EXCLUSIVE: Gerald McRaney (This Is Us), Brooke Elliott (Drop Dead Diva), Designated Survivor alum Ben Lawson, Michele Weaver (Love Is___), Delta Burke (Designing Women), and Tim Reid (Greenleaf) are set to star in Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: If I Had Wings, an episode of Netflix’s upcoming eight-episode anthology series, which showcases the stories, memories, and inspirations behind Parton’s most beloved songs.
In the “If I Had Wings” episode, after receiving invitations to the 70th birthday party of their decades-long estranged father Tom Freeman (McRaney), three disparate siblings, Clay (Lawson), Nancy (Elliott) and Phyllis (Weaver) converge on a Mississippi farm where they test the bonds of blood and issues of faith, all to confront the sins of their father. The episode is written by Jim Strain and directed by Timothy Busfield. Burke, who is married to McRaney in real-life, plays Ellie Holder, Tom’s girlfriend, and Reid portrays Kendal Hooks, Tom’s best friend.
Scored by new and classic Parton music, each stand-alone episode in Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings will begin with an introduction by Parton talking/singing to camera (as herself) about the meaning behind each song. Each episode will feature a different cast and Parton will star/guest star in some stories.
The series is produced by Magnolia Hill Productions and Sandollar Productions in association with Warner Bros Television where Magnolia Hill has a deal. Patrick Sean Smith executive produces and serves as showrunner. Longtime collaborators Parton and Sam Haskell also executive produce.
McRaney won his first Emmy for his portrayal of Dr. K, aka Dr. Nathan Katowski, on NBC’s praised drama series This Is Us, which is now in its third season. His other most recent TV credits include Shooter, NCIS: Los Angeles and a guest role on A Million Little Things. He’s repped by Stone Manners Salners Agency.
Burke is known for her starring role as Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women, for which she received two Emmy nominations. Her other TV credits include her self-titled series Delta, Boston Legal and Drop Dead Diva. She’s repped by ICM Partners.
Elliott starred as Jane Bingham on all six seasons of Drop Dead Diva. She’s repped by Innovative Artists, LINK Entertainment and Gochman Law Group.
Lawson played the series regular role of Damian Rennett on Designated Survivor and he most recently appeared on 13 Reasons Why and and in an arc on The Good Place. He’s repped by ICM Partners and Untitled Entertainment.
Weaver can most recently be seen as Nuri in OWN’s Love Is ___, She also had roles on Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life and Switched at Birth. She’s repped by Gersh and Luber Roklin Entertainment.
WKRP Cincinnati alum Reid most recently recurred on OWN’s Greenleaf and CBS Me, Myself and I and guest-starred on Love Is ___. He’s repped by Mavrick Artists Agency and SLJ Management.