Adkins heads the cast of the country music drama, which will premiere Sunday before moving into its regular timeslot Sept. 20.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, country music fans of all ages: Welcome to Monarch weekend here at C&I.
On Saturday, look for an extended feature including interviews with creative talents involved with the eagerly awaited Fox series about dreaming and scheming in the world of country music. (And yes, before you ask: There will be many original songs showcased on the show.)
On Sunday, we will Live Tweet to accompany the premiere episode, which will air at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT, immediately following the FOX NFL doubleheader. (Look for the hashtag #ciMonarch on Twitter.) Following the episode, we’ll post a detailed recap — and invite you to give us your own reactions on Twitter and Facebook.
And today we’re kicking things off with this C&I Exclusive first look at the story behind the song that series star and C&I reader favorite Trace Adkins performs in Monarch: “The Brambles.”
For the benefit of those who tuned in late: Monarch, which will move into its regular Tuesday timeslot Sept. 20, pivots on a power couple who have created a country music dynasty: Dottie Cantrell Roman (Susan Sarandon), the insanely talented but tough-as-nails Queen of Country Music, and her beloved husband Albie Roman (Adkins), a.k.a. “Texas Truthteller.”
Unfortunately, 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 jeopardized, Nicolette “Nicky” Roman (Anna Friel), their oldest child and heir to the crown, will stop at nothing to protect her family's legacy — and ensure her own quest for stardom.
Middle child Luke Roman (Joshua Sasse) — CEO of the family’s business, Monarch Entertainment — is the apple of his mother's eye, but has a troubled relationship with his father, whose approval he desperately seeks. Youngest daughter Gigi Tucker-Roman (Beth Ditto) is very close to her older brother and sister. In a family of superstars, however, she has always felt like a bit of an outcast, in spite of her incredible singing voice.
Gigi is married to Kayla Roman-Tucker (Meagan Holder), a successful music manager who keeps turning down Luke’s offers to join forces with the family company. Kayla’s relationships with the Romans reflect a complicated history — and a secret she is keeping could destroy her marriage to Gigi.
Ace Grayson (Filipino recording artist Inigo Pascual) also is part of the family. He is a talented and sensitive 18-year-old who, years earlier, was adopted by Nicky and her husband, struggling British actor Clive Grayson (Adam Croasdell), and now dreams of being a country music star like his Grandpa Albie. Given that he is a phenomenal singer with industrial-strength swagger on stage, his dreams just might come true.
But wait, there’s more: Catt Phoenix (Martha Higareda), the stunning and unpredictable mother of 17-year-old Ana Phoenix (Emma Milani), is eager to help her talented daughter get signed to the Roman family’s record label. By any means necessary.