HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry Music‘George and Tammy’: George Jones, Tammy Wynette Series Premiere Hauls In Major Viewership

‘George and Tammy’: George Jones, Tammy Wynette Series Premiere Hauls In Major Viewership

by Craig Garrett
(Photo by Steve Granitz/FilmMagic)

The new series based on the relationship between George Jones and Tammy Wynette had the highest-ever ratings for a Showtime network debut. George & Tammy, starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon, was watched by 3.3 million people on Sunday, Deadline reports. The new show premiered across Showtime, Paramount Network, and CMT. The music drama was initially created for Spectrum Originals, with a second chance to air on Paramount Network and Paramount+. However, after Spectrum decided to discontinue airing the original series, Showtime picked up the show.

MTV Entertainment Studios produced the show. It was watched by more people than any other Showtime premiere in the company’s 50-year history. The data comes from a combination of viewership across pay cable networks as well as basic cable nets that simulcasted the show. There is no data for how many people only watched on Showtime. That means it’s impossible to compare this premiere to others without knowing that number.

George & Tammy will now only air on Showtime, both on-air and streaming. The show chronicles the story of country music power couple, Tammy Wynette and George Jones, who despite a complicated relationship, created some of the most iconic music out there. The TV series is an adaptation of The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George, a book written by the couple’s daughter, Georgette Jones Lennon.

Chris McCarthy, the President/CEO of Showtime & Paramount Media Networks, was ecstatic about the show’s success. “George & Tammy made history as the most-watched Showtime premiere ever. [This is] thanks to the mesmerizing performances of Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon,” McCarthy said.

George Jones’ daughter recalls him as a loving grandfather to her children

Georgette Jones Lennon is the couple’s only daughter. She stated that producing the series was “a process” with a lot of laughs and tears. “It’s been a crazy emotional rollercoaster,” she recently told People. “But it’s therapeutic because you start thinking about things you tucked away a long time ago, whether it be painful or even good memories.”

Lennon is also eager to shed new light on her father. George Jones is recalled by many as a legendary drinker and mischief-maker. More than anything, she remembers him as a loving grandfather to her twins. He was always ready with a joke or an impromptu song to make them laugh.

“With my dad, I think a lot of people look at him and their first thoughts are of that stereotypical crazy guy who drank and all of that kind of thing,” she explained. “He had a great sense of humor, and he was so much fun. He loved to play games, and he just had a great personality. And I wanted people to see him not as that outlaw country singer, but as the human being who loved and laughed and cared, but struggled with his own demons — which he did finally conquer, thank God.”