'Monarch': FOX's Country Music Show's Premiere Pushed Back Months, Just Weeks Before Debuting

Monarch, a new country music drama staring Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins that was set to start before the end of this month, will not debut until the fall, Fox said Wednesday. The show was originally scheduled to air on Jan. 30 following the NFL's NFC Championship Game before moving to Tuesdays on Feb. 1. Fox cited the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for the delay, which means they could air the entire season without interruptions.

"With an incredible pedigree of talent and musical performances, the powerfully compelling drama, Monarch, is a top priority for Fox Entertainment in 2022," a Fox spokesperson told The Wrap. "Unfortunately, due to the unavoidable realities of the pandemic and the profound impact COVID-19 continues to have on our industry and around the world, it is necessary to reschedule Monarch's January 30 debut to the Fall."

By adding Monarch the 2022-2023 slate, Fox can air Monarch's first season after it is completed, without worrying about potential postponements caused by the pandemic. "As the cornerstone of Fox's new 2022-23 slate, shifting a show of this magnitude allows us to have its entire first season produced, create additional, high-profile content and promotional windows to support launch, and give our viewers the best opportunity to enjoy the series as intended with a non-compromised run of episodes," the spokesperson continued. "We thank our cast, producers, writers and the entire crew for their tireless work and continued dedication to the country music-filled world that is Monarch."

Monarch is sort of a country music version of Empire, the 2015-2020 Fox series that focused on hip hop mogul and his family. The new series follows the Romans, a royal family in the country music business now on a shaky foundation. Dottie Roman (Sarandon) and Albie Roman (Adkins) are at the head of the family, and Nicky Roman is trying to keep their reign alive. Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) stars as Nicky. The rest of the main cast includes Beth Ditto, Inigo Pascual, and Joshua Sasse.

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Melissa London Hilfers created the show and Michael Rauch (Royal Pains) serves as showrunner. Country music manager Jason Owen is one of the executive producers, and Fox has teased appearances from his client roster. Kacey Musgraves, Dan + Shat, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town, and Midland are among Owen's clients.