TV

Sun Records, Inspired by Tony Award-Winning Musical Million Dollar Quartet, Premieres Feb. 23

The Untold Story of the Birth of Rock ‘N’ Roll

There’s a new title and premiere date for the formerly named Million Dollar Quartet, and that’s Sun Records. The upcoming limited eight-part scripted series, inspired by the Tony Award-winning musical, premieres Thursday, Feb. 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT only on CMT.

The Sun Records announcement comes on the heels of the 60th anniversary of the historic Million Dollar Quartet recording sessions featuring Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins on December 4, 1956, at the Sun Records Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. Sun Records will join Nashville to complete the new Thursday line-up.

Set in Memphis during the tumultuous early days of the civil rights movement, Sun Records tells the untold story of nothing less than the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. 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.

The all-star cast includes Chad Michael Murray (Sun Records founder Sam Phillips), Billy Gardell (Presley and Arnold’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker), Drake Milligan (Elvis Presley), Kevin Fonteyne (Johnny Cash), Christian Lees (Jerry Lee Lewis), Jonah Lees (Jimmy Swaggart), Trevor Donovan (Eddy Arnold), Keir O’Donnell (Dewey Phillips), Jennifer Holland (Sam’s wife Becky Phillips), Margaret Anne Florence (Sam’s assistant Marion Keisker), and Kerry Holliday (Ike Turner).

Sun Records is a part of the growing roster of scripted programming including the highly-anticipated new season of Nashville on Thursday, Jan. 5, and the second season premiere of Still The King starring Billy Ray Cyrus this spring. The network also recently announced the pilot His Wives & Daughters, including Jane Seymour, Gail O’Grady and Jeff Kober, will begin production this January. Additional scripted projects in development include a script order for a television adaptation of Varsity Blues.

For more information on Sun Records, like the show’s official Facebook page and join the conversation using #SunRecords.

Writer and producer for CMT.com. Lives in Los Angeles and once glued herself to the TV.