Country legend Dwight Yoakam, along with comedian/musician Jack Black, are joining together to produce (and potentially star in) a new, 30-minute comedy series on FOX called Belles & Whistles. 20th Century Fox TV and Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite are producing the effort according to Deadline, with no public timetable at the moment for when we might expect to see the series hit the small screen.
Details are limited, but Belles & Whistles is said to be a “single camera” comedy with strong musical elements. It will be based in Nashville, with the plot centered around a bored man from Silicon Valley who uproots his family to Nashville to chase his dreams of country music stardom. Alex McAuley from the series Eastbound & Down is said to be on board as a writer and executive producer.
The series is also said to include a strong musical quotient, similar to recent television hits like FOX’s successful Empire, and ABC’s big country music series Nashville, with the obvious difference being the lighthearted approach of Belles & Whistles, and only 30 minutes to fill instead of an hour.
The biggest question remains how much of an acting role Dwight Yoakam and Jack Black will play. Obviously both men have their fair share of acting roles over the years involving music. Jack Black’s School of Rock became a blockbuster, and Dwight Yoakam’s role in Slingblade won Yoakam a nomination from the Screen Actors Guild. Where Black is an actor who became known for his musical efforts, Yoakam was a music guy first who became known for his acting later.
More information as it becomes available, but once again the increasingly-hot backdrop of Nashville will be centerpiece of another television series, and once again music will play a seminal role, potentially opening up new avenues to feature unheard artists.