 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.
“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.”
What do you think? Are you a fan of Gardell on Mike & Molly? Will you watch him on Million Dollar Quartet?