CMT (U.S. TV channel)

CMT, originally launched as CMTV, is an American pay television channel that is owned by Viacom. Its name is an initialism for "Country Music Television", which has since been de-emphasized. It was the first nationally available channel devoted to country music and country music videos. Programming on the channel originally focused on country music; including music videos, taped concerts and biographies of country music stars. CMT's current programming now mainly consists of original reality programs and scripted series,[2] off-network syndicated shows, and theatrically-released movies.

As of January 2018, approximately 92 million U.S. homes [3] (or 76.9% of the Nielsen-estimated 119.2 million television households [4]) receive CMT. The channel's headquarters are located in One Astor Plaza in New York City, and has additional offices in Nashville, Tennessee.

CMT logo
LaunchedMarch 5, 1983
Owned byViacom Media Networks (Viacom)
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaUnited States
HeadquartersNew York City, United States
Formerly calledCMTV (1983)
Sister channel(s)
DirecTVChannel 327
Channel 1327 (VOD)
Dish NetworkChannel 166
Verizon FiOSChannel 221 (SD)
Channel 721 (HD)
AT&T U-verseChannel 525 (SD)
Channel 1525 (HD)
Streaming media
Sling TVInternet Protocol television
PhiloInternet Protocol television


Early years (1983–1991)

CMTV, an initialism of Country Music Television, was founded by Glenn D. Daniels, the owner of Video World Productions in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Daniels put together the ownership group of Telestar Corporation and the Blinder Robinson & Company investment bank in a three-way split. Daniels also served as the program director and the first president of the network.[5]

The network launched on March 5, 1983, at 6:19 p.m. CT, beating its chief competitor, TNN, to air by two days. The first video clip to air on CMT was Faron Young's 1971 hit "It's Four in the Morning".[6] The following summer, MTV filed a trademark infringement lawsuit over the initials CMTV, and the network changed its name to simply CMT.[7]

Gaylord years (1991–1997)

CMT used this logo from 1991 to 2004. When this logo debuted, it originally consisted of the letters in red, yellow, and blue, all in black squares, which made to look like alphabet blocks. In 1996 a "GENUINE" stamp was added to the logo. Its colors were swapped in 2000 by MTV.

In 1991, Opryland USA and its owner Gaylord Entertainment Company acquired CMT in a $34 million deal.[8] The network was sold by a group led by radio station owner Robert Sillerman, record producer James Guercio and Nyhl L Henson.[8] Opryland USA and owner Gaylord also owned CMT's competitor The Nashville Network.

In October 1992, CMT launched its first international channel, CMT Europe, as part of the Sky Multichannels package. By 1998, Gaylord reported $10 million in losses from CMT Europe and decided to cease broadcasting the declining network on March 31, 1998.[9] Gaylord had planned to emulate the successful model created by E!, by selling large programming blocks to other European channels, but these plans never occurred.[9]

In 1994, Gaylord made its first major format change for CMT by adding several new programs, including Big Ticket, Jammin' Country, CMT Signature Series, The CMT Delivery Room, CMT Saturday Nite Dance Ranch, and CMT Top 12 Countdown.[10] All shows eventually were cancelled by 2001.

In 1995, CMT dropped all videos by Canadian artists without U.S. record contracts in response to the network being replaced in Canada by Calgary, Alberta-based New Country Network.[11] By March 1996, CMT had eventually returned the dropped videos to its playlist after reaching an agreement to acquire a 20% ownership of New Country Network, in addition to renaming it CMT.[12]

CBS/Viacom years (1997–present)

Cmt building
CMT's offices are located at Viacom's headquarters in New York City, but has additional offices in downtown Nashville, Tennessee (as seen here).

In 1997, both CMT and TNN were sold to Westinghouse, then-owner of CBS for a reported $1.5 billion.[13] The acquisition of the two country-themed networks, along with the formation of the ill-fated CBS Eye on People network, and two regional sports networks (the Baltimore-area Home Team Sports, now Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest Sports Channel in the Twin Cities, now Fox Sports North) formed the CBS Cable division, based in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry and a Charlotte office at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

In 1999, Viacom acquired CBS, assuming ownership of CMT and TNN and folding them into the MTV Networks stable. The resulting moves in 2000 led to the closing of the CBS Charlotte office, while Viacom moved TNN's operations from Nashville to its own headquarters in New York City and changed its format, eventually renaming it The National Network and then reformatting it again as Spike; it was renamed as the Paramount Network in January 2018. CMT also experienced a migration of its mainline operations from Nashville to New York (although their Nashville office building was kept as a secondary operation), and experienced a format change; being modeled after sister networks MTV and VH1 to include series and movies, in addition to music videos. Over time, the number of music videos on the network had steadily decreased with the late May 2006 rebranding of VH1 Country to CMT Pure Country, with music video programming on CMT eventually being relegated mainly to the overnight and morning hours (similar to MTV and VH1). Also, on January 3, 2006, the original Viacom split into two different companies: One being the legal successor to Viacom, CBS Corporation, and the other being the 'new' Viacom, with CMT, Spike TV and the MTV family of networks being part of the latter company.

Despite the decrease in music videos, CMT has experienced significant ratings gains since its acquisition by MTV Networks in 1999. By 2007, the channel was available in more than 83 million homes.[14] As of 2009, the network now reaches 88 million homes.

On April 4, 2012, CMT announced its first cartoon series, Bounty Hunters, featuring the voices of Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall who also serve as executive producers. CMT also announced that it would air Trinity 911, a 10-episode "workplace docu-comedy" that follows the police force in a small Texas town.[15] Trinity 911 was later renamed Big Texas Heat[16] and removed from the schedule after airing four episodes.

On June 10, 2016, CMT announced that they would pick up the primetime network series Nashville after ABC's cancellation of the series, and renewed the series for a fifth full season of 22 episodes; it will continue to be streamed beginning the day after an episode's first airing on Hulu.[17] In 2017, when the network announced a transition into an unscripted programming-oriented schedule, Nashville's sixth season (which CMT renewed) would also be its last; Nashville was CMT's last original scripted show at the time.[18][19]

As part of its shift back to unscripted programming, CMT announced Music City in September 2017,[20] a reality series created by Adam DiVello of The Hills and Laguna Beach fame.[21] Set in Nashville, Tennessee, the show focuses on eight friends as they try to make it in Nashville, including Bryant Lowry, drummer in up and coming Nashville pop band Jet Black Alley Cat.[22][23] The series premiered on March 1, 2018.[24][25]


CMT's current programming consists of general entertainment programming, movies and reality shows, a significant portion of which isn't related to country music. The channel's daily music programming currently consists of a four-hour music video block, seen during the early morning hours, as well as the Hot 20 Countdown, which airs on weekend mornings. Of Viacom's various mainline channels (not counting its suite of all-music digital channels), CMT used to devote the most time to music videos, with at least six hours of the daily schedule set aside for them during the overnight and morning hours.

CMT's music mix is primarily focused on mainstream hit country songs, but also includes occasional videos from crossover, Americana and alternative acts (dubbed "CMT Edge"). One of the most popular programs the channel has aired is its annual CMT Music Awards, featuring awards in various categories and performances by country music artists. These awards are aired live every year from Nashville, Tennessee.

See also


  1. ^ Charles K. Wolfe; James E. Akenson. Country Music Annual 2001. University Press of Kentucky. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "Country Music Television : Country Music Television - News, Videos, Artists : Online Radio, TV Shows and More". CMT. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  3. ^ "Spectrum Reach: Country Music Television". Spectrum. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Nielsen Insights: National Television Household Universe 2017-2018 Season". Nielsen Research. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  5. ^ Wolfe, Charles; Akenson, James (2001). Country Music Annual 2001. The University Press of Kentucky. p. 8. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  6. ^ Andrew Leahey (March 6, 2015). "Flashback: CMT Airs First Country Music Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  7. ^ Kingsbury, Paul; McCall, Michael; Rumble, John (2012). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press. p. 94. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Nashville Net closes CMT acquisition deal". Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2009.  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  9. ^ a b Katz, Richard (February 3, 1998). "Gaylord shutters CMT Euro". Variety. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  10. ^ "CMT launches new series". BNET. Archived from the original on July 2, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  11. ^ "U.S. country TV drops Canadian videos". Toronto Star. January 10, 1995. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  12. ^ "Country music TV channels in accord". Toronto Star. March 8, 1996. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  13. ^ "CBS makes cable a 'core business;' with purchase of TNN and CMT, network doubles its cable holdings.(cable television networks)" Article from: Broadcasting & Cable: February 17, 1997 Author: Katz, Michael
  14. ^ Underwood, Ryan (April 15, 2007). "If it has a screen, CMT is on it". The Tennessean.
  15. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 4, 2012). "CMT Picks Up Two New Series: 'Bounty Hunters,' and 'Trinity 911'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  16. ^ "CMT Lines Up Big Premieres for November with Returning Favorite "Redneck Island" Along with New Series "Chainsaw Gang" and "Big Texas Heat"". The Futon Critic. October 15, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 10, 2016). "'Nashville' Picked Up For Season 5 By CMT With Next-Day Play on Hulu". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Andreeva, Nellie (May 3, 2017). "CMT Programming Chief Jayson Dinsmore On CMT's New 'Reinforcing' Brand Status, More 'Sun Records' & Scripted Future". Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Andreeva, Nellie (November 17, 2017). "'Nashville' To End: Season 6 On CMT Will Be Country Drama Series' Last". Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  20. ^ "New Docu-Series Music City Coming to CMT in 2018". CMT News. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  21. ^ "Can 'Music City' break Nashville's reality TV curse?". The Tennessean. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  22. ^ Thompson, Avery (February 9, 2018). "'Music City': Meet The Newest Cast Members Of CMT's Nashville Reality Show". Hollywood Life. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  23. ^ Maue, Savanna. "Bryant Lowry, a musician with Topeka roots, featured in upcoming CMT show 'Music City'". The Topeka Capital. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  24. ^ "Kerry and Rachyl's Marriage Is Tested This Season on Music City: 'I Kind of Messed Up'". Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  25. ^ "Meet the Music City Cast". CMT News. Retrieved March 12, 2018.

External links

Bachelorette Weekend

Bachelorette Weekend is an American reality television series on CMT. It premiered on August 2, 2018.

CMT's Next Superstar

CMT's Next Superstar is a music competition series specializing in country music. It is launched by American Country Music Television specialty station CMT in partnership with producer Nigel Lythgoe and his son, Simon Lythgoe. Nigel Lythgoe already produces the series American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.

The 10-episode series premiered in April 2011 on CMT. Each episode will be one hour-long episode. Contestants, mainly undiscovered singer-songwriters in the country genre will compete while living together in Nashville, Tennessee. Celebrity guests will guide them each week. Each week, one finalist will be eliminated and viewers will have the final vote to determine who will win the title. An album of songs by participants is due mid-to-late summer 2011. Also best competitors will take part in the CMT Summer Tour.

On June 10, 2011, Matt Mason was crowned the first winner of the show and will go on tour that summer.

CMT Comedy Stage

CMT Comedy Stage is a stand-up comedy series hosted by Melissa Peterman (from TV's Reba). The series aired on the CMT network in 2007.

CMT Cross Country

CMT Cross Country is a television show broadcast on Country Music Television and Palladia that pairs two country music artists together. Each episode of CMT Cross Country features a different set of stars playing together. It is similar in format to CMT Crossroads, except that in this series, both of the two artists are predominantly known for their country music contributions, as opposed to Crossroads, where one of the two artists is from outside the traditional country genre.

CMT Outlaws

CMT Outlaws was an annual concert featuring country music's outlaws. The CMT Outlaws show was aired on Country Music Television.

CMT Top 12 Countdown

CMT Top 12 Countdown was a music video show that aired on Country Music Television (CMT) that debuted in 1994 and ended in December 2001 in favor for the longer Top 20 Countdown. Each episode would countdown the top 12 music videos of the week. At the end of each year, CMT would broadcast the Top 12 Countdown of the Year and present awards to artists for their music video achievements.

Can You Duet

Can You Duet was an American reality-competition show on CMT. The show was produced by FremantleMedia, the same company that produces American Idol.

The show premiered on April 14, 2008 and the first season ended on June 13, 2008.Sixwire, runners up from Fox's Next Great American Band, performed as the house band for Can You Duet with Steve Mandile serving as the show's musical director. Two additional musicians, Steve Hornbeak on keyboards and Andrea Young on violin, performed with Sixwire during the show. The show was cancelled after two seasons.

Country Fried Home Videos

Country Fried Home Videos is a television program that is aired on CMT. It is hosted by Bill Engvall, an American stand-up comic.

Country Fried Planet

Country Fried Planet or CFP is an American television program that is aired on the Country Music Television cable network. It is hosted by stand-up comedian. Bill Engvall.

Gone Country (TV series)

Gone Country is an American celebrity reality television show in which contestants compete to become a country music singer. The winner gets a country single produced by John Rich. It aired on CMT, with reruns on TV Land, and VH1. On the first season finale, Julio Iglesias Jr. was named the winner.

Gone Country uproots these seven musical celebrities and moves them into a Nashville mansion together to embark on a two-week adventure, hosted by singer-songwriter John Rich. Each celebrity will be paired up with some of Nashville's finest songwriters in an attempt to prepare them for a career in country music. In each episode, the cast competes against each other in challenges that will test them musically and physically to adapt to a country music lifestyle, both on and off the stage. At the end of the two weeks, the artist who is most prepared to impress a country audience, as determined by Rich, will record and release a song.

Here's Your Sign Award

Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" Awards is a television program that aired on CMT. It is hosted by Bill Engvall.

I Love Kellie Pickler

I Love Kellie Pickler is an American reality television series starring Kellie Pickler. The series premiered on November 6, 2015, on CMT. The series was not included on CMT's summer 2018 programming slate, thus rendering it canceled.

I Want to Look Like a High School Cheerleader Again

I Want To Look Like A High School Cheerleader Again was an American reality TV show broadcast on Country Music Television. It ran for eight episodes from October 6 until November 24, 2007. This series was produced by Triage Entertainment.

The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders trainer Jay Johnson, his wife Lin, and the host Jenn Brown tried to help ten former high school cheerleaders to transform their lives and compete to win $50,000 and a Reebok Home Gym.

List of programs broadcast by CMT

The following is a list of programs currently and formerly broadcast on CMT.

Orange County Choppers

Orange County Choppers (OCC) is a motorcycle manufacturer and lifestyle brand company based in the town of Newburgh, located in Orange County, New York, that was founded in 1999 by Paul Teutul Sr., The company was featured on American Chopper, a reality TV show that debuted in September 2002 on the Discovery Channel. The series moved to Discovery Channel's sister channel TLC in 2007. Following cancellation of the Discovery series, the company was also featured on Orange County Choppers on the CMT network in 2013. ‘’Orange County Choppers‘’ returned to Discovery Channel on March 1 2018 for a premier viewing of their reboot of American Chopper. The full series is set to start on May 28 2018.

The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search

The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search is an American reality television competition broadcast by Country Music Television. The first two seasons saw a group of 'wannabes' paired with a serving Coyote in the hope of getting a job at the Coyote Ugly Saloon and a cash sum for them and their partner. The final season changed the format. In the final season, singing-dancing female bartenders competed for a position with the company's traveling troupe and a $50,000 prize.

Trading Spouses

Trading Spouses, often advertised as Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy, is a FOX reality show in which two families, usually of different social classes, swap wives or husbands for a week. Each family is awarded $50,000, with the stipulation that the guest mother decides how her host family must spend the money. The title of the show is a play on the idiom Trading Spaces.

The show shares a very similar format to the British program Wife Swap (and its U.S. remake). In 2004, ABC showcased their upcoming Wife Swap show including projections of its popularity. Weeks before the show's debut, FOX introduced Trading Spouses. The producers of Wife Swap, RDF Media, claimed FOX stole their concept, while FOX argued that TV shows have always borrowed from one another and that FOX simply beat ABC to delivery.The show completed airing its third season on May 3, 2007. On February 27, 2008, FOX announced that it had sold the rights to Trading Spouses to CMT, effectively ending the series.

Trick My Truck

Trick My Truck is an American reality television program that premiered on February 3, 2006 on Country Music Television. Created by Varuna Entertainment, the series features a group of vehicle hackers known as the "Chrome Shop Mafia" who renovate the trucks of "deserving" drivers in response to letters and calls from family and friends.

Working Class (TV series)

Working Class is an American television sitcom created by Jill Cargerman, which premiered on CMT on January 28, 2011. The network ordered twelve episodes for the comedy, which is the first scripted series for the network.On April 11, 2011, CMT cancelled Working Class after only one season due to low ratings.

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See also

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