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, off-network syndicated shows, and theatrically-released movies.
As of January 2018, approximately 92 million U.S. homes  (or 76.9% of the Nielsen-estimated 119.2 million television households ) receive CMT. The channel has offices in New York City and Nashville.
|Launched||March 5, 1983|
|Owned by||Viacom Media Networks (Viacom)|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Broadcast area||United States|
|Headquarters||New York City, United States|
|Formerly called||CMTV (1983)|
|DirecTV||Channel 327 |
Channel 1327 (VOD)
|Dish Network||Channel 166|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 221 (SD)|
Channel 721 (HD)
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 525 (SD)|
Channel 1525 (HD)
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
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.
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". The following summer, MTV filed a trademark infringement lawsuit over the initials CMTV, and the network changed its name to simply CMT.
In 1991, Opryland USA and its owner Gaylord Entertainment Company acquired CMT in a $34 million deal. The network was sold by a group led by radio station owner Robert Sillerman and record producer James Guercio. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
In 1997, both CMT and TNN were sold to Westinghouse, then-owner of CBS for a reported $1.5 billion. 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. 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. Trinity 911 was later renamed Big Texas Heat 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. 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.
As part of its shift back to unscripted programming, CMT announced Music City in September 2017, a reality series created by Adam DiVello of The Hills and Laguna Beach fame. 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. The series premiered on March 1, 2018.
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.
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 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 Music Awards
The CMT Music Awards is a fan-voted awards show for country music videos and television performances. The awards ceremony is held every year in Nashville, Tennessee, and broadcast live on CMT. Voting takes place on CMT's website, CMT.com.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.Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling
Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling is a short-lived American reality television program, which ran for eight episodes on CMT in 2008. The first episode aired on October 18, 2008. In Australia, the show premiered in July 2009 on the FOX8 channel. It was also shown in the UK on Bravo and Viva. The show was co-produced by Hulk Hogan and Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment. The show featured celebrities being trained to become professional wrestlers. The finale aired on December 6, 2008, where Dennis Rodman was declared the winner of the competition.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.Sun Records (TV series)
Sun Records is an American drama television series based on the musical Million Dollar Quartet written by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux. It takes place at the Sun Studio in Memphis. The series stars Drake Milligan, Trevor Donovan, Kevin Fonteyne, Christian Lees, Dustin Ingram, Billy Gardell, Jonah Lees, Chad Michael Murray and Jennifer Holland. The series premiered on CMT on February 23, 2017, and concluded on April 13, 2017.The Dude Perfect Show
The Dude Perfect Show is an American reality and comedy television series that premiered on CMT on April 14, 2016, and moved to Nickelodeon on July 16, 2017. The series stars Coby Cotton, Cory Cotton, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, and Tyler Toney.The Josh Wolf Show
The Josh Wolf Show is an American late-night talk show hosted by comedian Josh Wolf on CMT. The show is the first late night talk show to be aired on CMT.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.