Sugarland Special Debuts On ABC

sugarSugarland swaggered into ABC’s primetime line-up last night (8/3) with spunk and enthusiasm, trademarks of the duo’s performances. They were debuting the new concert DVD, Sugarland: Live On The Inside, the day before it hits shelves exclusively at Wal-Mart as part of a package.

Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush covered most of their hits (“Settlin’,” “All I Want To Do,” “Something More”), as well as tossed in two R.E.M. songs as a nod to their fellow Georgians. With career growth comes artistic freedom, and Nettles and Bush are testing the waters with class.

For their song “Joey,” Sugarland uses R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming” as a lead-in, and Nettles delivers it gorgeously. She sings the ode with as much heartfelt emotion as their award-winning “Stay.” Under Shaun Silva’s talented direction, the film is a showcase for the duo’s theatrics. For “Nightswimming/Joey” Nettles sports a sequined red cap and holds a white parasol while bubbles float through the air. Later, the pair rolls through the crowd in gigantic plastic bubbles. And for the rootsy “Genevieve,” Sugarland and their band members gather in a close singing circle to strum and play.

The ratings from show that the special didn’t fare as well as the other networks. The hour-long event came in fourth in the 8 PM/ET hour, behind first place CBS with reruns of How I Met Your Mother (4.8 million viewers) and Rules of Engagement (5.3 million). Also trailing NBC and Fox, ABC’s special garnered 4.2 million viewers. The network is reaching out to Country fans with programming like this, as well as the upcoming CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock which airs Monday, Aug. 31 and is expanding to three hours for the first time.


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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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