6th 'Nashville' among stars of NBC's summer


USA Network's "Nashville Star" is moving to NBC.

After weeks of rumblings, NBC has picked up the country singing competition for a sixth season to launch in the summer, along with the second season of "American Gladiators."

The two unscripted shows will serve as cornerstones of the network's "NBC's All-American Summer" promo campaign leading into NBC Universal's coverage of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

"These exciting new reality shows will be a vital part of 'NBC's All-American Summer' building up to the drama of the Beijing Olympics," NBC reality chief Craig Plestis said.

Both "Nashville," the longest-running competition series on cable, and "Gladiators," a breakout ratings hit for NBC, hail from Reveille, the company founded by NBC topper Ben Silverman.

Silverman is exec producing "Nashville" — which was created by Reveille and is being produced by 495 Prods. and Picture Vision — with Howard T. Owens, Mark Koops and Sallyann Salsano.

The most recent fifth season of "Nashville" ran on USA a year ago, and the cable channel had indicated that, as part of its focus on scripted fare, it wasn't planning to renew the series.

Multicity auditions for "Nashville" will begin in February. For the first time, the series will be open not just to solo artists but also to duets and singing groups. In another first for Season 6, the competition will expand to singers 16 and older.

This is the second time in the past month that NBC has reached to sister cable network USA for original programming. In part as a strike contingency, NBC recently closed a deal to repurpose USA's hit dramedies "Monk" and "Psych" (HR 12/19).