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[05/18/09 - 10:39 AM]
ABC Hosts Annual Block Party at Cma Music Festival in Nashville
The festival will be taped for a summer special, "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock," airing Monday, August 31.

[via press release from ABC]

ABC HOSTS ANNUAL BLOCK PARTY AT CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL IN NASHVILLE

The Party Extended to Two Days with ABC's "Wipeout" Obstacle Course June 12-13

Hosted by Cameron Mathison with Appearances and Performances by Fellow ABC Daytime Stars Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash, Kathy Brier, Kassie DePavia, Bobbie Eakes, Rebecca Herbst, Thorsten Kaye, Kimberly McCullough, Greg Vaughan, Bree Williamson and Laura Wright, plus Country Stars Sarah Buxton, Caitlin & Will and Love and Theft

How do you top the one-day ABC All Star Block Party, a hit at the 2008 CMA Music Festival? Simple: You make it twice as long and pack it with even more music, celebrities and activities during 2009 CMA Music Festival, June 11-14 in Nashville.

"Why not?" asked Michael Benson, executive vice president, Marketing, ABC Entertainment. "The fans enjoy it. We find a lot of benefit in it. Besides, we love our partnership with CMA and Nashville. That's why we want to do more every year, spend more time and be more involved."

"We really love including our wonderful network partner ABC in the Festival," said CMA Chief Executive Officer Tammy Genovese. "The fans really enjoy seeing the stars and attending the Block Party, which has quickly become a �must do' activity for our attendees. They know when ABC is involved, they're going to have a great time."

Called "the country's premiere Country Music festival in the country's premiere Country Music town" by the New York Times, the Festival will be taped for a summer special, "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock," airing Monday, August 31 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

Scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 12-13, the Block Party, hosted by Cameron Mathison (Ryan Lavery on "All My Children"), promises entertainment for all ages. Held at the Hall of Fame Park (adjacent to Fifth Avenue between Broadway and Demonbreun), kids, along with more daring adults, can check out the two "Wipeout" obstacle courses. This fun-filled landscape somewhat tones down the challenges posed on the popular ABC "Wipeout" reality program, but hilarious (and painless) pratfalls, slips � in a word, wipeouts � are just as likely in this area next to the Dr Pepper�-McDonald's� Family Zone.

There will be plenty of music too, courtesy of the Divas of Daytime: Kathy Brier and Kassie DePaiva (Marcie McBain and Blair McBain, respectively, from "One Life to Live"), and Bobbie Eakes (Krystal Carey on "All My Children"), who are making their Nashville debut as a trio. In addition to performing Country and Southern rock favorites at the Block Party Friday and Saturday, they'll perform at a Saturday breakfast show at B. B. King's Blues Club, as well as an unplugged in the Durango� Acoustic Corner inside the Greased Lightning� Fan Fair� Hall.

The Divas will also sign autographs, sit for Q&A sessions and mingle with fans at the Block Party, along with fellow ABC Daytime stars Bree Williamson (Jessica Brennan on "One Life to Live"), Thorsten Kaye (Zach Slater on "All My Children") and Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash, Kimberly McCullough, Greg Vaughan, Laura Wright and Rebecca Herbst (Damian Spinelli, Johnny Zacchara, Robin Scorpio, Lucky Spencer, Carly Corinthos Jacks and Elizabeth Webber, respectively, on "General Hospital").

There will be special musical performances by several up-and-coming Country artists, including Love and Theft and Caitlin & Will (Friday, June 12) and Sarah Buxton (Saturday, June 13).

Beyond all that, the Block Party will offer trivia contests (including one that pits experts on "Grey's Anatomy" against specialists in "General Hospital"), Country line-dance lessons, a photo booth where people can take away a souvenir 4X6 photo from the ABC All Star Block Party, and more. ABC-branded souvenirs will be given away, including beach towels, cowboy hats, gift baskets, sunscreen and T-shirts. As a further respite from the anticipated heat, the network will distribute free snow cones.

"It's all about making sure that visitors to the Block Party feel like they're part of the network," added Marla Provencio, executive vice president, Marketing, ABC Entertainment. "Coming to CMA Music Festival allows us to deepen our engagement with potential viewers and strengthen our relationship with current fans of our shows."

The three-hour ABC special is a primetime postcard of all the best Festival concert performances and behind-the-scenes stories with Country Music superstars. This is the sixth time ABC will broadcast this special, which invites the whole country to America's biggest Country Music bash, since the original Fan Fair� was launched in 1972. Last year more than 52,000 fans a day representing every state and 26 foreign territories attended CMA Music Festival, the event's biggest turnout yet.

ABC Daytime, which remains No. 1 among all broadcast networks in the key Women 18-49 demographic, produces 1,000 hours of original television a year, with four network-owned daytime programs including "The View," now in its 11th season, as well as the popular daytime dramas "All My Children," "one Life to Live" and "General Hospital."





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· WIPEOUT (ABC)





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