It’s finally happening, and sooner rather than later. It always seems like whenever there are rumors of movies or a television series about country legends, those rumors rarely materialize. This time, they’re coming to life, and more in-depth than originally envisioned.
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 premier on both Showtime and the Paramount Network on Sunday, December 4th at 9 MP Eastern. On Paramount, it will air right after a new episode of Yellowstone. Then subsequent episodes will continue to air Sundays at 9 PM on Showtime exclusively, though they’re expected to re-air eventually on either Paramount or their Paramount+ streaming service.
Starring Jessica Chastain as Tammy, and Michael Shannon as George, the limited series is based off of the 2013 book The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George written by the couple’s only child, performer Georgette Jones. “This is the real story of my actual parents and since neither are here with us anymore it’s even more special to us to tell their story,” Georgette Jones says.
Other cast members include Tammy Wynette’s final husband and manager George Richey (Steve Zahn), George Richey’s former wife Sheila Richey (Kelly McCormack), songwriter and George Jones 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 and hair artist Jan Smith (Katy Mixon).
George Jones and Tammy Wynette were married for six years between 1969 and 1975, but had a professional country music duet career for much longer. The relationship was both passionate and tempestuous, and will certainly make for quality drama, so much so that the creators decided to extend the project into a multi-part series from the original idea of a feature film. That drama comes to life in the trailer for the series that was just released (see below).
George & Tammy began shooting in Wilmington, North Carolina in 2021, and announced that Michael Shannon would be assuming the role of George Jones after the original actor Josh Brolin had to back 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 producers for the series 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 Showtime series “Nurse Jackie,” is the creator and writer of the series. T Bone Burnett is handling 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 one person on this planet sounds just like Mom or Dad. They made the decision to have them sing because the most important part of a true story is being real and emotional in every moment. If anyone has ever watched people lipsync, it’s obvious that it’s difficult at best for the music to connect as well as be able to show an emotional performance … I’m hoping people will realize it’s the story that matters most since we already have the beautiful music they made separately and together…we already have that forever.”