2001 CMA Awards Show May Move to November

This year’s Country Music Association awards show may be held Nov. 7 — a Wednesday — due to competing awards programs. Normally, the highly-rated CMA special airs on CBS-TV in early October or late September.

“We are moving [the date] this year,” CMA executive director Ed Benson confirms, “because of all the other awards shows in September. The Latin Grammys are scheduled for [Sept. 12], and this is CBS’s year to have the Emmy awards. The Emmys have changed their timing. They’re going to be on [Sept. 16]. If we stayed in the usual place in the primary season premiere week — the third week in September — we would have been on Sept. 19. Nobody thought it was a good idea to be the third award show in a week.”

Benson tells country.com that the CMA has been discussing three possible dates for the show, one of which is Nov. 7. He notes that the date falls within a “sweeps week” (a ratings period during which networks schedule programs expected to attract a large viewership.) While CBS-TV hasn’t confirmed Nov. 7 as the official air date, Benson says, “I’d love for it to be.”

“Our main concern [about September] was with the Emmys being on Sunday night and us trying to be in the same week and competing for everything from the TV Guide cover to Sunday supplements to just general entertainment news. And then, on top of that, a lot of the guys who work on our show are from L.A. or New York, and they’ll [also] be working either the Latin Grammys or the Emmys. I just don’t think we could get the show off the ground on that date.”

Adding to the fall awards-show clutter — although not on network television — is the International Bluegrass Music Association awards ceremony, which will take place this year on Oct. 4.

Benson says it is possible that the official announcement of the date will come as early as next Tuesday (Jan. 30).

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.