Netflix has confirmed IndieWire’s report this weekend that the streaming giant has ordered a new series from Dolly Parton. The anthology series will use one of her songs as the basis for each episode, and Parton will serve as the series’ singer and songwriter, as well as an executive producer and an actor in the show.
“As a songwriter, I have always enjoyed telling stories through my music,” Parton said in a statement. “I am thrilled to be bringing some of my favorite songs to life with Netflix. We hope our show will inspire and entertain families and folks of all generations, and I want to thank the good folks at Netflix and Warner Bros. TV for their incredible support.”
Netflix ordered eight episodes for the first season, but no premiere date has been provided.
Parton has experienced great success adapting her music for television. Parton’s 2015 NBC TV movie “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” performed well enough to earn a sequel, and “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” snagged an Emmy nomination for Outstanding TV Movie. The two-time Oscar nominee snagged another Emmy nomination in 1978 for “Cher… Special” (yup, that’s the title) in the Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Variety or Music category.
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As IndieWire reported on Sunday, news of Parton’s series broke over the weekend after her former “9 to 5” costar Lily Tomlin mentioned the series during her “Grace and Frankie” FYC panel.
“Sam Haskell, her partner, they’re going to do a series about Dolly’s songs, like she did with ‘Coat of Many Colors’ and all that stuff,” Tomlin said.
The original plan for Parton’s TV movies at NBC was to essentially turn them into an anthology, with an annual event based on another song. After the success of “Coat of Many Colors,” Haskell had told TV Insider that Parton would tackle “Jolene,” based on Parton’s 1973 hit, with a script from John Sacret Young (“The West Wing”). And a third movie was in the works based on her song “The Seeker.” John Tinker (“Chicago Hope”) and his wife, author Ronda Rich, were on board to write that movie.
But then the arrangement with NBC apparently shifted gears, and instead of continuing the movie series idea, Haskell and Parton instead produced the sequel “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.” It’s unclear if those unproduced “Jolene” and “The Seeker” scripts will now be used for the Netflix anthology.
Meanwhile, Whether Tomlin, Parton, and Jane Fonda now sharing a network brings us ever closer to the oft-discussed “9 to 5” reunion, well, fans will have to wait and see.