CMT EXPANDS ITS ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING SLATE WITH SEVEN NEW PROJECTS AND THREE RETURNING SERIES
"CMT Diary,” “Opening Act,” “Ty Murray’s Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge,” “America’s Top Cowboy,” “Prankville,” “Bandits Vs. Smokies” and “Born Country” Added to Schedule*
Current Series “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team,” “Trick My Truck”
and “Country Fried Home Videos” Return For New Seasons
NASHVILLE – March 21, 2007 – CMT, a unit of Viacom's MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), has introduced seven new series and specials to begin airing in May, it was announced today by Bob Kusbit, head of development for CMT. Personal video diaries of country music’s hottest superstars, amateur musicians competing for their 15 minutes fame, the search for the ultimate cowboy and celebrity bull riding are among the subjects of new shows, which mark Kusbit’s first slate announcement since joining the network earlier this year.
Current series DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS: MAKING THE TEAM will return for a second season, while TRICK MY TRUCK and COUNTRY FRIED HOME VIDEOS make their third season debuts. All three shows have been breakout hits for CMT, with TRICK MY TRUCK ranking as the highest-rated original series in CMT history.
“Country music is unique in that the songs, the artists and the fans are so genuine and easy to relate to, and we’re excited that each one of these new shows -- whether it’s reality, competition, wish fulfillment or comedy -- will be packed with that CMT authenticity,” says Kusbit.
Kusbit adds: “We’re thrilled to be working with such outstanding talent as Martina McBride and Gretchen Wilson (CMT DIARY), Sara Evans (OPENING ACT), Ty Murray (CELEBRITY BULL RIDING), Trent Willmon (AMERICA’S TOP COWBOY) and Bill Engvall (COUNTRY FRIED HOME VIDEOS), as well as some of the best producers in the business.”
These new series and shows join a host of established franchises on the network, including CMT CROSSROADS, CMT CROSS COUNTRY, CMT INSIDER and the 2007 CMT MUSIC AWARDS, premiering live on Monday, April 16. Other recently announced projects include CMT COMEDY STAGE and the return of the ULTIMATE COYOTE UGLY SEARCH.
New series and show descriptions are as follows:
NEW SERIES AND SPECIALS**
CMT DIARY (half-hour series of specials; May premiere) -- Produced by the same team that created the hit series MTV DIARY, this series of half-hour specials is an invitation into the life of a popular entertainer, told in their own words. From their homes and personal lives to their experiences on the road, CMT DIARY reveals the moments where the script ends and the real stories begin. Country superstars Martina McBride and Gretchen Wilson are among the first artists scheduled to be featured. The first episodes of CMT DIARY are scheduled to be produced by Jesse Ignjatovic at Den of Thieves Productions.
OPENING ACT (working title), (half-hour special; summer premiere) -- Amateur performers get a chance to live their dream of performing on the big stage with a country artist in OPENING ACT. CMT goes to Asheville, N.C., where local musicians compete for their moment in the spotlight. After reviewing the audition tapes, CMT will narrow the candidates and judge the top two contestants live on show day. Only one will be chosen to perform that night as the OPENING ACT in their hometown. This special is scheduled to feature country star Sara Evans. OPENING ACT is produced by Planet Grande Pictures.
TY MURRAY’S CELEBRITY BULL RIDING CHALLENGE (six episode series; August premiere) -- Hosted by accomplished rodeo athlete and seven-time All-Around World Champion Ty Murray, CELEBRITY BULL RIDING CHALLENGE follows eight celebrities, including country music artists, as they try and master this dangerous and fascinating sport. Participants to be announced. TY MURRAY’S CELEBRITY BULL RIDING CHALLENGE is produced by Scott Messick at Got Sports Productions.
AMERICA’S TOP COWBOY (90-minute special; May premiere) -- Country music artist Trent Willmon hosts CMT’s search for the ultimate, great American cowboy. Along with roping the title of AMERICA’S TOP COWBOY, the six contestants will compete for a $50,000 cash prize. AMERICA’S TOP COWBOY is produced by Stu Schreiberg at Triage Entertainment.
PRANKVILLE (six, half-hour episode series; May premiere) -- PRANKVILLE puts a country twist on good-natured, practical jokes seen only by CMT’s hidden cameras. PRANKVILLE is produced by Adam Dolgins and Frank Gregory of Fractured Hip Productions (“MTV Boiling Point”).
BANDITS VS. SMOKIES (eight, half-hour episode series; May premiere) -- As hopeless criminals try to outrun the law, their senseless scheming is made even more absurd by the hosts’ running comedic commentary. It’s crime and comedy…caught on tape! John Stevens and Barry Poznick of Zoo Productions to produce.
BORN COUNTRY (eight, one-hour episode series; June premiere) -- Each episode of this docu-reality series follows the parallel lives of three people who have country roots in common. From karaoke queens to over-the-top country weddings and die-hard “Dukes of Hazzard” fans, BORN COUNTRY highlights the best and bizarre in country culture. BORN COUNTRY is executive produced by Lauren Lazin ("MTV True Life").
RETURNING SERIES AND SPECIALS
DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS: MAKING THE TEAM (eight episodes; September premiere) -- CMT goes behind closed doors to witness the sacred tryouts of one of the nation’s most beloved institutions. The series captures all of the excitement and drama of cheerleading hopefuls who struggle with rigorous fitness standards, intricate dance routines and the signature “kick-line.” CMT Loaded on CMT.com, CMT VOD and CMT Mobile will feature exclusive “shorts” of the girls as they audition to become one of the 36 chosen cheerleaders. DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS: MAKING THE TEAM is produced by Triage Entertainment, with executive producers Kelli McGonagill Finglass, Stu Schreiberg, Stephen Kroopnick and Eugene Pack.
TRICK MY TRUCK (eight, half-hour episodes; July premiere) -- Returning for its third season, TRICK MY TRUCK is back with big rigs and even bigger tricks as the Chrome Shop Mafia takes their custom designs to the extreme. Each episode features customized paint jobs and outrageous detailing, transforming one deserving truck driver’s cab into a home on wheels. Exclusive outtakes, video “shorts” and more will be featured on CMT.com and its broadband channel, CMT Loaded, CMT Mobile and on CMT VOD. TRICK MY TRUCK is produced by Varuna Entertainment, Inc., with Jason Morgan and Rob Zazzali serving as executive producers.
COUNTRY FRIED HOME VIDEOS (eight, half-hour episodes; July premiere) -- “Blue Collar” superstar Bill Engvall is back for a third season of COUNTRY FRIED HOME VIDEOS, the series that shows what people do for fun and 15 seconds of fame. CMT.com and CMT Loaded feature exclusive video clips and interactive voting, including a chance to pick the best video that never made air. COUNTRY FRIED HOME VIDEOS is produced by Mack and Bradley Anderson of First Television.
As part of the network’s ongoing strategy to develop 360-degree content allowing fans to delve even further into the music and programs they love, CMT will feature exclusive content on all of its extensions including on-air, online and on mobile. For each of its new and returning series, CMT will include performances, video clips, sneak peeks, streaming radio, playlists, bios and more on CMT.com and its broadband channel, CMT Loaded; CMT Mobile; the network’s all-music digital channel, CMT Pure Country; CMT VOD; CMT Radio; MTV Networks’ digital music service, URGE; and MHD: Music High Definition, MTV Networks’ high-definition channel, among others.
Visit CMT's press-only web site www.cmtpress.com for more information and downloadable photos.
CMT, America’s No. 1 country music network, carries original programming, specials, and live concerts and events, as well as a mix of videos by established country music artists and new cutting-edge acts, including world premiere exclusive videos. Founded March 6, 1983, CMT, owned and operated by MTV Networks, reaches more than 84 million households in the United States. Go to country music’s biggest web site at www.CMT.com.
*All titles listed are working titles and subject to change
**Premiere dates subject to change