CMT Teams With “Idol” Producers For Singing Competiton

Nigel Lythgoe

CMT is launching a singing-songwriting competition with producers Nigel Lythgoe and his son Simon Lythgoe, both known for work on American Idol. CMT’s Next Superstar is already in production and the 10-installment show is on track to debut in April.

Though the focus is on performing and songwriting, the series will also include media challenges for the contestants, such as photo shoots, media training and music videos. Lots of on-location shoots are expected, ranging from Nashville venues to trips to Memphis and Texas.

Some details have yet to be announced, including the judging panel and the Nashville mansion where the contestants will live.

Each week, one finalist will be eliminated and America will have the final vote to determine who will win. The show’s finale will be held at Ryman Auditorium and the winner will be revealed during the CMT Awards in June, with a single to be released in tandem. The winner will also get a slot on the CMT Tour.

Simon will be in Nashville running the show, while Nigel plans to stay in Los Angeles with Idol. Former CMT exec Bob Kusbit also executive produces in his first outside project for the network. Brad Johnson and Melanie Moreau serve as executive producers for CMT.

“Country music is all about storytelling, personalities and putting yourself into the songs,” Nigel told the Hollywood Reporter. “This show is not about going to a set, it’s about being in a location that has history to it. We’re down and dirty in the heart of Nashville.” More here.


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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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