Dolly Parton to Star in NBC Musical About Making of TV Special at Dollywood

by Suzanne Halliburton

What would the Christmas season be without a Dolly Parton musical? Yes, summer is rearing its head. You’ll be sweating for several months, but it’s never too early to talk holiday season.

On Tuesday, NBC announced that it was collaborating with Dolly Parton for a holiday special with a unique musical storyline. It’s literally a special within a movie. And its’ official title — Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas.

Here’s what the movie will be about. Dolly Parton is at Dollywood, her theme park, producing a musical. And the actual movie is about all the behind-the-scenes stuff. Call it Dolly times two.

This is how NBC described the holiday programming:

Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas is the frenetic backstage story and delightful on-camera results of Dolly’s desire to uplift an exhausted world’s spirits by sharing the unique ‘mountain magic’ she has always found in and around Dollywood at Christmas.” It’s a special within a movie within a musical.

But because it’s Dolly Parton, this musical will have the music legend looking to a higher authority. In this case, she sees the Three Wise Men. That’s according to NBC. After going through the movie, Parton realizes she’s spiritually in a different place.

Let’s go to NBC for more details. Parton “shows the world that the real magic of Christmas lies in the hearts of the children we all once were, the realization that Christmas is about the people we share it with, and how her faith remains the common thread between Christmases past, present, and future.”

Dolly Parton, who will be making a Christmas musical for NBC, did her first holiday special with Kenny Rogers in 1984. (Mike Slaughter/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Dolly Parton Truly Loves Her Holiday Movies and Musicals

Parton loves her Christmas specials. The 76-year-old entertainment icon did her first holiday special way back in 1984. That’s when she co-starred with duet partner Kenny Rogers. The two made Kenny & Dolly: A Christmas to Remember. Flash forward to 2020. That’s when Parton starred in a Holly Dolly Christmas special for CBS.

She appeared in a Smoky Mountain Christmas in 1986. That was a made-for-TV movie. She also has Christmas at Dollywood from 2019. She made that one for Hallmark. Then in 2020, she starred in Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square. The Netflix movie landed two Emmys for Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Choreography For Scripted Programming.

Parton and NBC have done two previous movies together, with one of them sporting a holiday theme. In 2015, she did Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors. Of course, that was followed by the 2016 sequel, Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.

Parton does Christmas music, too. She’s released three holiday albums: 1984’s Once Upon a Christmas. That album also featured Rogers. She released Home for Christmas in 1990. And in 2020, she gave her fans a A Holly Dolly Christmas. She said the late Burl Ives inspired that album with his classic “A Holly Jolly Christmas.”

NBC didn’t announce a release date for the Dolly Parton holiday musical. But since it’s mid-May, there’s plenty of time to get the Christmas movie details down pat.