"After a promising start with Still The King, we now have a clear path in attracting new audiences with our scripted programming," said Jayson Dinsmore, CMT's head of development. "Beginning with Nashville in January, each series will help launch the next; creating an overlay to cycle viewers through our originals year round."
Produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment, Nashville makes its triumphant season five debut on CMT with Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (the creators of Thirtysomething) at the helm, returning with a special two-hour premiere on Thursday, January 5 at 9pm ET/PT. Long-time SVOD partner Hulu will continue to bring fans new episodes of Nashville by making them available to stream the day after they air on CMT at http://www.hulu.com/nashville. Star Connie Britton (Rayna James) has only signed on for about 10 episodes of the new season so far. The fourth season of Nashville attracted more than 8 million weekly viewers across all platforms and ranks as one of television's most DVR'd series. The series is particularly strong with women 18-34. Out of more than 180 broadcast dramas since Fall 2012, Nashville ranks in the top 20. Nashville is executive produced by Marshall Herskovitz, Ed Zwick, Steve Buchanan and Callie Khouri. Jayson Dinsmore and Morgan Selzer executive produce for CMT.
Million Dollar Quartet (working title) will premiere in March (exact date and time TBD). Set in Memphis during the tumultuous early days of the civil rights movement, the eight part limited-run series 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 all-star cast includes 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) and Margaret Anne Florence (Sam's assistant Marion Keisker). Million Dollar Quartet is produced by Thinkfactory Media with Leslie Greif as executive producer, Gil Grant 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.
Still The King starring Billy Ray Cyrus and Joey Lauren Adams will return for a 13 episode second season in spring (exact date and time TBD). The premiere on June 8 marked CMT's highest-rated original series premiere to date, grossing 3.6 million total viewers (L+3) and a stellar 1.03 rating A18-49 rating across a 3 network simulcast (CMT, TV Land, Nick@Nite). The series is currently reaching more than 2 million viewers each week. The comedy centers on Vernon Brown (Cyrus), AKA "Burnin' Vernon," a scandal-ridden washed up one-hit wonder who is kicked out of country music, only to emerge 20 years later as the second best Elvis impersonator where he re-connects with a former one-night-stand (Adams), only to discover he has a 15-year-old daughter he's never met (Madison Iseman). "Still The King" is produced by HIDEOUT PICTURES with Billy Ray Cyrus serving as executive producer and writer. Shannon Houchins, Potsy Ponciroli and Travis Nicholson also executive produce. Julia Silverton and Jayson Dinsmore executive produce for CMT.
Additionally, CMT has ordered a pilot for His Wives & Daughters. The soapy, comedic series centers on the eclectic and cunning wives and daughters of larger-than-life country music legend (and infamous womanizer) Eddie Ray Banks. After his estranged family is brought together unexpectedly, tempers flare and old rivalries resurface setting the stage for startling secrets to emerge as an unforgettable mystery begins to unfold. Casting is underway now with production slated to begin in the fall. The pilot is created and produced by Dina Chapman and Steve Sessions, with Jayson Dinsmore and Julia Silverton as executive producers for CMT.