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December 20, 2014

Lucas Black, Cary Elwes Join Epix's 'Tough Trade'

by Gary Susman, posted Nov 30th 2009 12:30PM
If you want to get the folks in the heartland to subscribe to your new premium cable channel, what better way than to expose the dark, seamy underbelly of the country music industry?

Okay, we don't see the logic either, but that's what Epix, the month-old premium channel on Verizon FIOS systems, is doing. Two weeks ago, the channel announced a pilot for its backstage-country soap 'Tough Trade,' which will star Sam Shepard as the patriarch of a Nashville music family. Now comes news that the cast is being rounded out by Lucas Black and Cary Elwes (pictured, right).

'Tough Trade,' created by 'Weeds' producers Jenji Kohan and Chris Offutt, centers on the Tuckers, a music-biz clan, described alliteratively by the Hollywood Reporter as "a Nashville music dynasty whose penchant for drink, debauchery and divorce has left it on the verge of bankruptcy." Shepard will play father to Elwes, both of whose characters are respected country music figures. Black will play Elwes' son, a talented guitarist who's avoiding the family business, choosing instead to sell illegal ammunition.If you want to get the folks in the heartland to subscribe to your new premium cable channel, what better way than to expose the dark, seamy underbelly of the country music industry?

Okay, we don't see the logic either, but that's what Epix, the month-old premium channel on Verizon FIOS systems, is doing. Two weeks ago, the channel announced a pilot for its backstage-country soap 'Tough Trade,' which will star Sam Shepard as the patriarch of a Nashville music family. Now comes news that the cast is being rounded out by Lucas Black and Cary Elwes (pictured, right).

'Tough Trade,' created by 'Weeds' producers Jenji Kohan and Chris Offutt, centers on the Tuckers, a music-biz clan, described alliteratively by the Hollywood Reporter as "a Nashville music dynasty whose penchant for drink, debauchery and divorce has left it on the verge of bankruptcy." Shepard will play father to Elwes, both of whose characters are respected country music figures. Black will play Elwes' son, a talented guitarist who's avoiding the family business, choosing instead to sell illegal ammunition.

Black, best known for starring in 'The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,' is an Alabama-born actor who specializes in Southern roles. He'll be seen at the multiplex early next year in the Southern thriller 'Get Low' (pictured, left), opposite Robert Duvall and Bill Murray. Elwes, who can currently be heard doing multiple voices in Disney's 'A Christmas Carol,' frequently drops his native London accent for American roles.

'Tough Trade' will reunite Elwes with Lionsgate, distributor of the 'Saw' franchise, in whose first installment Elwes gave a performance to dismember remember. Lionsgate TV is the production house behind 'Tough Trade,' and Lionsgate, MGM, Viacom, and Paramount are partners in Epix. Verizon FIOS subscribers can look for the show sometime in 2010.

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