CMT Premieres Five Original Documentaries, Airing As Soon As Saturday

CMT LogoCMT has announced five forthcoming original documentaries on its channel, airing as soon as this week.

Three will premiere throughout the year including Saturday’s (June 13) Urban Cowboy: The Rise and Fall of Gilley’s. Details below for additional titles including Morgan Spurlock Presents Freedom! The Movie and Johnny Cash: American Rebel. Next year, CMT will release American Bandit: The Birth of Southern Cool and Chicken People.

“CMT has assembled an eclectic mix of award-winning and critically acclaimed filmmakers to develop original documentaries spanning a wide array of subjects that will instantly resonate with our core audience and beyond,” said Jayson Dinsmore, EVP Development and Programming, CMT.

CMT’s Original Documentary Film Slate:

Urban-Cowboy-Rise-&-Fall-of-Gilley'sUrban Cowboy: The Rise and Fall of Gilley’s (June 13 at 9 pm ET/PT)
From the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy nominated producers and directors of the ESPN 30 for 30 film Pony Excess which debuted as the highest-rated documentary in network history and the Emmy-nominated The Marinovich Project, comes Urban Cowboy: The Rise and Fall of Gilley’s. The two-hour documentary delves into the phenomenon sparked by the 1980 film Urban Cowboy—when country music found itself in vogue nationally for the first time in history and features new interviews with John Travolta, Mickey Gilley and Scott Glenn. The documentary, which coincides with the 35th anniversary of the release of the iconic film Urban Cowboy, tells the boom and bust story of the Texas-sized phenomenon and the honky-tonk that inspired it. Urban Cowboy: The Rise and Fall of Gilley’s is produced by ten100 Productions, with John Dorsey and Andrew Stephan as executive producers and John Dorsey as director. Jayson Dinsmore, Lewis Bogach and John Miller-Monzon executive produce for CMT.

Billy Wayne Davis.

Billy Wayne Davis

Morgan Spurlock Presents Freedom! The Movie (July 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT)
From Academy Award and Emmy-nominated filmmaker/executive producer Morgan Spurlock comes Freedom! The Movie. This epic two-hour film explores the idea of independence and whether we’re all still truly liberated in today’s America. Equal parts comedic and irreverent, intrepid hero and freedom-loving host comedian Billy Wayne Davis traverses the country on a quest to find Americans exercising their God-given freedoms, no matter the cost. Because freedom isn’t free, even with a Groupon. Freedom! The Movie is produced by Warrior Poets, with Morgan Spurlock, Jeremy Chilnick and Ethan Goldman as executive producers. Jayson Dinsmore, Lewis Bogach and John Miller-Monzon executive produce for CMT.

Johnny Cash: American Rebel (September 12 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT)
The two hour documentary is a celebration of the larger-than-life Johnny Cash from the unique perspective of the Man in Black’s greatest songs, with the film being built around the 10 greatest Johnny Cash tracks, the “essentials”. Each song brings to life a chapter in the story of America from the 1950s to modern day, as we tour the life of music and artistic expression of one of music’s most storied talents. Through his music, Cash was ahead of his time in fighting against war, injustice, racism and prejudice. Johnny Cash: American Rebel will deliver the passion, musicality and messages of Cash’s 10 most iconic songs, recorded over four decades. Combining cinematically filmed original interviews with Johnny Cash’s family and friends including John Carter Cash, Rosanne Cash, Eric Church, Rodney Crowell, Sheryl Crow, Merle Haggard, Johnny Western and Clive Davis, and a broad array of international superstars from the music and entertainment industries, along with a soundtrack of Cash’s most famous songs, archival concert footage, classic photographs, family snapshots and personal artifacts from the Cash family, Johnny Cash: American Rebel is an epic tribute to this gifted artist, fighter of causes, and legendary entertainer. Derik Murray and Paul Gertz from Network Entertainment executive produce. Jayson Dinsmore, Lewis Bogach and John Miller-Monzon executive produce for CMT.

American Bandit: The Birth of Southern Cool (Released 2016)
A buddy movie about a buddy movie, American Bandit: The Birth of Southern Cool
tells the inside story of the making of one of the most iconic and influential films of the 1970s, Smokey & the Bandit. The documentary explores how two friends, Hal Needham, a legendary stuntman turned first-time director, and Burt Reynolds, the biggest movie star in the world, found blockbuster success with an unlikely story about a truck full of beer, shattered cinematic stereotypes and redefined Southern pride. New interviews include Reynolds, Ron White and Tony Stewart. The two-hour documentary is produced by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine. Jayson Dinsmore, Lewis Bogach and John Miller-Monzon executive produce for CMT

Chicken People (Released 2016)
CMT is teaming up with Emmy Award-winning Motto Pictures and Emmy nominated director Nicole Lucas Haimes for Chicken People, a two-hour documentary takes a look at the colorful and hugely competitive world of champion show chicken breeders. A real life “Best in Show” but about chickens, the film follows the struggles and triumphs of both humans and their chickens on the road to compete at the Ohio National Poultry Show, considered the Westminster of Chickens. Chicken People is produced by Motto Pictures and Haimes Film, with Julie Goldman, Caroline Kaplan, Chris Clements, and Terry Leonard producing. Nicole Lucas Haimes executive produces and Jayson Dinsmore, Lewis Bogach and John Miller-Monzon executive produce for CMT.

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