FOX / YouTube
Spoilers below for the debut episode of Monarch that aired on September 11.
The new country music-themed drama, Monarch, debuted on FOX on Sunday (September 11). The series follows the famous Roman family, led by married country singers Dottie and Albie Roman (played by Susan Sarandon and Trace Adkins).
While the Romans may be the “royal” family of country music, they have their fair share of scandalous secrets. There’s also some competition brewing between sisters Nicky and Gigi Roman (played by Anna Friel and Beth Ditto), since they believe only one of them can wear their mother’s “crown” and become the new Queen of Country.
In a shocking twist, Dottie died by the end of the show’s premiere episode. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Dottie chose to leave the world on her own terms. She enlisted Nicky to help her end her own life, though she wanted Nicky to keep her true cause of death a secret.
View this post on Instagram
So what can viewers expect from the series now that Dottie is gone? The Monarch producers shared what’s next for the show, and whether or not we’ll see Dottie again.
Variety quotes executive producer Jon Heldman, who said the following during the Television Critics Association press conference:
“Susan’s a part of the show. She hovers over everyone. She influences everything. She comes in and out of the show. So she will appear in multiple episodes, and we have some great stuff planned for her…So she is a looming presence, both on screen and off on ‘Monarch’ in Season One.”
Michael Thorn, the president of entertainment for FOX Entertainment, told Variety it was always the plan to have Dottie die at the start of the series:
“It was always designed that the matriarch of the family was going to die at the end of the pilot,” Thorn said. “But it was also always designed that the matriarch would then come back in several of the episodes throughout the first season in flashback.”
Dottie was originally supposed to make a few more flashback appearances in some other episodes. But production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in her being less prevalent in the series:
“Where we were slightly impacted by COVID, as we would have had her in another episode or two, but we have her in just under half the season,” Thorn said. “So she’s not just going to be in the pilot and then not be in the next episode, it’s not a bait-and-switch.”
We’re anxious to see what Monarch has in store after such a dramatic opening episode. Catch a sneak peek of the series below.