When the George and Tammy trailer dropped in early November, country fans took notice. Jones and Wynette are legendary figures in the genre’s history. At the same time, their tumultuous relationship has been a topic of conversation among fans for decades. So, it was obvious that a series that highlights one of the most talked-about marriages in the history of country music would be a success. However, not many people could predict just how popular it would be.
According to CMT, George and Tammy was the most-watched premiere in Showtime history. The series premiered on Showtime and was simulcast on Paramount and CMT. All told, the first episode of the long-awaited show brought in 3.3 million viewers. That number combines those who watched it on live television and those who watched it on demand the same day. At this time, it’s impossible to say which platform pulled the most viewers. However, it’s safe to say that the show is a hit.
Let’s take a moment to put this big win into perspective. Showtime Network launched in 1976. Since then, the network has aired countless theatrically-released movies, boxing matches, UFC matches, and original series. The George and Tammy premiere drew more viewers than any other broadcast in the network’s 46 years.
Future episodes of George and Tammy will air exclusively on Showtime. New episodes will air on Sundays at 9 PM Eastern and Pacific. Those who want to see the episodes sooner will be able to watch them on-demand via Showtime’s streaming platform or on Paramount+ with a Showtime subscription. New episodes hit streaming services on Friday.
Becoming George Jones and Tammy Wynette
Both Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Eyes of Tammy Faye) and Michael Shannon (Knives Out, Take Shelter) have proven their acting chops several times over the years. However, they had to do more than step into a character for this show. They were embodying two of the most iconic figures – and voices – in country music history.
As a result, the stars of George and Tammy had to go the extra mile. The production enlisted celebrity voice and performance coach Ron Browning to help get them ready to perform. Additionally, he helped them use the music in the series to be more vulnerable on screen.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever experienced that,” Chastain said. “I was so scared and nervous. There were days that we’d be working on songs in different rooms and I just was so terrified.” During that time, Chastain said, her co-star was there to help her through the worst of her worries. “I think starting in that way created a bond to tell the story,” she added. That bond allowed them to more accurately portray the iconic couple.