9:00am PT by Kate Stanhope
CMT Renews 'I Love Kellie Pickler,' 'Nashville' Aftershow
CMT is reinvesting in its unscripted slate.
On Wednesday, the Viacom-owned cable network handed out renewals to reality series I Love Kellie Pickler and the long-running Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team. On the heels of Nashville's season-six renewal, CMT has also picked up a new season of digital aftershow NashChat, which will return June 1 immediately following the midseason premiere of the country music drama.
Beginning Aug. 3, season 12 of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and season three of I Love Kellie Pickler will follow new episodes of Nashville at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively. (New episodes of Nashville continue to be available the day after their premiere on Hulu.)
Additionally, Nashville star Charles Esten will host the 2017 CMT Music Awards on June 7.
CMT's summer slate also includes the July return of the Billy Ray Cyrus scripted comedy Still the King. Season two launches July 11 at 10 p.m. (Watch the season-two trailer below.)
The channel's summer slate includes CMT Instant Jam: Brett Eldredge (June 16), CMT Crossroads With Earth, Wind & Fire and Friends (June 23) and the broadcast premiere of To Joey With Love, focusing on country music couple Joey and Rory Fleek (Joey died of cervical cancer in March 2016 at the age of 40).
CMT's summer slate comes in the midst of strong growth for the channel, thanks in no small part to the acquisition of Nashville. Total day ratings are up 19 percent in the adults ages 18-49 demo and up 25 percent among women 18-49.
“After significant ratings gains and audience growth, we’re gearing up for our biggest summer slate ever,” CMT president Brian Philips said. “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.”