Article by Michael Balderson

Looking like a mix between Empire and Nashville, Fox hopes Monarch can drum up the same kind of love as those two shows had as the country music drama looks to be among the biggest new 2022 TV shows for the network. 

Created by newcomer Melissa London Hilfers, Monarch features both Hollywood and country music royalty as Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins headline the new series, along with Anna Friel.

Photo Courtesy of FOX

Here is everything we know about Monarch.

Monarch debuted on Fox on Sunday, September 11, with a special presentation following the NFL on Fox week 1 doubleheader across all time zones. 

The show’s regular air date is Tuesday at 9 pm ET/PT, with the second episode going in that time slot on September 20.

Monarch was originally set to premiere on Fox as part of the 2021-2022 TV season, but delays related to the pandemic caused the show to be shifted to the start of the 2022-2023 TV season.

There is no information at this time if/when Monarch is going to be available for UK viewers.

Monarch plot

Monarch tells the story of a family dynasty in the country music scene, though it is all apparently built on secrets. Here is the official synopsis:

Monarch is an epic, multi-generational musical drama about America’s first family of country music. In Monarch, the Romans are passionate and fiercely talented, but while their name is synonymous with honesty, the very foundation of this family’s success is a lie. When dangerous truths bubble to the surface, the Romans’ reign as country royalty is put in jeopardy. Nicky Roman, the brilliant and fierce heir to the crown, already battling an industry and world stacked against her, will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy. It’s finally her turn. But is it too late?”

Monarch cast

Photo Courtesy of Fox

The cast of Monarch is led by none other than Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon. Sarandon plays Dottie Cantrell Roman, the matriarch of the Roman family and who is widely regarded as the queen of country music. Best known for her movie roles like Thelma & LouiseBull DurhamStep Mother and her Oscar-winning turn in Dead Man Walking, Sarandon has been making waves in TV as well. She played Bette Davis in the FX series Feud: Bette and Joan, had a run on the Showtime drama Ray Donovan and guest appearances on shows like FriendsMalcolm in the MiddleRick & Morty and Search Party.

The other Monarch leading lady is Anna Friel, who is playing the role of Nicolette Roman, who attempts takes the reins when the family’s legacy is threatened. Friel is best known for her role on Pushing Daisies, but she has also starred in TV shows The Girlfriend Experience and Broken, as well as movies like Goal! The Dream BeginsLand of the Lost and Limitless.

Monarch also has some country music authenticity to it, as country music star Trace Adkins is on board to play the role of Albie Roman. Adkins is a award-winning country music singer but he has also acted in a number of different projects, including The Lincoln Lawyer and 2021’s Old Henry.

Here are the other main members of the cast and who they are playing:

  • Joshua Sasse (Galavant) as Luke Roman
  • Beth Ditto (On Becoming a God in Central Florida) as Gigi Tucker-Roman
  • Meagan Holder (Pitch) as Kayla Roman-Tucker
  • Inigo Pascual as Ace Grayson
  • Adam Croasdell (Preacher) as Clive Grayson
  • Martha Higareda (Altered Carbon) as Catt Phoenix
  • Emma Milani (Solve) as Ana Phoenix

Some real-life country music stars are slated to guest star throughout Monarch season 1, including Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Little Big Town and Tanya Tucker.

Monarch trailer

The trailer for Monarch gives viewers a sense of the Roman family dynamic and a few glimpses at some of the twists and turns that could be in store. Watch below.