Elvis, Johnny Cash Depicted in New CMT Scripted Drama

CMT will sing the praises of rock n’ roll through its new scripted drama Million Dollar Quartet, the network said Wednesday.

The series, based on the Tony Award-winning musical of the same name, focuses on the 1950s musical collaboration of a young Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis and their meteoric rise to fame in the face of sweeping political change and social unrest.

The series will be produced by Thinkfactory Media, with Leslie Greif and Gil Grant serving as executive producers, and Colin Escott as producer, according to CMT.

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,” remarked 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.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.