|Country Music Television, Inc. (CMT)|
Country Music Television, or CMT as it is usually called, is an American country music-oriented cable television network. Programming includes music videos, taped concerts, movies, biographies of country music stars, and reality programs. CMT is owned and operated by MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom.
CMT was launched on March 5, 1983 at 6:19 PM CST, created and founded by Glenn D. Daniels and uplinked from the Video World Productions facility in Hendersonville, Tennessee (see the founder's website at http://www.cmtcountry.com for more details.) Daniels put together the investor group of Telestar Corporation and the penny stock company Blinder and Robinson in a 3-way ownership split.
Glenn D. Daniels was the creator, founder, Program Director and first President of the network, originally called "CMTV" but always "Country Music Television." (The "V" was dropped in response to a complaint by competitor MTV). CMT(V) beat The Nashville Network (TNN) on the air by 2 days and became the chief competition to TNN until Gaylord Entertainment Company (then-owner of TNN) bought the financially-strapped network in 1991. CMT was positioned to play 24-hour country music videos, while TNN was geared toward programming lending itself to a "country lifestyle". The first video to air on CMT was a performance clip of country music legend Faron Young's classic hit, "It's Four in the Morning."
In 1997, both networks were sold to Westinghouse, the owner of the CBS network. The acquisition of the two country-themed networks, along with the formation of the ill-fated "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 FSN 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 changed the format of TNN, eventually renaming it Spike TV. Viacom also changed the format of CMT, modeling it after MTV to include shows and movies in addition to music videos. Over time, the number of music videos on the network has continued to decrease with the addition of the CMT Pure Country (originally VH1 Country) digital-tier network.
CMT's current programming features country music-oriented shows (i.e. country music videos, taped concerts, etc.), country lifestyle-oriented shows, and old shows and movies that prominently feature country or Southern-rock music. Much like sister channel VH-1, CMT has become a sought-after pop-culture channel in the last few years, with added emphasis on specials, countdowns, and reality programs as well as music videos.
Popular shows on CMT include Crossroads (a country artist is paired with an artist of a different genre, usually classic rock), Cross Country (two country music artists are paired), CMT Giants (a country legend is honored by current artists), Power Picks (online voting for upcoming videos), and Trick My Truck (big rig truck mechanics customizing trucks).
CMT also shows country/rural lifestyle movies such as A Wedding on Waltons Mountain and Broken Bridges. Specials on the network include profiles of country artists and award shows such as the CMA Awards and CMT Music Awards. CMT also offers the only country music oriented video game, titled CMT Presents: Karaoke Revolution Country, released in early/mid 2006 on PS2 as a karaoke and dancing game.
CMT has launched several reality TV shows including Gone Country, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge, The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search, and others.
Reruns are a staple of CMT's programming. The Dukes of Hazzard aired on CMT from 2004 until early 2008, when it was dropped without explanation, as did Hee Haw on a sporadic basis. Reruns of several shows that seemingly have little or nothing to do with country music air or have aired recently on CMT, including MTV's Two-A-Days, VH1's Hogan Knows Best and (currently) Trading Spouses.
- Official Site
- CMT Founder's Site
- CMT Music Awards
- CMT Presents: Karaoke Revolution Country
- Music City Madness Contest Submit your original music videos.
- Miss America Pageant on CMT
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