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CMT Shows Aim for Twang Appeal

Apr 6, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Pauly Shore and a major wrestling star are going country.
Viacom’s CMT is adding several new shows to its schedule that focus as much on the country music sensibility as they do on the music itself.
Mr. Shore will host a reality show.
CMT’s head of development, Bob Kusbit, said that while the deal with the professional wrestler hasn’t been signed, Hulk Hogan’s VH1 Show, “Hogan Knows Best,” drew good ratings in reruns on CMT.
CMT also is renewing “My Big Redneck Wedding” and “Gone Country,” and it’s hoping for a big boost this month from its CMT Music Awards and the launch of the competition show “Can You Duet” from the producers of “American Idol.”
Mr. Kusbit thinks he’s hit on a programming formula that works.
“The more we can put our viewers on the air, and the more they get to see themselves and people like them … the more they like it,” he said.
CMT plans to launch “CMT Paid Vacation With Pauly Shore,” a special that will serve as a back-door pilot for a series. In the show, a blue-collar family gets to take a luxury weeklong vacation, but Mr. Shore, best known for his Southern California stoner shtick, comes along with them. The program premieres April 26.
While Mr. Shore might not be an obvious choice for CMT, Mr. Kusbit said some of his movies, such as “Encino Man” and “Biodome,” have proved very popular with CMT viewers.
Similarly, Mr. Hogan, the wrestler, is a very popular figure with people who watch the channel. The network is getting into the home renovation genre in its own way with “Mobile Home Disaster.” In eight one-hour episodes, humble homes on wheels are transformed into trailer park palaces. The series premieres May 16.
Also in the CMT pipeline is a new series “Mabe in America,” featuring country comedian Tom Mabe in a hidden-camera show that will premiere in July.

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