T Bone Burnett Joins Epix’ ‘Tough Trade’

Will executive produce music for new service’s first original series.

Last Updated: December 4, 2009 @ 10:33 AM

T Bone Burnett has been named executive musical producer and an executive producer for Lionsgate’s "Tough Trade," the first original series pilot for Epix, the multiplatform entertainment service from Viacom and its Paramount Pictures unit, MGM Studios and Lionsgate.

"Tough Trade" is a contemporary one-hour drama about a three-generation Nashville music dynasty with a penchant for drink, debauchery and divorce. The family, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, is pinning its hopes on its former black sheep, a budding country star turned alternative rock heart throb.

Burnett, who produced and did the music for upcoming feature film "Crazy Heart," won five Grammy Awards for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" He also received an Oscar nomination for original song for "Cold Mountain."

"Burnett brings a track record of experience and musical talent that cuts across genres of film, television and music in a unique and inspiring way," Eric Greenberg, Epix president-CEO, said in a statement. "Epix is focused on producing truly premium original programming, and we are absolutely thrilled to have Burnett place his musical stamp on our first original pilot." Epix launched Oct. 30.

"Tough Trade’s" cast includes Sam Shepard as the patriarch of the Tucker family. Also in the cast: Cary Elwes, Lucas Black, country music artist Trace Adkins, Joey Lauren Adams, Boyd Holbrook and Claire van der Boom.

The creative team is led by executive producer and showrunner Jenji Kohan (Lionsgate’s "Weeds"). The pilot is written by creator/co-executive producer Chris Offutt ("True Blood," "Weeds") and directed by Gavin Hood (Oscar winner "Tsotsi"). Executive producers include Sean and Bryan Furst ("The Matador," "The Cooler").

The series, which was developed by Furst Films under the company’s first-look deal with Lionsgate Television, starts shooting Thursday in Nashville.