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March 03, 2016 - Forbes / Elvis Express Radio
CMT has found three-fourths of its quartet for the upcoming scripted TV show Million Dollar Quartet, an eight-episode drama focusing on the history-making 1956 jam session Elvis
Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins did when they were in their early 20s.
Elvis impersonator Drake Milligan has been cast as a 21-year-old version of The King, actor Kevin Fonteyne (Masters of Sex and Melissa & Joey) will portray a 24-year-old Cash,
and Christian Lees (Tale of Tales) will take on a 21-year-old Lewis, CMT revealed onstage at the CMT Upfront in New York City on Thursday. Jonah Lees will play Lewis’ cousin
Milligan, Fonteyne and the Lees twins were discovered during a nationwide casting call at Presley’s former middle school in Memphis. CMT will announce more cast members —
including the final piece of the quartet, B.B. King, Ike Turner and Sam Phillips – before the show starts filming this spring in Memphis.
Million Dollar Quartet, adapted from the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name, will recreate the Dec. 4, 1956, gathering that occurred at Phillips’ Sun Records
during the Civil Rights Movement. The show debuts in November to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the recordings.
Drake Milligan and Kevin Fonteyne will star as young Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash in CMT’s “Million Dollar
Quartet.” They performed together March 3, 2016, at the CMT Upfront in New York City.
(Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Viacom)
CMT, the country-centric Viacom network, and production company Thinkfactory Media held the casting call and callbacks at Humes Preparatory Academy Middle School, on Feb.
13 and 14. CMT describes the series as such: “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.” Executive producers include
Leslie Greif, Gil Grant, Jayson Dinsmore and Julia Silverton, while Colin Escott will serve as producer.
MORE CMT MUSIC NEWS ANNOUNCED MARCH 3:
•CMT Crossroads, a concert series that combines a country artist with another-genre artist, will return with four episodes: Cheap Trick and Jennifer Nettles (March 24), Jason
Derulo and Luke Bryan (summer), Nick Jonas and Thomas Rhett (summer), and Rob Thomas and Charles Kelley (late spring).
•CMT Music Awards will air June 8.
•Still The King, a new scripted comedy starring Billy Ray Cyrus and Joey Lauren Adams, will debut June 12. Cyrus will star as “a scandal-ridden, washed-up, one-hit-wonder who
crashes back into the life of his ex (Adams) and discovers he had a daughter (Madison Iseman) he knew nothing about.”
•CMT Artists of the Year will air Oct. 19.
•CMT Concert of the Summer launches this summer.
•I Love Kellie Pickler, produced by Ryan Seacrest, will return in August for a second season.
•The Dude Perfect Show, an unscripted series based off the popular YouTube series of the same name, will premiere April 14. The show will include appearances from Luke Bryan,
Chris Paul, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Aaron Rogers. Produced by Rob Dyrdek, the series follows “five viral sensations as they open the doors to their mancave in Dallas, Texas, to
showcase exactly how they cook up their next crazy idea.”
A signed copy of “Sixteen Magazine” with a photo of The Million Dollar Quartet. (Credit: AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)