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Upfronts 2016: CMT to Double Its Original Series Output

CMT will look to double down on original programming, launching two scripted series and several music-themed specials, the network said during its upfront presentation Thursday.

On the original series front, the network will launch two new scripted series, including the previously announced Million Dollar Quartet, which follows the rise of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis,  and the comedy series Still The King, starring Billy Ray Cyrus.

The network will remain committed to its music roots with three tentpole events --CMT Music Awards, CMT Artists of the Year and new CMT Concert of the Summer” shows -- as well as four new episodes of its veteran series CMT Crossroads.

Original documentaries include the May NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed, The August debut of The Bandit Chicken People” in November. 

The network will also tap Ridiculousness producer Rob Dyrdek to produce a new unscripted series The Dude Perfect Show, set to launch in April.

“Much like our hometown of Nashville, CMT embraces both tradition and change,” said Brian Philips, President of CMT in a statement. “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.”

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.