Created by Melissa London Hilfers, Monarch is described as a Texas-sized, multigenerational musical drama about America’s first family of country music, the Romans. The Romans are headed by the insanely talented, but tough as nails Queen of Country Music Dottie Cantrell Roman (Sarandon). Along with her beloved husband, Albie, Dottie has created a country music dynasty. But even though the Roman name is synonymous with authenticity, the very foundation of their success is a lie. And when their reign as country royalty is put in jeopardy, heir to the crown Nicolette “Nicky” Roman (Friel) will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy, while ensuring her own quest for stardom.
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Hilfers will write and exec produce, while Instinct creator and Royal Pains exec producer Michael Rauch, who supervised the writers room for the project, will act as showrunner and exec producer. Gail Berman and Hend Baghdady also exec produce alongside Sandbox Entertainment’s Jason Owen, a leading country music manager who represents the likes of Faith Hill, Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves. Jason Ensler will direct and executive produce the first episode. Adam Anders serves as Executive Music Producer. Monarch is produced by Fox Entertainment.
The series debuts with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, Jan. 30, immediately following the NFC Championship, and continuing on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
Oscar winner and four-time Emmy nominee Sarandon most recently appeared on the big screen in Blackbird and next will be seen in the John Kennedy Toole biopic The Butterfly in the Typewriter. She received her most recent Emmy nomination for her performance as Bette Davis in FX’s Ryan Murphy limited series Feud. She’s repped by UTA.
Friel is known for her starring role in ABC drama series Pushing Daisies. Her recent TV credits include drama Deep Water, the three-part drama Butterfly, The Girlfriend Experience and the Jimmy McGovern drama Broken. She is next set to appear in The Box miniseries from Adi Hasak. In feature films, she currently stars in Books of Blood, Charming the Hearts of Men and Sulphur & White. Friel is repped by UTA, The Artists Partnership and 111 Media.