Drama series on rise of rock ‘n’ roll announced

Los Angeles, Feb 4 (IANS) “Million Dollar Quartet”, a new limited drama series chronicling the rise of rock ‘n’ roll, is under way.

Set in the early days of Memphis’ Civil Rights era in the 1950s, the series will document the birth of rock ‘n’ roll and the rise of the genre’s pioneering musicians during periods of extensive political change and social unrest, reports variety.com.

CMT will partner with “Hatfields & McCoys” producer Thinkfactory Media to produce the series.

The premiere of the eight-episode scripted series, which will be based on the Tony Award-winning musical “Million Dollar Quartet,” will mark the 60th anniversary of the famed “Million Dollar Quartet” jam session that was recorded by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins in Dec. 1956.

CMT and Thinkfactory Media began a nationwide casting search for the roles of young Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, Ike Turner, Carl Perkins and other supporting characters beginning, with auditions to be held at the historic Humes Preparatory Academy Middle School, Presley’s alma mater, on February 13.

“‘Million Dollar Quartet’ will capture the star-crossed Memphis moments which led to the most explosive pop culture movement of the 20th Century, the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” said Brian Philips, CMT president.

“The characters are all larger-than-life, so casting is a daunting challenge, but we’re counting on the magic of Memphis to come alive again! This is among our most ambitious projects ever, and we entrust it to a proven epic filmmaker, Leslie Greif.”

The “Million Dollar Quartet” project is CMT’s second scripted series announced for 2016 — the network’s Billy Ray Cyrus-led ensemble comedy “Still the King” will premiere this summer.

Production for CMT’s “Million Dollar Project” adaptation is set to begin in Memphis this spring.

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