CMT Doubles Originals Output

Country music net CMT is doubling its original programming, which includes the Elvis musical Million Dollar Quartet, a music performance series, and a second season of Ryan Seacrest’s I Love Kellie Pickler, about the super-sweet former American Idol contestant.

Million Dollar Quartet (working title), set in Memphis, features eight episodes and shows the recording sessions ofElvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.The limited series debuts in November. At CMT’s upfront presentation in New York, the network revealed that Drake Milligan will play a young Presley and Kevin Fonteyne will play Cash. Twins Christian and Jonah Lees, meanwhile, play cousins Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart.

“Much like our hometown of Nashville, CMT embraces both tradition and change,” said Brian Philips, president of CMT. “This year, we are doubling our original programming to celebrate the bigger and broader country fan base. We’re crafting stories and characters that are multifaceted and unexpected.”

Rob Dyrdek’s unscripted The Dude Perfect Show premieres April 14. Three-part documentary NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed debuts in May, while scripted comedy Still the King, starring Billy Ray Cyrus and Joey Lauren Adams, premieres Sunday, June 12, four days after the 2016 CMT Music Awards. Still the King sees Cyrus play a washed up one-hit wonder.

The second season of Kellie Pickler debuts in August, along with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.

This spring, CMT offers four new episodes of genre-bending music series CMT Crossroads. New music series CMT Concert of the Summer airs in the summer, while CMT Artists of the Year premieres live Oct. 19.

CMT is part of Viacom.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.