CMT Greenlights 'Redneck Intervention,' 'Chainsaw Gang,' 2 More (Exclusive)
In its bid to cut through the clutter, CMT is moving forward with four new series featuring former rednecks, dumpster divers and a family-owned gun range.
The Viacom-owned cable network greenlighted Redneck Intervention and Chainsaw Gang, both poised to bow later this year, as well as 2013 efforts Full Metal Racket and Rock Raiders. They join a growing cadre of projects in production, including Texas cop comedy Trinity 911 and CMT’s first animated project Bounty Hunters, starring the Blue Collar comedy troupe of Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy.
“These shows represent a bolder CMT; with new series that are grounded and peppered with characters that are inherently funny, loud and a bit crazy. We believe these series will keep CMT viewers laughing, or crying from laughing so hard,” said EVP development and programming Jayson Dinsmore, a former NBC reality executive who joined CMT a year and a half ago. In that time, CMT has launched two of the network's highest-rated series with Bayou Billionaires and My Big Redneck Vacation.
Redneck Intervention, from production company Pink Sneakers, will kick off the net’s new wave of shows September 15. The hour-long, eight-episode series will center on former rednecks who are confronted by friends and family who believe they should return to their country roots. It is a theme with which the net has had success, first with Big Redneck Vacation and then with the reality competition show, Redneck Island, hosted by WWE's Steve Austin. Kimberly Belcher Cowin and John Ehrhard along with CMT’s Dinsmore and Lewis Bogach will serve as executive producers on Intervention.
Also heading to the network this fall is Chainsaw Gang, a 10-episode reality series featuring Stacy Poitras and a group of the country’s premiere chainsaw artists who battle blades breaking and chainsaws bursting into flames. Chainsaw is produced by A Smith & Co. Productions, with Arthur Smith, Kent Weed, Frank Sinton and Anthony Storm attached as executive producers. Poitras and Matt Miller will serve as supervising producers, with Claire McCabe and Dinsmore on board as EPs for CMT.
Among the 2013 offerings is Full Metal Racket, which will follow three generations of the Sumner family who run Knob Creek Gun Range, their family-owned business in Kentucky. The 10-episode series, which hails from Pawn Stars’ Leftfield Pictures, will show customers who use, try out and purchase weapons, be them cannons or machine guns. Leftfield’s Brent Montgomery, David George and Shawn Witt will serve as executive producers with Lewis Bogach and Dinsmore attached as EPs for CMT.
Rounding out the new entries is the tentatively-titled Rock Raiders, a 10-episode series centered on collectors Robert Reynolds and Stephen Shutts, who criss-cross the country in search of such music memorabilia as Jonny Cash’s juke box and items owned at one point by Elvis, Nirvana and Led Zeppelin. Raiders is being produced by Tom Forest and Thom Oliphant for Taillight TV, with Dinsmore and McCabe serving as EPs for CMT.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose