‘Monarch’ Producers Say the Show Isn’t a ‘Bait and Switch’

by Megan Molseed

Producers and showrunners behind the long-awaited series Monarch are assuring fans that there has been no “bait and switch” at play. This announcement comes just hours after Fox the show’s much-anticipated series premiere Sunday night, September 11.

Be warned…those who are waiting to catch the series premiere of the new Fox series may want to catch up on the premiere episode before reading on. Because there are some major spoilers ahead!

Monarch Showrunners Get Candid About One Major Star’s Role In The Much Anticipated Series

Ever since news of the latest Fox country music drama was released, one major star, Susan Sarandon, has been advertised as a centerpiece of the cast. A star amongst stars in the new series. However, Monarch viewers turning in to catch the series premiere this weekend were shocked when Sarandon’s character, Dottie Roman, died at the end of the episode.

In this episode, which aired following Sunday night football, Sarandon’s Dottie is diagnosed with cancer. However, she is determined not to let the sickness determine her fate. She decides instead, that she will die on her own terms.

So, Dottie asks her daughter, Anna Friel’s Nicky to help her with this. The mother and daughter hold hands as Dottie swallows an entire bottle of pills. This move was especially shocking to TV fans who have been watching the teasers for this new series. Since they began, the teasers have been advertising the Thelma and Louise actress as one of the show’s stars. Now fans are wondering if the Monarch showrunners have pulled a “bait and switch” on them. Promising Sarandon as a series star, only to end her role in the show’s pilot episode.

However, the producers assure viewers this is not the case. And, the showrunners note, Sarandon will remain “a part of the show.”

“She hovers over everyone,” notes Monarch executive producer Jon Heldman. Heldman adds that Sarandon’s character is one that “influences everything.”

“She comes in and out of the show,” the producer explains.

The Series Always Planned On Sarandon Appearing In Flashbacks During The Show’s Initial Season

Michael Thorn, president of entertainment for FOX Entertainment expands on the role Sarandon plays in the new series. Thorn notes that the plan was always to have the matriarch die in the show’s very first episode. However, this in no way means she isn’t pivotal to the rest of Monarch’s premiere season.

“It was always designed that the matriarch of the family was going to die at the end of the pilot,” Thorn explains.

“But it was also always designed that the matriarch would then come back in several of the episodes throughout the first season in flashback,” he continues.

“There’s two things happening in the series,” Thorn relates.

“The first one is, as you know, there’s the succession story,” he explains. “Of who will inherit the crown of country music after Dottie Roman passes away.”

Thorn then notes that there’s another side to the series. A part, he notes that plays out largely in flashbacks.

“The other part of it, which plays out, in part, in the flashback, is Trace Adkins’ character says, the Roman legacy is really built on lies,” Thorn explains.