CMT Adds New Daytime TV Show PICKLER & BEN to Morning Line-Up
CMT today announced it will add PICKLER & BEN to its morning line up. The new daytime television show features the best in lifestyle and entertainment. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. Eastern Time, CMT will re-air the new Nashville-based talk show as part of its daily morning line up. Executive produced by Grammy Award-winning super star Faith Hill, Lisa Erspamer and Jason Owen, "Pickler & Ben" will be hosted by country music and CMT star Kellie Pickler and Emmy Award-winning television personality Ben Aaron. The addition of CMT catapults the series from 38 local television markets at launch to national distribution, reaching CMT's 74 million households.
The new episodes will air first in 21 markets owned and operated by The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP), and 17 additional markets through Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution, and on CMT the morning after the first run.
The pickup comes on the heels of a strong year for CMT, which has posted nine consecutive months of year-over-year ratings growth with adults 18-49. Quarter-to-date, CMT is up 15 percent from a year ago with adults 18-49 and up 20 percent with women 18-49. (L+SD, CMT Total Day)
The series will feature Kellie and Ben hosting segments with top celebrities, tastemakers and experts on everything from entertaining and home design to cooking, DIY and more. The show will be recorded in front of a live audience at a studio on an expansive, modern farmhouse-styled set. Fans can join a taping by requesting tickets through the show's website.
A regular fixture on CMT since the launch of her 2006 debut album "Small Town Girl," Pickler now stars in the docu-comedy series "I Love Kellie Pickler" that follows her madcap relationships with friends and family, along with her adoring husband, Kyle Jacobs, her complete opposite. The 2015 series debut marked CMT's highest-rated premiere among women 18-49 since 2008. The third season kicked off on Aug. 3 with new episodes premiering on Thursdays at 11 p.m. Eastern time.
"The combination of Faith serving as producer and Kellie as one of the co-hosts makes 'Pickler & Ben' a natural fit for CMT," said Frank Tanki, general manager of CMT and TV Land. "The reciprocal partnership with Scripps will allow the show to reach a national audience, while providing us new country lifestyle programming for our fans."
Hill shares the executive producer role with Erspamer, co-founder of Happy Street Entertainment and Owen, president and CEO of Sandbox Entertainment. They work in partnership with Scripps. Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution is distributing the show in national syndication.
To get a sneak peek of the show, stay up to date on episodes and get a behind-the-scenes look at the hosts in action, follow "Pickler & Ben" on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About the Hosts Kellie Pickler first gained fame at the age of 19 as a contestant on the fifth season of "American Idol." She has gone on to release four critically acclaimed albums, including her Gold-certified debut "Small Town Girl" as well as "100 Proof," which Rolling Stonenamed the Best Country Album of 2011. In spring of 2013, Pickler won the Mirror Ball Trophy on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and also released her fourth album, "The Woman I Am," with Black River Entertainment, which featured three songs co-written by Pickler including the title cut. She launched her home goods line, Selma Drye by Kellie Pickler, named after her grandmother in collaboration with the Opry Stores (shop.opry.com) in 2015. Kellie Pickler's CMT docu-comedy series "I Love Kellie Pickler," which co-stars her husband, songwriter/producer Kyle Jacobs, debuted in November 2015, propelling the network to its highest premiere with adults since 2012 and women since 2008. The hit television series returned for its third season earlier this month. Pickler is an avid supporter of the U.S. military, having completed 11 USO Tours thus far.
Ben Aaron has earned four Emmy Awards as a features reporter for "New York Live" on WNBC and has numerous TV credits as a contributor for "Extra," "Meredith" and "Today." His posted stories on Youtube have earned millions of views. He recently teamed up with his wife, Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist for "Good Morning America," on a new home renovation show on the DIY Network called "Renovation Realities: Ben and Ginger."
Image courtesy of CMT