Monarch, the country music family dynasty series starring Susan Sarandon, Trace Adkins, Anna Friel and Beth Ditto, has become the latest victim of Covid-19.
Fox has pushed back the launch of the series from January to fall as a result of the rising spread of the virus. The series was set to premiere on Sunday January 30.
The network called the series, which is its first fully-owned drama, a “top priority” but was forced in to the move as a result of the impact of the pandemic on production.
Fox is hoping that by shifting the show to fall of its 2022/23 season, it will benefit from having the entire first season produced and more time to market the drama.
It is one of the most significant scalps of the rising spread of the Omicron variant. A number of broadcast shows from NCIS to Chicago Fire and late-night shows such as The Late Late Show with James Corden and Late Night with Seth Meyers – have paused production, but Monarch shifting its premiere by nine months is a huge blow for the network.
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“With an incredible pedigree of talent and musical performances, the powerfully compelling drama, Monarch, is a top priority for Fox Entertainment in 2022,” said a Fox spokesman.
“Unfortunately, due to the unavoidable realities of the pandemic and the profound impact Covid-19 continues to have on our industry and around the world, it is necessary to reschedule Monarch’s January 30 debut to the Fall. As the cornerstone of Fox’s new 2022-23 slate, shifting a show of this magnitude allows us to have its entire first season produced, create additional, high-profile content and promotional windows to support launch, and give our viewers the best opportunity to enjoy the series as intended with a non-compromised run of episodes. We thank our cast, producers, writers and the entire crew for their tireless work and continued dedication to the country music-filled world that is Monarch.”
The network is currently figuring out what will replace Monarch in the schedule on Sunday, January 30 and then on Tuesdays at 9pm for midseason going forward.
Monarch will continue to shoot in Atlanta through the spring.
It is the latest setback for the series, which Deadline revealed was forced to bring in a new showrunner in the form of former Designated Survivor showrunner Jon Feldman replacing Michael Rauch.
Created by Melissa London Hilfers, Monarch came out of the network’s fledgling script-to-series model.
Monarch is a multigenerational musical drama about America’s first family of country music, the Romans. The Romans are headed by the insanely talented, but tough as nails Queen of Country Music Dottie Cantrell Roman, played by Sarandon. Along with her beloved husband Albie, played by Adkins, Dottie has created a country music dynasty. But 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 put in jeopardy, heir to the crown Nicolette “Nicky” Roman, played by Friel, will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy, while ensuring her own quest for stardom.
Beth Ditto, Josh Sasse, Inigo Pascual, Martha Higareda, Meagan Holder and Emma Miliani also star with Eva Amurri, Adam Croasdell and Faith Prince among those recurring.
Exec producers for the Fox Entertainment-produced series include Hilfers, Feldman, Gail Berman, Hend Baghdady and Jason Owen.
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