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[11/10/11 - 11:52 AM]
Country's Biggest Stars Celebrate the Holidays With "CMA Country Christmas," Hosted by Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland
Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban are among the featured performers.

[via press release from ABC]

COUNTRY'S BIGGEST STARS CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS WITH "CMA COUNTRY CHRISTMAS," HOSTED BY JENNIFER NETTLES OF SUGARLAND

Two-Hour Special Tapes Tonight at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and Features Performances by Lauren Alaina, Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Brian Setzer, Sugarland, Keith Urban, plus Vince Gill in a Special Performance with Miss Piggy

Country's biggest stars as well as cross-genre musical innovators come together to celebrate the holidays on "CMA Country Christmas," taping in front of a live audience tonight at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The special, which is hosted for the second time by Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, airs THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (This program will repeat Saturday, December 17 from 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET).

Artists scheduled to perform and celebrate the season with songs and stories include "American Idol" runner up Lauren Alaina, Amy Grant, Faith Hill, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Brian Setzer, Sugarland, Keith Urban, and Vince Gill in a special performance with Miss Piggy!

"This special is a holiday gift, wrapped in outstanding performances and tied with a ribbon of favorite family traditions," said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. "Everything you love most about the holidays can be found in 'CMA Country Christmas.'"

Tickets for "CMA Country Christmas" are $25 for general admission Upper Level seating. Ticket prices include tax, but exclude applicable service fees. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or Ticketmaster outlets; by calling (800) 745-3000; or in person at the Bridgestone Arena Box Office, at 501 Broadway (corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, Nashville).

In 2010, the first "CMA Country Christmas" drew an average audience of 7.3 million viewers in its first airing on November 30, topping original competition on NBC and FOX by wide margins. It improved its time period for ABC over the same night in 2009 by a million viewers (7.3 vs. 6.3 million). The special re-aired a second time on December 22, 2010, reaching 4.25 million viewers. With its combined airings, "CMA Country Christmas" was seen by more than 11.5 million viewers in 2010.

"CMA Country Christmas" is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert 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.





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