Dana Hawley courtesy of Paramount/ SHOWTIME

See the Trailer for the New Country Music Miniseries 'George & Tammy'

One of country music's most iconic couples, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, are the subject of the upcoming miniseries George & Tammy. Golden Globe-winning actor Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye, It: Chapter Two) will portray the powerhouse "Stand By Your Man" singer Tammy Wynette, often called the First Lady of Country Music, while Academy Award-nominated Michael Shannon (Knives Out, The Shape of Water) will portray the legendary George Jones.

The series, produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios, will debut simultaneously on SHOWTIME and on the Paramount Network on Dec. 4. George & Tammy will air on Paramount commercial-free directly after Yellowstone, another series known for its strong country music soundtrack.

"Jessica and Michael are truly extraordinary as Tammy and George and their searing performances and undeniable chemistry bring to life the legendary relationship of the King and Queen of country music," Chris McCarthy, President/CEO, Showtime and Paramount Media Networks, said in a press statement. "The creators and the entire cast have delivered a series with the subtlety, nuance and complexity that are the hallmarks of the SHOWTIME brand and what our viewers' deserve and demand."

Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon in George and Tammy

Dana Hawley/ Paramount

The series, created by Abe Sylvia (The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Nurse Jackie) and directed by John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless), has been in the works for over a decade.

"I am thrilled SHOWTIME is bringing George & Tammy to audiences all over the world," David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios and Executive Producer, said. "This has been Jessica, Abe & Andrew's labor of love for 11 years and to see it all come together is pure joy.  Jessica and Michael bring all of the heart, love, tragedy and drama to this epic love story of George & Tammy.  There is no better home for this than SHOWTIME which is as passionate about this project as we are at 101 Studios."

See the trailer for the series below.

What is George & Tammy About?

Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon in 'George & Tammy'

Dana Hawley/ Paramount

The limited series, which is based on George and Tammy's daughter Georgette Jones' book The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George, will center on the country singers' marriage, which lasted from 1969 and 1975.

George & Tammy was created by Jessica Chastain, Josh Brolin and Abe Sylvia, who serves as the co-exec producer of the Netflix series Dead to Me. 

"I am humbled to bring this incredible story to life with the breadth it deserves and that the Charter platforms allow," Abe Sylvia told Deadline.  "Tammy Wynette is an American icon, and I can think of no one better to illuminate the woman behind the legend than Jessica Chastain. After having the honor of penning The Eyes of Tammy Faye for Freckle Films and Searchlight, I so look forward to another collaboration with her. This has indeed been a passion project for Andrew, Josh and me — and we are so grateful to our partners Katherine Pope, Keith Cox and David Glasser for tirelessly championing our labor of love."

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, which featured a first look at Chastain and Shannon as the superstar country couple, the actors opened up about their onscreen portrayals of two of country music's most cherished performers.

Jessica Chastain in George and Tammy

Dana Hawley/ Paramount

"It was fascinating to me that someone like Tammy Wynette, who sang all these songs like 'Stand by Your Man,' also was married five times," Chastain told Vanity Fair. "I was excited about this woman who was married and divorced multiple times and struggling in Nashville and really made a name for herself on her own. She charted multiple times before she met George Jones."

Chastain, who previously starred with Shannon in Take Shelter, told the outlet that she valued Shannon's knowledge as a musician. (Shannon performs in the indie rock band Corporal.)

Michael Shannon in George and Tammy

Dana Hawley/ Paramount

"He's a great singer and musician, and I'd seen him perform with his band in Brooklyn," Chastain said.

Shannon said while he wasn't initially very familiar with George Jones, he was immediately drawn in by the story of Jones and Wynette's relationship and the incredible vocal prowess of Jones.

"George Jones is, to my ear, one of the finest singers I've ever heard in my life," Shannon said. "It's obviously a fool's errand to try to completely emulate that — that's one of the reasons he's legendary, is that there will never be another one like him."

Is Jessica Chastain Singing in George & Tammy?

Jessica Chastain as Tammy Wynette in George and Tammy

Dana Hawley/ Paramount

Both Chastain and Shannon do their own singing and perform the songs of Jones and Wynette in the series. Each of the actors trained with Nashville vocal coach Ron Browning.

"These songs, they're pretty deep and they've got some dark corners in them, and we spent a lot of time with them,"  Shannon told Vanity Fair. "In addition to learning how to sing them, I think they also kind of taught us about who the people were and the story we were telling."

How to Watch George & Tammy

Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon in George and Tammy

Dana Hawley/ Paramount

The limited series will debut simultaneously on Paramount (following Yellowstone) and SHOWTIME on Dec. 4. The remainder of the series will be available exclusively on SHOWTIME. It airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. 

If you don't already have SHOWTIME, you can sign up here. You can even try the streaming service free for 30 days. After that, it's $10.99 a month. You also have the option to get SHOWTIME through Paramount+, the home of Taylor Sheridan hits like 1883 and Mayor of Kingstown.

George & Tammy Cast

Michael Shannon as George Jones in George and Tammy

Dana Hawley/ Paramount

In addition to Chastain and Shannon, the drama series, which was filmed in Wilmington, N.C., will also star the following actors:

  • Steve Zahn (The White Lotus) as 'George Richey,' Tammy Wynette's final husband and manager.
  • Kelly McCormack (A League of Their Own) as 'Sheila Richey,' George Richey's former wife and one-time friend and confidante of Wynette.
  • Walton Goggins (The Righteous Gemstones) as 'Earl "Peanutt" Montgomery,' a songwriter and collaborator of Jones.
  • Pat Healy (Station 19) as 'Don Chapel,' Wynette's second husband and collaborator.
  • David Wilson Barnes (Perry Mason) as 'Billy Sherrill,' record producer and songwriter.
  • Katy Mixon (American Housewife) as 'Jan Smith,' a makeup and hair artist who becomes one of Tammy's closest friends.

The Real George Jones and Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette and George Jones Perform on stage with the Jones Boys in circa 1972.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Tammy Wynette was born Virginia Wynette Pugh in Mississippi in 1942. She started singing while working as a hairdresser in Alabama and was later signed by producer Billy Sherrill, who encouraged her to change her name. She released her debut single "Apartment No. 9" in 1966. She would go on to score hits with "Your Good Girl's Gonna go Bad," "I Don't Wanna Play House," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," "Stand By Your Man" and more.

Jones was born in Texas and is known for hits such as "White Lighnin'," "She Thinks I Still Care," "The Grand Tour" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

Wynette and Jones, who married in 1969 and divorced in 1975, recorded a number of duets, including "Golden Ring," "Near You" and "We're Gonna Hold On."

This article was originally published in September of 2020. It was updated on Nov. 3, 2022. 

READ MORE: Loretta Lynn Personally Chose Sissy Spacek to Play Her in 'Coal Miner's Daughter'