SOUTHEASTERN N.C. –– A new TV series chronicling the tumultuous relationship of ‘70s country-music power couple George Jones and Tammy Wynette is preparing to shoot in the Wilmington area.
“George & Tammy” was recently listed on the Wilmington Regional Film Commission’s website as in “pre-production.”
The limited TV series is based on the six-year rollercoaster relationship between Wynette and Jones, from 1969 to 1975, according to a Paramount Network press release. The story will follow how the couple’s relationship gave the world country hits, such as “Stand by Your Man,” “We’re Gonna Hold On,” “Golden Ring” and “Near You.”
Wynette’s double-digit, chart-topping songs of the late 20th century earned her the title of the “First Lady of Country Music,” along with numerous awards, including a GRAMMY and many from the Country Music Association.
For nine months, episodes of “George & Tammy” will air exclusively on Spectrum Originals before releasing on new streaming service ViacomCBS and Paramount Network.
Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain is starring as Wynette. The actress appears in war thriller “Zero Dark Thirty,” sci-fi “Interstellar” and drama “The Help.”
“Jessica brings her incredible depth of intelligence, empathy and strength to peel back all the layers of this country superstar,” head of Spectrum Originals Katherine Pope said in a press release.
Writer Abe Sylvia created the TV series based on the 2011 memoir “The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George” by the couple’s daughter, Georgette Jones.
Sylvia is best known for producing the popular Netflix show “Dead to Me” and Showtime series “Nurse Jackie.” The script for “George & Tammy” was originally penned as a feature film but was re-envisioned as a series based on the success of those projects.
“I first read Abe’s feature script a few years ago and couldn’t get it out of my head,” Pope said. “The examination of human frailty and redemption was so unexpected, given the glitz and glamour of the subject matter.”
Keith Cox, president of ViacomCBS’s entertainment and youth studios, said he chased Sylvia’s script.
“I’ve been a massive fan of George & Tammy’s iconic music since I was a kid,” Cox said.
Josh Brolin, Chastain, Andrew Lazar and 101 Studios’ David Glasser, David Hutkin and Bob Yari are executive-producing the show alongside Sylvia. Bryan Goluboff is also writing and executive-producing.
Currently, Wilmington has one other film project in pre-production. “Along for the Ride” starts rolling this week in Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wilmington. It’s also eyeing locations in Oak Island to film after Memorial Day.
So far, in 2021, production in North Carolina is at the highest levels in six years, according to the governor’s office. The uncertainty of Covid-19 and heavy restrictions set the film industry back in 2020, but it quickly rebounded with multiple productions coming to the southeast specifically.
“North Carolina has been seeing a very steady uptick in interest from production companies starting last year prior to the entire industry taking a pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic and that certainly has continued as productions have resumed,” Guy Gaster, director of the North Carolina Film Office, wrote in an email last week.
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