Country Music Television has lured a hospitality industry veteran to be its director of special events. Jim Raley has relocated to Nashville from Atlanta to oversee the production of the TV network's non-televised events. First up: Various happenings related to next month's CMT Music Awards.
Count Country Music Television in for The Academies of Nashville program at Metro Schools. The television network has signed an agreement to provide $100,000 worth of in-kind contributions in the coming year to the Academy of Digital Design and Communication at McGavock High School. After that, CMT officials — who are the fifth group to sign with Metro — will be asked to provide $50,000 worth of contributions.
The premieres of "Bayou Billionaires" and "My Big Redneck Vacation" last weekend proved to be winners for Country Music Television. With overnight ratings of 0.72 and 0.70 among viewers 18 to 49, they were the most-watched original series shows in the network's history. That bodes well for downtown-based CMT, which is launching a number of other reality shows later this year.
Cable channel CMT has launched a bundle of smartphone applications for Sprint customers that includes some of its own offerings as well as those of the Grand Ole Opry and Rhapsody, among others.
CMT is starting a division focusing on made-for-television movies. Music Row reports that CMT Original Movies will focus on romantic comedies and music-related projects, including a pair of projects already in the works — To The Mat, starring Ricky Schroder and Laura Bell Bundy, and Reel Love, starring LeAnn Rimes (pictured).
CMT's SVP of Programming, Mary Beth Cunin, tells Music Row: “We’ve had great ratings success programming with acquired theatrical romantic comedies, so it is only natural for us to create original stories that are tailor made for the CMT audience.”
Click on the above link to read the full story, which includes background about CMT's previous foray into the movie business and plot summaries of the two upcoming projects.