04/08/16: Viacom

March 3, 2016

Elvis was in the building at the Viacom Kids and Family Adult Upfront presentation, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York last night. Rocking the house: The players in CMT’s Million Dollar Quartet, an adaptation of the Tony award-winning musical, brought the crowd to its feet. Following a nationwide casting held at Elvis Presley’s high school in Memphis, last month, the network cast Drake Milligan as young Elvis Presley, Kevin Fonteyne (Masters of Sex) as Johnny Cash, twins Christian Lees and Jonah Lees (Tale of Tales) to play cousins Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, respectively. Series is set to debut in November.

CMT president Brian Philips had help from network talent as he announced upcoming programming, music events and documentaries, including new annual event Concert of the Summer and a second season order for I Love Kellie Pickler.

Comedy Still The King debuts Sunday, June 12 at 9p. The series follows Vernon (Billy Ray Cyrus), a scandal-ridden, washed-up, one-hit-wonder who crashes back into the life of his ex (Joey Lauren Adams) and discovers he has a daughter (MadisonIseman) he knew nothing about.

The Rob Dyrdek produced The Dude Perfect Show will bow Thursday, April 14 at 9p. The season will feature appearances by Luke Bryan, Chris Paul, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Aaron Rogers and more.

During TV Land’s presentation, Keith Cox, EVP, Development and Original Programming, announced an overall deal with Darren Star, the creator, executive producer and writer of the network’s critically-acclaimed comedy Younger. The pact keeps Starr onboard to develop another project with the network. Teachers was renewed for a 20-episode second season, after reaching an average of 3.4 million viewers each week across all platforms.

The network ordered two pilots: An adaptation of The First Wives Club will be written by Rebecca Addelman (New Girl) and executive produced by Jenny Bicks (Sex and the City). An untitled project based on the life of Kyle Richards (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) is being executive produced by John Wells (Shameless, ER) and John Riggi (30 Rock, Will & Grace). These join the previously announced pilot Nobodies from Eps Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone.

TV Land’s growing list of comedies include The Jim Gaffigan Show, premiering its sophomore season Wednesday, June 22 at 10, and Impastor, debuting season two on Wednesday, July 13 at 10:30p. New series Lopez, executive produced by George Lopez and Silicon Valley’s John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, bows Wednesday, March 30 at 10p. (Just hours before the Republican debate, Lopez joked that Donald Trump can go ahead and build walls, “because we can build tunnels.”)

Viacom’s music roots were evident at the event’s close, as Cyndi Lauper sent the crowd home (or at least to the bar) happy with a standing ovation-worthy rendition of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

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