Rascal Flatts, Hayden Panettiere Will Host CMT Artists of the Year Special

Honorees Will Be Revealed When Special Premieres on Dec. 8

Rascal Flatts and actress Hayden Panettiere, star of ABC’s Nashville, will honor the top country acts of 2012 as hosts of the third annual CMT Artists of the Year special premiering Dec. 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

The 90-minute special is the most exclusive gathering of country music superstars of the year and celebrates the class of 2012 with an evening of wall-to-wall performances and special appearances from others in the entertainment field. For the first time ever, CMT is keeping the list of honorees top secret until they are revealed on the night of the telecast.

Widely known for her role as cheerleader Claire Bennett in the hit NBC series, Heroes, Panettiere is currently starring with Connie Britton on Nashville.

“We are honored to be co-hosting the CMT Artists of The Year show with Hayden,” Rascal Flatts member Jay DeMarcus said. “Save the cheerleader, host a TV show! We’re gonna have a blast!”

“Nashville is my second home now,” Panettiere added. “I am so happy to be embraced by the country community and to be included in such a big event, especially with Rascal Flatts. I can’t wait to see how the evening unfolds!”