Country music is about to get its fourth annual big awards show. NBCUniversal announced Thursday that a program honoring the country’s most popular artists will be spun off from its “Audience Award“, with a two-hour television program dubbed “People’s Choice Country Awards” which will debut in September on the NBC broadcast network and Peacock streaming service.
The host venue for the event will be Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry House, which was used as a venue by the Academy of Country Music Awards for a few years during the pandemic, but has never been the main ongoing venue for kudocasts in the past. The partnership is the result of Opry’s parent company, Ryman Hospitality Properties, having reached an agreement in April 2022 to sell a 30% stake in its entertainment business to NBC Universal and investment company Atairos.
NBCUniversal bills the new show as “the only awards show for the people, by the people.” It will become the only fully fan-voted national awards show. The CMT Music Awards (which announced their annual nominations just a day earlier) also stand as fan-voted, but CMT executives do the initial selection of nominees internally, then leave subsequent rounds up to fans.
Not all winners will live up to the mainstream; NBCUniversal said several honorary awards will also be presented at the September ceremony.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Grand Ole Opry to bring Nashville’s biggest country music celebration of the year,” Cassandra Tryon, senior vice president of live events for NBCUniversal Television & Streaming, said in a statement. communicated. “Country fans are passionate about their music and there’s no better place to host this event than on the biggest country music stage.”
The show will be produced by Den of Thieves and will have Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager and Barb Bialkowski as executive producers.
No specific date beyond September has been announced for the premiere of the new show.
Of the three existing major national awards shows on the calendar, the “People’s Choice Country Awards” will come closest to the CMA Awards, which always land on ABC in the first half of November. The other two shows are both coming in the spring. CBS now has “The CMT Music Awards,” airing from Austin in April, and the ACM Awards moved to a live stream in May on Prime Video from the Dallas area.
Of course, country artists also have plenty of other trophy-winning opportunities throughout the year, including the Grammys, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and People’s Choice.
The “People’s Choice Awards” show takes place in December and has traditionally given an award to the favorite country artist. Three months ago, that fan-voted honor went to Carrie Underwood, out of a group of eight. The categories for the new show have not been announced.
It won’t be the first time there have been four major country awards shows competing for the attention of Music Row and music lovers during the year. Fox had its own bid to get in on the national action for a while, with the American Country Awards from 2010 to 2013, followed by the American Country Countdown Awards in 2014 and 2016, both long gone.