The live-stream home concerts that have become more of a phenomenon during the coronavirus crisis are now crossing over to prime-time TV. In what is being described as an outgrowth of the kind of web shows that Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood have already done, CBS has scheduled an hour-long special, “Garth & Trisha Live!,” for Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. (The show will be tape-delayed for the same time slot on the west coast.)
The husband-and-wife duo will broadcast the special from the same home studio they use for Brooks’ weekly Facebook Live show, “Inside Studio G.” In an announcement, CBS said that the idea for the special came from hearing that 5.2 million viewers had watched Brooks and Yearwood perform a “casual, at-home concert” Monday night on the Facebook Live show, as it aired live or in the time that Brooks left it up for viewing afterward.
“We’re seeing how big things can be when we all do them as one,” Brooks and Yearwood said in a joint statement in announcing the prime-time show, adding that they and CBS “will donate $1 million to charities to be determined, combating the COVID-19 virus.”
Brooks says he will take requests for the show and will announce details about how viewers can submit them on Monday.
“After we saw Garth and Trisha crash Facebook, we reached out to them about bringing this Studio G to a larger audience in a safe and exciting way,” said Jack Sussman, CBS’ executive VP for specials, music and live events, in a statement. “With Garth and Trisha coupled with the power of broadcast television, anything can happen, making this an event not to be missed.”
Traffic for Brooks’ and Yearwood’s webcast Monday was reported to have caused an interruption in service for Facebook Live generally, on top of difficulty in accessing their show, which led to Brooks archiving the webcast after initially indicating it would only be seen live. (The overall Facebook site was not reported to have gone down.)
Regardless of how planned out his gigs might be, Brooks has a knack for making any of his acoustic appearances feel spontaneous and personalized for the moment, prone as he is to not just dig, into his own catalog but partial or complete covers of the songs and songwriters that influenced him, with a spot-on James Taylor impression (as he did in a brief solo appearance on the “Twitch Aid” charity web marathon Saturday) or even offering his interpretation of a modern-day Ashley McBryde song. On “Twitch Aid,” he also performed the most socially conscious song from his repertoire, “We Shall Be Free,” a likely reprise for other shows he might perform during the crisis. Their Facebook Live appearance last Monday included songs ranging from “Amazing Grace” to Lady Gaga’s “Shallow.”