There was a healthy dose of Country influence on the small screen in 2010, as artists made their marks on sitcoms, dramas and reality, talk and game shows.
- CMA was all over television in 2010 with three network specials on ABC. “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock,” a three-hour showcase of the annual summer festival each June in Nashville with 65,000 fans per day attending, drew 6 million viewers in July. "The 44th Annual CMA Awards" was another huge ratings winner, with 16.5 million viewers tuning in during November sweeps. “CMA Country Christmas” debuted Nov. 29, drawing 7.3 million viewers, which led the network to re-air the program Dec. 22.
- “The Oprah Winfrey Show” intensified its focus on Country in 2010 as many artists, including Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney, The Judds, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Chely Wright, made appearances. Though the 2010-11 season of “Oprah” will be its last, Winfrey has launched the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) which will feature two reality shows that follow two of Country’s most intriguing acts – The Judds and Shania Twain.
Artists delivered one-liners and jockeyed for laughs on sitcoms and children’s programs in 2010.
- Reba appeared with her former “Reba” co-star JoAnna Garcia on ABC’s “Better with You.”
- Laura Bell Bundy and Carrie Underwood, went head-to-head with Barney and the gang on CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother."
- “Sesame Street” featured Carrie Underwood, or rather her alter ego “Carrie Underworm,” as a worm with platinum blonde hair.
- Some artists took a dramatic turn on screen.
- Lyle Lovett played a shadowy character on the ABC drama “Castle.”
- Rascal Flatts was at the center of a murder probe on an episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” on CBS.
- Wynonna appeared as herself and performed on an episode of Lifetime’s “Army Wives.”
Fans couldn’t get enough of artists being themselves on reality shows in 2010.
- The always fashionable Faith Hill was a guest judge on Lifetime’s “Project Runway.”
- Toby Keith served as guest host on the professional wrestling show “WWE: Raw” on USA Network.
- Craig Morgan scored his own show on the Outdoor Network, “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors.”
- Rascal Flatts appeared on ABC’s “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.”
- Reba and Taylor Swift performed on episodes of “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC.
- ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” featured a Nashville-area family whose child-care facility was severely damaged in the historic May floods; LeAnn Rimes, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban chipped in to help.
- Capitol Records Nashville was the target of a team challenge on “The Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC, when the celebrity contenders met with Luke Bryan and Emily West to determine how to best promote the young artists’ careers and Trace Adkins returned to Trump’s boardroom in a special appearance on the show.
- Carrie Underwood visited her musical alma-mater when she performed on the Fox season finale of “American Idol,” while Shania Twain served as a mentor and Rascal Flatts and Lady Antebellum performed on the reality singing competition.
- Mark Wills landed a hosting gig on VS. Network’s “3-Gun Nation.”
- Wynonna disguised herself as a tire saleswoman on an episode of “I Get That A Lot” on CBS.
It was all fun and games in 2010 with many artists appearing on game shows.
- Bo Bice won $25,000 for charity on the karaoke-inspired game show “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” on MyNetworkTV and Fox affiliates.
- CBS’ “The Price is Right” featured an entire week devoted to Country, with Lonestar taking over house band duties and Bomshel and Blake Shelton making special appearances.
- Joe Nichols and Trailer Choir appeared on CMT’s “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader,” hosted by Jeff Foxworthy.
Sporting events were infused with Country sounds in 2010.
- Faith Hill returned to perform the opening for “Football Night in America” on NBC and Hank Williams Jr. once again offered the intro to “Monday Night Football on ESPN.
- Outdoor sports lovers Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton appeared on The Sportsman Channel’s “Country Boys Outdoors,” to help the hosts search for alligators in Florida.
- Martina McBride and Rascal Flatts performed on “NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony” on the Speed Network.
- David Nail showed off his baseball skills on Major League Baseball’s “All-Stars Legends and Celebrity” game on ESPN.
- Carrie Underwood performed the national anthem before the battle between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints at Super Bowl XLIV.
- While Carrie Underwood closed the 2009-10 football season, Taylor Swift opened the 2010-11 season, performing during the “NFL Opening Kick Off” on NBC.
- Keith Urban performed the halftime show at the Thanksgiving day NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.
- Gretchen Wilson performed the national anthem at the NFL’s AFC Championship game.
Other Country Artist Involvement in Television
- Garth Brooks co-produced “Unanswered Prayers,” a made-for-TV movie on Lifetime based on his 1990 No. 1 hit of the same name.
- Kenny Chesney wrote and directed the documentary “Boys of Fall,” about the importance of football in small town America, which aired on ESPN.
- Trace Adkins performed on "The 59th Annual Miss USA Pageant," which aired on NBC.
- Newcomer Brett Eldredge performed his single “Raymond,” about a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s on the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s “Together for a Cure” telethon.
- Gloriana helped usher in the holiday season performing on the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” on NBC.
- Kris Kristofferson, Lady Antebellum and Martina McBride appeared on the multi-network special “Stand Up to Cancer.”
- "In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: Bright Lights, Big Stars. All Access Nashville," which aired on ABC two nights before the CMA Awards, featured Roberts Interviewing Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood.
- Taylor Swift had many things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day with her first network television special on NBC, “Taylor Swift: Speak Now.”
- Adoptee Jimmy Wayne performed holiday classics on “The 12th Annual a Home for the Holidays” special on CBS.