Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking, Feud) and Golden Globe winner Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies, Books of Blood, The Girlfriend Experience) have been cast in Monarch, FOX’s upcoming midseason drama.
The series comes from creator/executive producer Melissa London Hilfers, executive producer/showrunner Michael Rauch and executive producers Gail Berman, Hend Baghdady and Jason Owen.
Monarch is a Texas-sized, multi-generational musical drama about America’s first family of country music. The series debuts with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, Jan. 30, immediately following the NFC Championship and continuing on Tuesday, Feb. 1.
In Monarch, 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.
Susan Sarandon brings her own brand of sex appeal and intelligence to every role, from her fearless portrayal in Bull Durham to her Academy Award-nominated performances in Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Client and Atlantic City, and her Academy and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning role in Dead Man Walking. Sarandon made her acting debut in the movie Joe, which she soon followed with the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In 2010, Sarandon received her fourth Emmy nomination for work in Barry Levinson’s You Don’t Know Jack, with Al Pacino, following an Outstanding Lead Actress nomination in the film Bernard and Doris and two previous Outstanding Guest Actress nominations in a comedy series (Friends, Malcolm in the Middle). She also has garnered nine Golden Globe and six SAG nominations.
Anna Friel is perhaps best known to American audiences for her starring role in the network drama Pushing Daisies, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Television Series, Musical or Comedy. For her starring role in Hans Rosenfeldt’s detective series Marcella, she won an International Emmy Award for Best Actress.
Her other recent TV credits include drama Deep Water, alongside Sinead Keenan; the three-part drama Butterfly; The Girlfriend Experience; and the Jimmy McGovern drama Broken, alongside Sean Bean, for which she was nominated for a BAFTA. Friel also played a leading role in Peter Horton’s American Odyssey.
Friel is set to appear in The Box, the new miniseries from Adi Hasak. In feature films, she currently stars in Books of Blood; Charming the Hearts of Men, with Kelsey Grammar; and Sulphur & White, directed by Julian Jarrold.
Her previous feature credits include Tomato Red, with Academy Award-nominated director Juanita Wilson; I.T., opposite Pierce Brosnan, WW2 drama Heavy Water War; Good People, alongside James Franco and Kate Hudson; Master Cleanse, with Anjelica Huston; and Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love, in which she stars alongside Steve Coogan as the wife of infamous British billionaire Paul Raymond.
Monarch is produced by FOX Entertainment. Screenwriter Melissa London Hilfers serves as creator, writer and executive producer. Michael Rauch (Instinct, Royal Pains) is an executive producer and showrunner. Gail Berman and Hend Baghdady (The Jackal Group) and top music manager Jason Owen (Sandbox Entertainment) also serve as executive producers.
Jason Ensler (The Passage) will direct and serve as an executive producer on the series premiere. Adam Anders will serve as executive music producer on Monarch. The series will feature original music and covers.