The U.S. cable network announced during an upfront presentation in New York on Thursday (March 3) that it would double its original programming hours in order to attract a “broader country fan base.”
“Much like our hometown of Nashville, CMT embraces both tradition and change,” said CMT president Brian Philips in a statement. “We’re crafting stories and characters that are multifaceted and unexpected.”
In addition to unscripted, scripted and music programming, execs have lined up two feature docs set to world premiere at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, this month.
Due to air on CMT in August, The Bandit - the latest feature doc from The Overnighters director Jesse Moss – focuses on actor Burt Reynolds and the making of his 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit. Meanwhile, Chicken People looks at the world of competitive poultry and will air in November.
The network also set a May 8 premiere date for the previously announced limited series NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed. The three-night documentary event was produced by Stephen David Entertainment and is narrated by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Elsewhere on CMT’s unscripted slate is the comedy-stunt series The Dude Perfect Show from Ridiculousness producer Rob Drykdek and Superjacket Productions. The show stars five friends-turned-YouTube comedians and will feature celebs such as Aaron Rogers, Luke Bryan, Chris Paul and Earnhardt Jr. It premieres on April 14.
The network has also renewed the Ryan Seacrest-produced reality hit I Love Kellie Pickler for a second season and ordered an 11th season of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
In addition to the CMT Music Awards, CMT Concert of the Summer and CMT Artists of the Year, execs have greenlit four more episodes of CMTCrossorads, a music series that pairs country musicians with artists from other genres. The new episodes will begin airing on March 24.