Kellie Pickler, Billy Ray Cyrus To Star In CMT Comedies

Pictured (L-R): Darius Rucker, Brian Phillips, Josh Wolf, Billy Ray Cyrus,Cyma Zarghami, Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs, Philippe Dauman, and Joey Logano attend the Annual 2015 CMT Upfront at The Times Center on April 2, 2015 in New York City. Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for CMT

Pictured (L-R): Darius Rucker, Brian Phillips, Josh Wolf, Billy Ray Cyrus, Cyma Zarghami, Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs, Philippe Dauman, and Joey Logano attend the Annual 2015 CMT Upfront at The Times Center on April 2, 2015 in New York City. Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for CMT

CMT revealed a new slate of programming in the midst of a company-wide restructuring. CMT, which is now part of Viacom’s new kids and family division, is focusing on more original programming. Among the new offerings are two comedies featuring Billy Ray Cyrus and Kellie Pickler.

I Love Kellie Pickler (working title) will follow the daily life of country singer and former Dancing With the Stars winner Kellie Pickler, along with husband and producer/songwriter Kyle Jacobs. The series will be produced by Ryan Seacrest Productions. I Love Kellie Pickler will premiere Sept. 18.

Executive VP of Development for CMT Jayson Dinsmore speaks onstage at the Annual 2015 CMT Upfront at The Times Center on April 2, 2015 in New York City. Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for CMT

Executive VP of Development for CMT Jayson Dinsmore speaks onstage at the Annual 2015 CMT Upfront at The Times Center on April 2, 2015 in New York City. Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for CMT

Billy Ray Cyrus will star in Still The King, a comedy that features the singer-songwriter as Vernon Brown, a washed up country singer who becomes an Elvis impersonator. After crashing into an old country church, he is sentenced to return and perform community service. He pretends to be the congregation’s new minister and discovers he has a 15-year-old daughter he’s never met.

Hideout Pictures, a division of Average Joes Entertainment, will produce Still The King with Cyrus serving as executive producer and writer. Average Joes’ CEO/President, Shannon Houchins, Hideout’s Potsy Ponciroli, and Travis Nicholson will also executive produce. Ponciroli will serve as Showrunner. Julia Silverton and Jayson Dinsmore will executive produce for CMT. Still The King will premiere in 2016.

These were just two of the new series announced today (April 2) in New York City during the annual 2015 CMT Upfront, held at The Times Center. The event featured a performance from Darius Rucker. Billy Ray Cyrus, Kellie Pickler and husband Kyle Jacobs were also in attendance.

American Speed: The True Story of NASCAR, an account of the story behind NASCAR, will be narrated by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. American Speed is executive produced by Stephen David of Stephen David Entertainment and Zane Stoddard for NASCAR. Jayson Dinsmore, Lewis Bogach and John Miller-Monzon executive produce for CMT. American Speed will debut in 2016.

CMT will launch its first-ever nightly talk show, The Josh Wolf Show, starring comedian Josh Wolf and produced by Chelsea Handler. the show will feature panel discussions, interviews, and sketches with artists from country music, Hollywood and more.

Also coming are The Ed Bassmaster Show, starring Ed Bassmaster, as well as the docu-series Gainesville, from the producers of Brick City. Gainesville, produced by Wheels Off Entertainment, is set to premiere May 14 and follows a group of friends in small town Florida as they transition into adulthood.

Additionally, the entire series of the highly lauded ensemble drama Friday Night Lights starring Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton will begin airing in May.

This spring CMT will premiere new seasons of Party Down South, Party Down South 2, and Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, as well as the music events CMT Music Awards, CMT Artists of the Year, and CMT Championship Kickoff Party.

Pictured (L-R): Kyle Jacobs and Kellie Pickler

Pictured (L-R): Kyle Jacobs and Kellie Pickler. Photo: Getty Images for CMT

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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