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Kellie Pickler Does Double Duty

Kellie Pickler is looking at a busy couple of months. Season three of the country music artist’s unscripted series I Love Kellie Pickler debuts on CMT Aug. 3, and her syndicated talk show, Pickler & Ben, an E.W. Scripps Co. creation shot in front of a Nashville studio audience, debuts Sept. 18.

Pickler promised a lot of laughs in the new season of I Love Kellie Pickler. She called it a “feel-good show” but one that also spotlights things she holds dear, such as the military. Pickler recently concluded a USO tour in Iraq, her 11th with the organization.

“We’ll shine a light on things we feel passionate about,” Pickler told The Wire.

The new season, she said, offers both a North Carolina episode — her old friend Jenny joins her and husband Kyle Jacobs there — and a Minnesota one, with a friend of Kyle’s from back home visiting. They’ll also venture to Alaska. Pickler said the state has long been on her bucket list. She and Kyle try dog-sledding there. “We’re adventure chasers and adrenaline junkies,” she said.

Pickler was on the fifth season of American Idol in 2006, making it to the final six. She’s pumped for the new Idol on ABC. “I’m excited to see how they reinvent it and find new ways to make it more interesting,” she said.

Pickler & Ben is executive produced by Faith Hill. Besides cooking and home-design segments, Pickler said she and journalist Ben Aaron will “shine a light on small businesses,” with one or two featured in each episode. HSN is a partner on the show.

“We’ll support the locals and put the focus back on them,” she said. “The whole show will be shoppable.”

It’s a hectic time, but Pickler said that’s how she prefers it. “It’s a good problem to have,” she said. “I don’t do well being still for too long.”