This story has been updated.
Sturgill Simpson will make his acting debut as a recurring character in a new CBS television drama series called “$1.” The new series is characterized as a mystery set in a small rust belt town in post-recession America, where a one-dollar bill changing hands connects a group of characters involved in a multiple murder. The series is set to begin taping in March in Pittsburgh, and debut via CBS’s all access video on demand channel on an undisclosed date.
Other cast members include John Carroll Lynch, Nathaniel Martello-White, Philip Ettinger, Chris Denham, Kirrilee Berger, and Gracie Lawrence, with Leslie Odom Jr., Jeff Perry, and Sturgill Simpson set to make regular appearances. The path of the dollar bill and point of view in each episode paint a picture of a modern American town with deep class and cultural divides that spill out into the open as the town’s secrets get revealed. The primary character John Carl Lynch plays Bud “Pop” Carl, who is the owner of the family business called Carl Steel. Nathaniel Martello-White plays a private investigator.
Sturgill Simpson will portray Ken Fry, who is a resident of the town of Braden where the series is set, who used to work at the steel mill until he was let go by Bud Carl. He now makes his living holding a never-ending yard sale with items stolen from peoples’ front yards and porches.
Though Simpson has never worked in any major acting roles before, he has made numerous appearances on television, including in sketches with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, which is also a CBS production. Simpson has also appeared twice on Saturday Night Live as a musical guest. He also played a small role in the independent movie Orca Park from 2011, and has made other cameos.
The opportunity is definitely a jump into a new medium for Sturgill. It will be interesting to see how the new series is received, and if it makes the jump to broadcast television.