Days after announcing that this year’s ACM Awards telecast would be postponed from April 5 until September, the Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions announced Thursday that they would be filling two hours of that abandoned time slot with a special called “ACM Presents: Our Country,” featuring at-home acoustic performances from some of the genre’s top stars.
The two-hour special will air April 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
“Although the highly anticipated 55th ACM Awards show is unable to take place on April 5 due to the health crisis, we still wanted to deliver fans an entertaining ACM Country Music special as planned,” Damon Whiteside, the Academy of Country Music’s CEO, said in a statement. He described “ACM Presents: Our Country” as a special that would allow “fans to connect with their favorite country artists and to relive some of the greatest moments of the ACM Awards, all from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”
Interspersed with the new acoustic performances of country hits piped in from artists’ homes will be clips from the previous 55 years of ACM Awards broadcasts.
The artist lineup has not been announced, but it’s likely to include Keith Urban, who had been set to host the ACMs for the first time as well as perform.
Few of the performers for the telecast had been announced by the time of the March 15 cancellation, aside from a segment that would have Miranda Lambert joined by a lineup of young female up-and-comers for “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” an all-star performance that’s unlikely to be recreated in this altered setting.
“Music has always served as a powerful form of hope and solidarity during challenging times,” said Amy Thurlow, the president of Dick Clark Productions. “It’s our privilege to offer audiences an uplifting message through music as well as a look back at some of the best moments in ACM Awards history.”
The ACM Awards were to have taken place at the MGM Grand Garden in a three-hour time slot, with days of preceding concerts and events in Las Vegas.
Among those with three or more nominations for the 2020 ACMs, as announced Feb. 27, are Maren Morris, Dan + Shay, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton (a former longtime ACMs host), Old Dominion, Justin Bieber (eligible because of his participation in a hit Dan + Shay single), Luke Combs, Lambert, Eric Church, Ashley McBryde, Kacey Musgraves and producer Dann Huff. The five entertainer of the year nominees are Church, Combs, Rhett, Luke Bryan and Carrie Underwood.