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The six-part series, which has her starring opposite Oscar nominee Michael Shannon as George Jones, will premiere Sunday, Dec. 4, simultaneously on Showtime and the Paramount Network behind a new episode of Yellowstone. The remainder of the series, which was created by Abe Sylvia, who collaborated with Chastain on The Eyes of Tammy Faye, will air on Showtime. (New episodes will be available for streaming and on-demand to Showtime and Paramount+ subscribers who have the Showtime bundle on Fridays, before making their linear debut on Sundays on Showtime.)
George & Tammy, which was once envisioned for Spectrum Originals and, later, Paramount Network, chronicles the country music power couple, whose complicated-but-enduring relationship inspired some of the most iconic music of all time. Its pickup marks the first major move since Chris McCarthy was given oversight of Showtime (in addition to the Paramount Media Networks) following David Nevins’ early October announcement that he’d be stepping down. New York based McCarthy is said to have already made his way to Los Angeles to spend time with the Showtime team late last month, and, per a source with a knowledge of the situation, is focused on bringing in more A-list talent and prestige projects to the brand.
“Jessica and Michael are truly extraordinary as Tammy and George and their searing performances and undeniable chemistry bring to life the legendary relationship of the King and Queen of country music,” McCarthy said in a statement Thursday. “The creators and the entire cast have delivered a series with the subtlety, nuance and complexity that are the hallmarks of the Showtime brand and what our viewers’ deserve and demand.”
Chastain, a newly minted Oscar winner, first signed on to the project back in 2011, when it was conceived by Sylvia as a Fox Searchlight feature. It morphed into a limited series more recently, with Chastain, a producer on the project through her Freckle Films, recruiting Shannon to join her in the production. He wasn’t particularly familiar with the country music star, he told Vanity Fair, but said he found himself seduced by the tragic but also “very romantic” story.
The cast is filled out by stars including The White Lotus’ Steve Zahn as George Richey, Walton Goggins as Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery and Kelly McCormack as Sheila Richey. John Hillcoat (The Road) serves as the director of the series, which is also produced by MTV Entertainment Studios, 101 Studios, Mad Chance, Brolin Productions, Aunt Sylvia’s Moving Picture Co. and Blank Films Inc.
“We are exhilarated to finally bring this epic story about two of country’s most loved legends to a global audience with Showtime and Paramount Networks,” said Kelly Carmichael, president of production and development for Chastain’s Freckle Films, adding: “This story has been a profound journey of love for Freckle Films and we are eager for audiences to experience the magic that this exemplary cast will bring into their homes.”
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