Tune In: Original Cable Programming

No. of subscribers: 84 million

Network topper: Brian Philips

Programming topper: Bob Kusbit

Top originals: CMT Giants: Reba, CMT Music Awards, CMT Crossroads, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, Trick My Truck

Upcoming originals: America’s Top Cowboy (special), Celebrity Bull Riding (series), Dale (telepic)

The skinny: Kusbit came in as the new head of development in late January, with Paul Villadolid, VP of original programming and development, reporting to him. CMT has enjoyed a big primetime bump thanks to the successful launch of such shows as “Truck,” “Cheerleaders,” “Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search” and “Country Fried Home Videos.” In February, the network’s audience rose 44% in primetime compared to 2006; 73% in primetime among adults 18-34. CMT makes headlines with its event programming, such as the CMT Music Awards and CMT Giants (last year’s special honoring Reba McEntire was a smash), and has high hopes for this year’s authorized biopic on NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt.

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