Grateful ‘Nashville’ fans could boost Billy Ray Cyrus’ new CMT show

2016 CMT Music Awards - Arrivals

Joey Lauren Adams and Billy Ray Cyrus, who are in CMT’s “Still the King,” attend the 2016 CMT Music Awards on June 8. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for CMT)

 

By LIZ MINIET

The cable network CMT won’t have to wait until a new season of “Nashville,” the TV show it helped rescue, to feel fans’ gratitude.

An early display will happen Sunday night (June 12), with “Nashville” fans (aka #Nashies) tweeting their support for the new CMT show “Still the King.” The comedy stars country singer and actor Billy Ray Cyrus.

Now that the “Nashville” fans won the struggle to save their show, they feel it’s only right to get behind CMT’s new endeavor, said singer-songwriter Paul E. Zukowski (whose stage name is P-E-Z), who started #NashRewind. (Fans rewatched the “Nashville” pilot on June 1 and tweeted up a storm as part of their push to get the then-canceled show a new home.)

Efforts by producers and fans paid off, and a deal with CMT and Hulu gave new life to “Nashville,” which ABC canceled last month. The deal was announced Friday.

On Sunday, Zukowski and other fans will be on Twitter using the hashtag  at 9 p.m. Eastern time/8 p.m. Central time to help CMT build support for Cyrus’ new comedy, where Cyrus plays Vernon Brownmule, a washed-up country singer who later emerges as the second best Elvis impersonator around. After a drunken bender gets Vernon arrested, he’s sentenced to serve as a church’s handyman as part of his parole. He pretends to be a minister to make money when he learns he has a real role to fill: being a dad to a 15-year-old daughter (Madison Iseman) he’s never met.

Joey Lauren Adams plays the girl’s mother, and viewers learn it wasn’t the most romantic courtship. Can Vernon fix his life and be a good dad to the teen?

“I just believe CMT did so much for we should throw them our love,” Jeni Bradley, a “Nashville” fan who lives in Michigan, told me via Twitter about the “Still the King” campaign.

Bradley is an example of how devoted #Nashies can be. “I did not get active on Twitter until two weeks before the cancellation. I just jumped in and did what I could to save our beloved ‘Nashville.'”

Not only that, but rumors of CMT’s decision won her over even before the “Nashville” deal was officially announced Friday. “I signed a two-year contract with DirecTV (to get CMT). I plan to do all I can to support CMT.”

A bond has formed among the fans, something of which Bradley is proud: “We have connected and bonded even though many of us have never met. We are all over the world and we pray for each other, support each other and so much more.” For instance, a fan’s health emergency last week brought prayers and well wishes from all over.

Now the fans are looking to help Cyrus’ show. Here’s a trailer for “Still the King”:

 

And don’t think that “Nashville” fans believe their job for their show is done now that “Nashville” is getting a fifth season for sure. The next #NashRewind is at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central this Wednesday (June 15). Fans will rewatch the second episode of the first season and tweet all about it. (Places you can find “Nashville” episodes include iTunes, Hulu and Amazon Video.) Zukowski said #Nash Rewind will do an episode a week at that same time until season 5 starts. (We haven’t heard yet when that will be, but Connie Britton, who plays Rayna, reassured “Entertainment Tonight” that she’s on board. If you need help catching up, you can check out our recap of the season 4 finale here.)

During the June 1 #NashRewind, several of the show’s stars, including Charles Esten (Deacon) and Clare Bowen (Scarlett), participated, too.

“Getting the cast to join in was very unexpected,” Bradley said.

Though Bradley said “the cast has been amazing,” she singled out Ed Amatrudo (who plays Glenn, Juliette’s manager, on the show).

“Ed is the . He named us, and even . He has been beyond supportive. … He is amazing and every hard-core #Nashie will say the same.”

In the meantime, Billy Ray Cyrus can bask in the devotion of #Nashies Sunday night.

 

TV PREVIEW

“Still the King”

9 p.m. Sundays (starts June 12), CMT


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