CMT Hopes CBS' 'CMT Music Awards' Telecast Hits Right Note With Viewers

CMT Music Awards on CBS
(Image credit: CBS)

CBS on Monday (April 11) will air live the CMT Music Awards, which celebrate the best in country music, but the CMT cable network will keep the music playing with a week-long lineup of special awards programming leading up to its own re-airing of the event.

The move of the CMT Music Awards show to CBS and Paramount Plus from CMT is expected to provide more audience exposure for the event as well as for the CMT brand, according to Margaret Comeaux, CMT VP of production, music & events. This year’s award show, hosted by Kelsea Ballerini and Anthony Mackie, will feature performances by Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood and The Judds. Kenny Chesney is set to close the show.

“We get to be in front of hopefully a bigger audience who will experience it and see what we’re doing,” Comeaux told Multichannel News. “We’ve had a great response to our show in years past on CMT, and I think we’re hoping for the same thing on CBS.”

Also: Kelsea Ballerini, Miranda Lambert to Perform at CMT Music Awards 

Despite not having the live telecast, CMT will look to build viewer momentum for its April 15 extended cut CMT Music Awards rebroadcast -- which will feature additional performances -- with a week-long lineup of CMT Awards-themed programming, Comeaux said. Prior to the live CMT Music Awards event, the network’s first-ever “CMT Music Awards Week” will feature an April 9 Hot 20 Countdown Live special as well as an April 11 Red Carpet special. 

After the live show, the network will air several specials, including CMT Storytellers: Brooks & Dunn (premiering April 13) and CMT Crossroads: Leann Rimes & Friends (April 14). 

Comeaux said she expects the CMT Music Awards to draw additional viewers through CBS, although she would not project viewership numbers. “Our awards show is so focused on the fans, so we view this as their night,” she said. “I'm very enthusiastic about what's gonna happen, and I think the audience is really gonna love it.” ■

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.