Chad Michael Murray is joining the “Million Dollar Quartet.”
Well, not really, because that was technically Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins — but Murray will play rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Sam Phillips on CMT’s upcoming “Million Dollar Quartet.” Additionally, Jennifer Holland will play wife Becky Phillips; Margaret Anne Florence portrays his assistant-turned-girlfriend Marion Keisker.
They’ll join Drake Milligan (Elvis Presley), Kevin Fonteyne (Johnny Cash), Christian Lees (Jerry Lee Lewis) and Jonah Lees (Jimmy Swaggart) on the small-screen drama.
In real-life, Phillips founded Sun Records, breaking and guiding young musicians like Elvis, Cash, Lewis, Perkins, and Ike Turner. During the civil rights movement, Phillips advocated for racial equality and broke barriers within the music industry.
“Million Dollar Quartet” (working title) is a coming-of-age story set in Memphis, Tennessee, telling the true story of the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. Guided by Sam Phillips, young musicians like Cash, Presley, Perkins and 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 Turner, and changed the course of music forever. The series chronicles these young artists’ meteoric rise to fame in the face of sweeping political change and social unrest.
CMT’s adaptation is produced by Thinkfactory Media with Leslie Greif and Gil Grant serving as executive producers, 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 is being done by Fern Champion and Sharon Lieblein.
Production begins this spring in Memphis with the series slated to premiere this November on CMT.