A Nashville Star is reborn: The country music competition show that aired for five seasons on USA will move into a bigger galaxy — on sister network NBC — for season 6. Created by NBC chief Ben Silverman’s former place of employment, Reveille (The Office, The Biggest Loser), the reality series will air its sixth cycle this summer alongside season 2 of American Gladiators, before the network begins coverage of the Summer Olympics in Beijing. The network switch makes perfect sense to Nashville exec producer Howard T. Owens, who notes, “We feel like country music is one of the few growing musical genres and now country music encompasses every type of American music that has a guitar in it. If Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Mellencamp, or Sheryl Crow came out today, they would all be marketed under the country banner, and the theme of Americana music is what we’re going to capture with the show this year.”
Casting for Nashville begins next month, and this time aspiring solo artists, duos, trios — or any other band configuration for that matter — can audition. (Artists to emerge from the first four seasons include Miranda Lambert, pictured; Chris Young; Buddy Jewel; Lance Miller; and Angela and Zac Hacker.) “We’re not just looking for country acts, we’re looking for American music superstars,” says Owens. “If you’re a mom and a son, if you’re the next Mellencamp, if you’re the next Dixie Chicks, bring it on, because we’re an incredible platform and can give you the exposure that the right new music sensation deserves.” You heard the man, America. Do it for the love of your country.
(Additional reporting by Mike Bruno)