TV

CMT Unveils Its Biggest Summer Programming Slate Ever

Hit Originals Return as Network Ramps Up With New Instant Jam and CMT Crossroads Specials

The return of several hit original series and all-new music specials featuring some of country music’s top acts are on the slate for CMT’s summer programming slate unveiled Wednesday (May 3). CMT’s signature music events and specials will fuel the summer schedule.

After notching its most-watched ceremony to date last year, the 2017 CMT Music Awards hosted by Nashville‘s Charles Esten premieres live on June 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and Thomas Rhett have already been confirmed to perform at the awards show that’s gained a reputation as “the loudest night in country music.” Presenters and additional performers will be revealed in the near future.

Captured live in Las Vegas, Brett Eldredge stars in the latest CMT Instant Jam premiering June 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

In addition, CMT will premiere the first-ever ever outdoor CMT Crossroads with Grammy-Award winners Earth Wind & Fire on June 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Surrounded by thousands of fans in downtown Nashville, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group will join forces with country stars including Lady Antebellum to perform some of their biggest hits and country smashes. Additional performers will be announced soon.

CMT’s hit scripted series Nashville and Still the King will return with new episodes.

Nashville recently concluded the first half of its season as the highest-rated and most-watched series in CMT history. The midseason premiere is set for June 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, along with the digital after-show series NashChat hosted by Amy Brown (The Bobby Bones Show) via CMT’s social channels.

Still the King, the comedy series which reached an average of 3 million weekly viewers during season one, returns for a second season on July 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The season begins with Vernon (Billy Ray Cyrus) fresh out of jail and determined to reclaim his position as a country music superstar while being present in the lives of his daughter Charlotte (Madison Iseman) and her mother Debbie (Joey Lauren Adams). Faced with the possibility of being a father to Debbie’s unborn child, Vernon must balance his desires for fame and family.

Two of CMT’s most popular unscripted series, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team and I Love Kellie Pickler, will premiere on Aug. 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and 11 p.m. ET/PT respecitively following new episodes of Nashville.

CMT’s longest running original non-music series, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, which averaged 3.3 million weekly viewers last season, returns for its 12th season with an expanded order of 13 episodes. The series follows a new group looking to fulfill a lifelong dream by landing a highly coveted spot on the elite Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders squad.

The new season of I Love Kellie Pickler will feature Pickler and husband Kyle house hunting in Nashville, presenting at the ACM Awards, recording new music and more.

CMT will host the broadcast premiere of To Joey, With Love on June 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The film documentary from Lionsgate’s Anchor Bay is the incredible true love story of Joey and Rory Feek. Intimately filmed by the couple over two and a half years, the movie documents the journey of the 2010 Academy of Country Music top vocal duo.

To Joey, With Love also takes viewers from the birth of their daughter Indiana, born with Down Syndrome, through Joey’s struggle with and ultimate surrender to cancer — all amidst their never-ending hope in something far greater. It was written, filmed and directed by Rory Feek and produced by Aaron Carnahan, executive produced by Ben Howard and edited by Daniel Grace along with Rory Feek.

CMT Hot 20 Countdown will continue to air weekly on Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

CMT unveiled its summer programming slate on the heels of strong growth for the network, including substantial increases in original premieres and total day ratings,

“After significant ratings gains and audience growth, we’re gearing up for our biggest summer slate ever,” said CMT president Brian Philips. “Kicking off with Nashville in June, we’re blending music celebrations and specials with our hit originals. We’ll convert more newly-arrived fans to frequent viewers.”

Here’s a recap of CMT’s summer programming highlights:

June 1: Nashville (midseason premiere)
June 1: NashChat (midseason premiere)
June 7: 2017 CMT Music Awards
June 16: CMT Instant Jam: Brett Eldredge
June 21: To Joey, With Love
June 23: CMT Crossroads: Earth, Wind & Fire and Friends
July 11: Still the King (season premiere)
Aug. 3: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (season premiere)
Aug. 3: I Love Kellie Pickler (season premiere)