For country-music fans – often ignored, sometimes mocked – this is a splendid stretch.
That started last month, with Ken Burns‘ “Country Music” taking 16 PBS hours. Now the second phase includes double Reba McEntire (shown here, double Carrie Underwood and lots of Garth Brooks:
— Wednesday (Oct. 16): CMT‘s “Artists of the Year” concert is 8 p.m, repeating at 9:40. There will be performances by four honorees – Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown, Thomas Rhett and Dan + Shay – and Ashley McBride, named “Breakout Artist of the Year”; Chrissy Metz (“This Is Us”) will sing a tribute to the fifth honoree, Luke Combs.
Also, Lady Antebellum and Sam Hunt sing a tribute to Reba McEntire, elevated to “Artist of a Lifetime.” That’s previously gone to Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Shania Twain and Loretta Lynn.
— Friday (Oct. 18): “Grammy Salute to Music Legends” is 9-11 p.m. on PBS. None of these legends are country, but Garth Brooks will do a duet with Sam Moore.
— Saturday (Oct. 19): Now for classic country: “Patsy & Loretta” — 8 p.m. on Lifetime, rerunning at midnight — traces Lynn’s friendship with Patsy Cline.
The movie packs a lot – two complicated lives and seven full songs – into two hours. It mostly succeeds, with two Broadway stars – Megan Hilty as Cline and Jessie Mueller as Lynn.
— Nov. 13: The country-women emphasis continues with the CMA Awards, 8-11 p.m. on ABC. Underwood hosts, McEntire and Dolly Parton are “guest hosts,” Maren Morris leads with six nominations and there will be a tribute to legendary women.
— Nov. 24-26: The A&E channel dusts off its “Biography” series for a two-night profile of Brooks. That will include new interviews with his wife Trisha Yearwood, his friend Ty England and others, including George Strait, Keith Urban and James Taylor. On the 26th, A&E has Brooks’ Yankee Stadium concert.