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Move over, Nashville. There’s another country music drama on the television scene. Set in Texas, Fox’s Monarch has a premiere date this fall after an NFL football doubleheader on Fox

The show is part of the network’s commitment to have musical shows in its lineup so that fans can expect some new musical releases periodically throughout the run of the show. 

Trouble in the kingdom in ‘Monarch’

'Monarch' actor Susan Sarandon smiling
‘Monarch’ actor Susan Sarandon | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Set in Texas, Monarch follows Albie Roman and his wife, Dottie Cantrell Roman as the king and queen of country music. Both are enormously talented singers in their own right. Together, they’ve created a dynasty based on the authenticity of their brand.

But the Roman Empire is on the edge of collapse. Albie is a legend but hasn’t had a hit in 10 years, and his fan base is disappearing. Queen Dottie announces her retirement despite her repeatedly telling Princess Nicolette (Nicky) that she’ll never be the queen.

Nicky’s been begging her mom for a chance to perform. Luke has been running the business side of things. Meanwhile, Dottie says Gigi is the wild card even though Albie just wants his little girl to be her own person, even if it means not following in her parents’ footsteps with the family business.

Meet the stars of ‘Monarch’

Get ready for music from the entire cast. Country music legend Trace Adkins stars as Albie Roman, the family patriarch. The singer-songwriter and actor brings an instant ethos to the show. He covers Hank Williams Jr.’s “A Country Boy Can Survive” to open the series. Adkins told Taste of Country:

“Having the opportunity to record such an iconic song has been both exhilarating and daunting. I wanted to honor the original version while putting my own spin on it.”

Playing his wife, Dottie, is Susan Sarandon, yet another legend adding her style to the small-screen. She brings her sass to the role of the family matriarch at the top of her game until some circumstances force her to change her mind and pass on the family legacy. Yes, the actor can sing. Watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show sometime for proof.

The enormously talented Anna Friel plays Nicolette, the daughter who so desperately wants to pass on the family legacy and tries so hard to win a place on stage (but surprise, one of her other siblings does that, too!)

Friel knocks her role out of the park as you cannot tell she grew up in England with British parents. The actor was a wonderful Hermia in one of her first film projects A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1999, alongside Hollywood heavyweights and a young Christian Bale. She’s well-known for Pushing Daisies.

Joshua Sasse is Luke. Also British (and again, a great actor), Sasse gained prominence in the 2012 big-budget horror flick Frankenstein’s Army before landing roles in the television series Rogue, followed by Galavant.

Sasse became known to American audiences in CW’s No Tomorrow, lasting just a single season. Beth Ditto completes the main cast as Gigi Roman, who steals the spotlight from older sister Nicky.

A fantastic singer in her own right, she was the lead singer for the band Gossip from 1999 to 2016 before launching a solo singing career and her fashion modeling career. Before Monarch, Ditto was seen in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot in 2018 and On Becoming a God in Central Florida (starring Kirsten Dunst) a year later.

Is ‘Monarch’ based on a true story?


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Is Monarch following in that tradition? Not specifically, no. However, it could be based on the life of Hank Williams Jr. Not only is the country legend the son of a country legend, but four of five of Williams’ children also have taken up musical careers, according to Wide Open Country.

The plot of Monarch could also come from the lives of Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash. They were both powerful musicians who ruled country music for three decades. Wide Open Country states that Johnny Cash had four children with Vivian Liberto.

Roseanne and Cindy both went into music. Johnny’s only son, John Carter Cash, followed in his parents’ footsteps with a music career of his own, making three children of Johnny Cash, two daughters, and one son, who were part of the family business. 

Sound familiar?

Monarch premieres Sept. 11, 2022, after a nine-month delay on Fox following an NFL football double-header, notes TV Insider.