Spectrum Originals and Paramount Network have optioned Abe Sylvia’s feature screenplay about George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Together, the platforms — and showrunner Sylvia — are turning the story into a limited series titled “George & Tammy.”
Jessica Chastain (pictured above) is (still) set to star as Wynette. She and Josh Brolin, the original actor attached to the George Jones role, were going to star opposite one another in the movie version.
No word yet on who will play Jones in the limited series. Brolin is attached as an executive producer.
The movie was a Fox Searchlight project.
This “George & Tammy” will first run on Spectrum, and then nine months later migrate to both the upcoming ViacomCBS streaming service and to cable channel Paramount Network. It will chronicle the country music power couple, Wynette and Jones, whose complicated relationship inspired some of the most iconic music of all time.
In addition to Sylvia, Andrew Lazar, who optioned the screenplay, will executive produce alongside Brolin and Chastain, David Glasser, David Hutkin, Bob Yari and Bryan Goluboff.
Sylvia’s script is based on the book “The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George,” penned by the couple’s daughter, Georgette Jones.
Remembered as the “First Lady of Country Music,” Wynette’s lyrics tackled real life issues including loneliness, divorce and heartbreak. Wynette’s most successful song “Stand by Your Man” is one of the most iconic and best-selling country singles by a female artist.
Wynette’s 20 No. 1 songs on the country charts cemented her place as one of the most influential women in music. Her tumultuous marriage to country superstar Jones in 1969 gave life to iconic duets including, “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Golden Ring” and “Near You.”
“I first read Abe’s feature script a few years ago and couldn’t get it out of my head — the examination of human frailty and redemption was so unexpected, given the glitz and glamour of the subject matter,” Katherine Pope, head of Spectrum Originals, said in a statement on Thursday. “We all thought we knew who Tammy Wynette was, but there is so much more to her that we never saw. Jessica brings her incredible depth of intelligence, empathy and strength to peel back all the layers of this country superstar. It’s an honor to work with this dream team — all the producers and our partners at 101 Studios and Paramount Network — we can’t wait to bring this incredible series to our viewers.”
“I’ve been a massive fan of George & Tammy’s iconic music since I was a kid, leading me to chase this incredible script by Abe for years,” added Keith Cox, president of ViacomCBS’s Entertainment & Youth Studios. “It’s a dream come true to have Jessica at the forefront of the complex tale behind Tammy Wynette. We are thrilled to share this series about two legends with the world on ViacomCBS forthcoming streaming service and Paramount Network.”
“We are thrilled to be able to bring this story to life,” said Glasser, the CEO of 101 Studios. “This project has been a labor of love for everyone involved, especially Andrew (Lazar) and Jessica (Chastain). We first heard about it nearly seven years ago when it was pitched as a feature film. After Abe Sylvia’s success in television with ‘Nurse Jackie’ and ‘Dead to Me,’ we thought ‘George & Tammy’ could also be re-envisioned as a series. With Abe at the helm of the project, Andrew producing, and Jessica attached to star, we can finally bring George and Tammy’s story to the screen.”
“I am humbled to bring this incredible story to life with the breadth it deserves and that the Charter platforms allow,” Sylvia said. “Tammy Wynette is an American icon, and I can think of no one better to illuminate the woman behind the legend than Jessica Chastain. After having the honor of penning ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ for Freckle Films and Searchlight, I so look forward to another collaboration with her. This has indeed been a passion project for Andrew, Josh and me – and we are so grateful to our partners Katherine Pope, Keith Cox and David Glasser for tirelessly championing our labor of love.”