Dolly Parton Announces 'Coat of Many Colors' Movie to Air on NBC

Rags-to-riches biopic is part of an effort to bring family-friendly programming to primetime

A TV movie about Dolly Parton's life, titled 'Coat of Many Colors,' will air on NBC. Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Dolly Parton and NBC have revealed Coat of Many Colors as the first of a planned series of TV movies aiming to dramatize some of the country legend's best-known songs.

Making the announcement Monday (May 11th), Parton and the network say the two-hour, made-for-TV movie will follow the true story of her hard-scrabble upbringing in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains, famously immortalized by her song of the same name.

While the premiere date and cast of Coat of Many Colors have yet to be announced, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt confirmed news of its production in a meeting showcasing some of the network's upcoming priorities. According to the film's official description, the special "takes us inside the tight-knit Parton family as they struggle to overcome devastating tragedy and discover the healing power of love, faith, and a raggedy patchwork coat that helped make Dolly who she is today."

Parton and Greenblatt first revealed plans for the series of movies in January. "I produced 9 to 5: The Musical on Broadway and we became very close," he told Rolling Stone Country at the time. "She's just thinking about a lot of things going on in her life and things she's written about, and I had lunch with her a couple of months ago and she said, 'I'd love to see if there's some movies we can develop out of the stories I've been writing about.'"

"I am so excited to be involved with my friend Bob Greenblatt. . . and my longtime friend and former agent Sam Haskell," Parton added. "We want to create projects for NBC that are both fun and inspirational with a family audience in mind."

In a separate interview, Greenblatt said TV needs more family-friendly programming. "I don't know anyone in the world who doesn't love Dolly Parton, and the idea of developing television movies inspired by her incredible life and the stories she has sung about for decades is exciting to all of us at NBC. I hope we will create some uplifting movies that the entire family can enjoy together, a genre of programming that still seems largely untapped on television."

Parton and Haskell will serve as executive producers on the project.