When live music concerts were put on hold earlier this year due to COVID-19 concerns, cable’s Outdoor Channel and Universal Music Group Nashville teamed up to fill the void. Their solution: bring the live music experience home to fans around the country. The two entertainment entities launched a five-week series in May called Country Outdoors LIVE Presented by RAM, airing on the Outdoor Channel. The series showcased one artist per week performing in a safely-distanced, intimate setting, such as their homes. Country stars like Travis Denning and Caylee Hammack entertained viewers with their songs as well as some of the fascinating stories behind them. Hosts Nick Hoffman and Mary O’Neill Phillips introduced the acts and delved into the artists’ personalities, giving fans some extra insight into their favorites.
Country Outdoors LIVE was a surefire smash with the Outdoor Channel audience. And beginning Monday, September 28th, the Outdoor Channel is bringing back the series with four new episodes, airing each Monday night at 8 p.m. ET. Gary Allan is lined up to star in the first show, followed by: Caylee Hammack, October 5th, Jordan Davis, October 12th, and Josh Turner, October 19th.
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@nickswildride and @maryoneillofficial_ have been very busy this week! @outdoorchanneltv is bringing you a brand new season of Country Outdoors LIVE with these mega stars @joshturnermusic @garyallanmusic @cayleehammack @jordandavisofficial ! You are going to want to tune in Monday nights for the biggest party in country music! #countryoutdoorslive
Opening up that offstage personality provided one of the keys to the show’s booming success. In the show’s first season, for instance, Caylee Hammack waxed beautifully about her backyard garden, where she grows fresh vegetables. Fans also got a glimpse of Jordan Davis’ home life with his wife and child. “You don’t get that from every TV show,” says Mitch Petrie, Vice-President of Programming for the Outdoor Sportsman Group. “Artists are connecting with their passions more because they are spending more time at home. But fans don’t always have a chance to hear about them. For this season, Nick will still be interfacing with the artists and introducing the songs, and Mary will go deeper into the personal side. We will still be presenting the stories behind the songs. When you can learn a little more about an artist,” Petrie adds, “the connection between the artists and their fans grows even stronger.”
Country Outdoors LIVE definitely connected with the network’s core audience of outdoors enthusiasts. Those same men and women tend to list country as their musical genre of choice, so the Outdoor Channel was the perfect landing spot for the series. “The show gives us a deeper connection with country music,” Petrie notes. “We have a large male viewership for the Outdoor Channel, and Country Outdoors LIVE helped us drive home a strong female audience. There was also a crossover appeal to the show. People got to hear some great music and possibly discover other Outdoor Channel programs. It’s a natural fit.”
Two artists from the inaugural season, rising stars Caylee Hammack and Jordan Davis, are making return visits to Country Outdoors LIVE. “We had great feedback on Caylee,” Petrie says with enthusiasm. “I would say that she was one of the top-rated performers from the first round. She said that she really enjoyed doing the show. And I do know that Caylee’s dad was very impressed that she was on our channel. Jordan lives more of that country lifestyle so he did well with our audience base.”
Gary Allan and his band kick off the second season with a rocking performance inside a studio. “The production values were really enhanced, with a much clearer audio quality,” Petrie says. In the season’s concluding episode, fans will see an often-unknown side of Josh Turner, mainly his dry and disarming sense of humor. “He and Mary sat together on the hair-and-makeup table and they had a chance to connect with each other,” Petrie shares. “They had a lot of fun together and I think fans will see that.”