Celebrate the Holidays with "CMA Country Christmas" Hosted by Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland Scott Frans October 16, 2012 Two-Hour Special Tapes Nov. 3 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Featuring Performances by Dierks Bentley, Colbie Caillat, Katherine Jenkins, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, Nettles, The Band Perry, and Keith Urban Nashville Audience Encouraged to Bring an Unwrapped Toy to the Taping to Make the Holidays Brighter for Children in Need NASHVILLE – Some of the most powerful and emotionally moving voices in music come together to celebrate the holidays on “CMA Country Christmas,” which tapes in front of a live audience Saturday, Nov. 3 (7:30 PM/CT) at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The special, which features Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland as host for the third year, airs this holiday season on the ABC Television Network. “I am so excited to be hosting this year and I love inviting the audience to get into the spirit of the season by bringing a toy for donation! It is such a joy to watch this holiday special grow — in not only its talent roster, but moreover in its charitable celebration of the season,” Nettles said. “It is important to all of us that there is a charitable component to everything we do,” said Robert Deaton, Executive Producer of “CMA Country Christmas.” “Utilizing the Christmas special taping as an opportunity to shine a light on a worthy endeavor is a perfect opportunity to give back to the community and reflects the values and heart of our industry and this city.” Artists scheduled to perform and celebrate the season with songs and stories include Dierks Bentley, Colbie Caillat, Katherine Jenkins, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, Nettles, The Band Perry, and Keith Urban. For the first time, audience members are being encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the taping to help make the holidays brighter for Nashville area children. The Nashville-based, non-profit group Generosity, will have volunteers on site with specially marked bins to collect the toys, which will be distributed to families in need this holiday season. “Our artists are extremely generous and so are our fans,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “It is our goal to make sure no child goes without a present this Christmas and we are grateful to our partners at Generosity for helping to make this a dream come true for children in Nashville.” “After working with homeless and impoverished children for several years, Generosity is so pleased to partner with the Country Music Association to collect gifts for these precious ones,” said Bethni Hemphill, founder of Generosity. “With the wide scope of the CMA and the generous hearts of Country Music fans, we know that together we will be able to show love and care to many more children with A Gift For All.” Volunteers from Generosity will start accepting toys Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1:00 PM/CT at the Bridgestone Arena. You do not have to have a ticket to the show to drop off a toy. According to Hemphill, the gifts will be distributed to homeless and needy children on Christmas night (Dec. 25) during a special service held under the Jefferson Street Bridge. The Bridge Ministry feeds these children and hundreds of homeless people every Tuesday night under the Jefferson Street Bridge. Tickets for “CMA Country Christmas” are on sale now and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or Ticketmaster outlets; by calling (800) 745-3000; or in person at the Bridgestone Arena Box Office, located at 501 Broadway (corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, Nashville). Tickets for “CMA Country Christmas” are $50 for Club Level and $100 for Lower Level reserved seating. Ticket prices include tax, but exclude applicable service fees. In 2011, the premiere broadcast of “CMA Country Christmas” drew more than 9 million viewers, which was an increase of nearly 23 percent over the inaugural broadcast in 2010. Adults 18-49 increased year-to-year by nearly 50 percent. Not only were initial airings better than in the previous year, DVR playback increased, too. Total viewers who watched the show within a week of premiere increased 2 million viewers from 2010 to 2011 (9.624 vs. 7.663). Full “CMA Country Christmas” show details can be found at CMAChristmas.com. Fans can connect with CMA online at Facebook.com/CMA, Twitter.com/CountryMusic (#CMAChristmas), YouTube.com/CountryMusicAssoc, and Pinterest.com/CMAworld. October is Country Music Month. Learn more at CountryMusicMonth.com, and join the conversation on Twitter using official hashtag #CountryMusicMonth. “CMA Country Christmas” is a production of the Country Music Association. Deaton is the executive producer, Paul Miller is the director, and David Wild is the writer. The special will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound. A TV parental guideline will be assigned closer to airdate. About Generosity: Generosity was founded in 2012 by running partners Shaun Daugherty and Bethni Hemphill as a place to fundraise for charities close to their heart, and to volunteer in their community and around the world. Their principal mission is to ease the suffering of others by responding to crisis as well as serving the ongoing needs of the community. Generosity serves a wide variety of local, national, and international charities including Toys for Tots, The Bridge Ministry, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Special Olympics, and Habitat for Humanity. Generosity supports programs in American Samoa that work with children and teenagers to better their lives through sport camps, mentoring, and tutoring.