NBC sells run of music competition

NBC has agreed to sell repeats of its weekly “Nashville Star” musical-competition series to Viacom’s CMT, which will run each episode four days after its Monday NBC premiere.

Repurposing of a broadcast series is rare for CMT, which has, however, bought five-a-week off-network series including “Nanny 911” and “Trading Spouses.”

On June 9 at 9:30 p.m., “Nashville Star,” hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, will join NBC’s weekly primetime schedule for the first time after a solid five-season run on USA Network. CMT repurposes the episodes Friday at 8 p.m.

NBC has stretched the weekly running time of each episode from an hour to 90 minutes for the weekly talent show, which, like “American Idol,” eliminates performing contestants each week. The winner comes away with a Warner Bros. recording contract and gets a showcase to perform during NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympic Games from Beijing.

CMT, which averaged 402,000 total viewers in primetime during April, a 12% jump from the same period last year, fills its primetime schedule mostly with original series including “Can You Duet,” “Mobile Home Disaster” and “Trick Your Truck.”

Mary Beth Cunin, VP of programming strategy for CMT, calls “Nashville Star” “one of the first music-competition series to recognize that the country-music genre holds mass appeal.”

Reveille and 495 Prods. are the creator-producers of the series. The exec producers are Ben Silverman (who’s also co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and of NBC Universal TV Studio), Howard T. Owens, Mark Koops and Sallyann Salsano.

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