As Nashville Winds Down, CMT Moves Its Brand Away From Scripted and Into ‘Open Country’

New series Music City plots a new direction for the network

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Like many cable networks, CMT jumped on the scripted bandwagon a few years ago. However, while acquiring Nashville after ABC canceled it in 2016 gave the network a ratings boost, its original scripted shows Still the King and Sun Records didn’t connect with audiences, so CMT will be jumping off the wagon once Nashville’s series finale airs in July.

The network’s new execs—installed by Viacom CEO Bob Bakish last year as part of his company reorganization—see CMT’s new unscripted series Music City, debuting tonight, as indicative of the brand’s new direction.

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