It’s finally happening, and sooner rather than later. It always seems that whenever there are movie or TV rumors about country legends, those rumors rarely materialize. This time they come to life, and in more depth than originally intended.
The limited series George & Tammy: The Rise and Fall of Country Music’s King and Queen about the life and marriage of country legends Tammy Wynette and George Jones will premiere on Showtime and on the Paramount Network on Sunday, December 4 at 9 MP Eastern. On Paramount, it will air right after a new episode of Yellowstone. Afterwards, subsequent episodes will continue to air Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime exclusively, although they are expected to re-air on Paramount or their Paramount+ streaming service eventually.
Starring Jessica Chastain as Tammy and Michael Shannon as George, the limited series is based on the 2013 book The Three of Us: Growing Up With Tammy and George written by the couple’s only child, singer Georgette Jones. “This is the true story of my current parents and since neither are here with us anymore, it’s even more special for us to tell their story,” said Georgette Jones.
Other cast members include Tammy Wynette’s late husband and manager, George Richey (Steve Zahn), George Richey’s former wife, Sheila Richey (Kelly McCormack), George Jones’ songwriter and collaborator, Earl “Peanutt” Montgomery (Walton Goggins), Wynette’s second husband and collaborator, Don Chapel. (Pat Healy), record producer and songwriter Billy Sherrill (David Wilson Barnes), and makeup artist and hairstylist Jan Smith (Katy Mixon).
George Jones and Tammy Wynette were married for six years between 1969 and 1975, but had a professional country music duo career for much longer. The relationship was both passionate and tumultuous, and is sure to result in some quality drama, so much so that the creators decided to extend the project into a multi-part series from the original idea for a feature film. . This drama comes to life in the series’ just-released trailer (see below).
George and Tammie began filming in Wilmington, North Carolina in 2021, and announced that Michael Shannon would take on the role of George Jones after original cast member Josh Brolin had to pull out due to a scheduling conflict. Brolin is still connected to the project as an executive producer. David Hutkin and Bob Yari of 101 Studios are also executive producing the series along with Brolin. 101 is the same studio that produces Yellowstone. Abe Sylvia, who is best known for producing the popular Netflix series “Dead to Me” and the Showtime series “Nurse Jackie”, is the show’s creator and writer. T Bone Burnett takes care of the music.
In anticipation of some criticizing the sounds or singing of Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon as George and Tammy, Georgette Jones said on Friday, “Not a single person on this planet looks like mom or dad. They made the decision to blackmail them because the most important part of a true story is being real and emotional in every moment. If someone one has watched people lipsync before, it’s obvious that it’s hard at best for the music to connect and be able to show an emotional performance… I hope people realize that it’s the story that matters most since we already have the beautiful music they made separately and together…we already have it forever.