CMT has unveiled its forthcoming summer programming slate that includes a mix of hit originals and music specials. The news comes on the heels of strong growth for the network. Among A 18-49 and W 18-49, CMT’s achieved 21 consecutive weeks of year-over-year total day ratings growth. Original premieres are pacing up +51% among A 18-49 and +79% among W 18-49 versus year ago. Total day ratings are up +19% with A 18-49 and +25% with W 18-49. As a result, CMT posted its strongest performance in total day ratings in more than two years. Additionally, among non-news nets, CMT had the biggest total day year-over-year gains of any top 50-cable network in 1Q17 for W18-49.
“After significant ratings gains and audience growth, we’re gearing up for our biggest summer slate ever,” says Brian Philips, President of CMT. “Kicking off with Nashville in June, we’re blending music celebrations and specials with our hit originals. We’ll convert more newly-arrived fans to frequent viewers.”
CMT’s signature music events and specials will fuel the summer schedule. After notching its most-watched ceremony to date last year, the 2017 CMT Music Awards hosted by Nashville’s Charles Esten premieres live on Wednesday, June 7th at 8 pm ET/PT. CMT Instant Jam with Brett Eldredge from Las Vegas premieres on Friday, June 16th at 10 pm ET/PT. CMT Hot 20 Countdown will continue to air weekly on Saturday and Sunday at 9 am ET/PT.
In addition, CMT will premiere the first-ever ever outdoor CMT Crossroads with Grammy-Award winners Earth Wind & Fire on Friday, June 23rd at 10 pm ET/PT. Surrounded by thousands of fans in downtown Nashville, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will join forces with country stars including Grammy and CMT Music Award-winning super group Lady Antebellum to perform some of their biggest hits and country smashes. Additional names will be announced soon.
CMT’s hit scripted series Nashville and Still The King will return with new episodes. Nashville recently concluded the first half of its season as the highest-rated and most-watched series in CMT history, and the midseason premiere is set for Thursday, June 1st at 9 pm ET/PT, along with the digital aftershow series NashChat hosted by Amy Brown of The Bobby Bones Show via CMT’s social channels. Last month, CMT announced that Nashville was picked up for a 16 episode sixth season.
The hit comedy Still The King, which reached an average of three million weekly viewers during season one, returns for a second season on Tuesday, July 11th at 10 pm ET/PT. The season begins with Vernon (Billy Ray Cyrus) fresh out of jail and determined to reclaim his position as a country music superstar while being present in the lives of his daughter Charlotte (Madison Iseman) and her mother Debbie (Joey Lauren Adams). Faced with the possibility of being a father to Debbie’s unborn child, Vernon must balance his desires for fame and family.
Two of CMT’s most popular unscripted series, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team and I Love Kellie Pickler, will premiere on Thursday, August 3rd at 10 pm ET/PT and 11 pm ET/PT following new episodes of Nashville. CMT’s longest running original non-music series, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team, which averaged 3.3 million weekly viewers last season, returns for its 12th season with an expanded order of 13 episodes. The series follows a new group looking to fulfill a lifelong dream by landing a highly coveted spot on the elite Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad. The new season of I Love Kellie Pickler will feature Kellie and husband Kyle house hunting in Nashville, presenting at the ACM Awards, recording new music and more. Last season averaged more than 1.5 million weekly viewers.
CMT will host the broadcast premiere of To Joey, With Love on Wednesday, June 21st at 8 pm ET/PT. To Joey, With Love from Lionsgate’s Anchor Bay is the incredible true love story of Joey and Rory Feek. Intimately filmed by the couple over two and a half years, the movie documents the journey of the 2010 Academy of Country Music Top Vocal Duo. The film will take viewers from the birth of their daughter Indiana, born with Down Syndrome, through Joey’s struggle with and ultimate surrender to cancer—all amidst their never-ending hope in something far greater. To Joey, With Love was written, filmed and directed by Rory Feek and produced by Aaron Carnahan. It was executive produced by Ben Howard and edited by Daniel Grace along with Rory Feek.
- Thursday, June 1 – Nashville (Midseason Premiere)
- Thursday, June 1 – NashChat (Midseason Premiere)
- Wednesday, June 7 – 2017 CMT Music Awards
- Friday, June 16 – CMT Instant Jam: Brett Eldredge
- Wednesday, June 21 – To Joey With Love
- Friday, June 23 – CMT Crossroads with Earth, Wind & Fire And Friends
- Tuesday, July 11 – Still The King (Season Premiere)
- Thursday, August 3 – Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team (Season Premiere)
- Thursday, August 3 – I Love Kellie Pickler (Season Premiere)
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.