NBC’s second movie based on a Dolly Parton hit tune will be Jolene. John Sacret Young (China Beach, The West Wing) is writing the script, said Sam Haskell, Parton’s longtime agent, who is exec producing Coat Of Many Colors, their first project under the multi-movie deal with NBC.
Jolene is about a woman begging a beautiful woman not to steal “her man” just because she can.
Haskell, Parton and the cast of Coat Of Many Colors, came to NBC’s day at the TCA Summer Press Tour to discuss the movie, which NBC has said it will air during the Christmas holiday season; it’s set in 1955 Tennesse and was described this morning as a “family-oriented, faith-based movie about nine months in Parton’s life when she was 9 years old.”
They did not take many questions from the reporters, preferring to talk among themselves about the project. The group included Jennifer Nettles, who will play Parton’s mother who said she was honored to have been picked for the role, and Ricky Schroder, who says he was honored to have been picked to play Parton’s father. Also Pamela Long, who said the movie is “not a Bible story but…has god in it,” and 8-year-old Alyvia Lind, who said her other sisters, who also are actresses, were very supportive of her getting this role.
Haskell talked for a long spell about talking to NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt, and, long ago, to former NBC Entertainment chief Brandon Tarikoff, about trying to find ways to bring families to the TV to watch together, this movie’s references to the Bible, and anti-bullying message, etc.
Parton was the star of May’s Upfront Week, when she showed up onstage at NBC’s presentation dressed as “a miniature version of the NBC peacock,” and ordered media buyers to “Get that money out!” after serenading them with “Coat Of Many Colors,” followed by “I Will Always Love You” (“[Whitney Houston] can have the credit — I just want the cash!”) while Greenblatt accompanied on the piano.
Greenblatt that day had pitched to advertisers the deal to adapt some of her songs into movies was part of a network push for family viewing, because family viewing is “underserved,” and she elaborated that she’d grown up in a family of “horny hillbillies,” explaining, “My mamma had one on her and one in her” for her whole childhood, by way of accounting for her large family.