Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Grand Ole Opry On GAC?

I am sure many of you have noticed that since the 1st of the year, GAC has not run any new Opry live shows, but has been showing repeats of basically the same 5 or 6 shows. I was beginning to wonder if GAC was ever going to have any more "new" Opry live shows, so I contacted GAC and received the following response: "We had so many wonderful Opry Live performances last year that received great audience response that our programming department has decided to re-air them again indefinitely as "The Best of Opry Live." Please continue to check back with us for any updates!" We'll, in other words, this sounds like no more new Opry shows on GAC. I have a request into the Opry office regarding if they still have a contract with GAC or if it has expired. I know the contract that they were working with called for 26 new shows and 26 repeat shows per year. This could be an opportunity for a new network to step in, but, let's be honest, there are probably limited options for Opry management. They already have been on CMT and the TNN-Spike network, and the demographics of both of those networks do not fit the Opry. RFD would be a great home but RFD needs to get on more cable stations, especially those on the Time-Warner network. And, I am sure RFD would want to spotlight more traditional artists, while the Opry is trying to grow in other areas. Not much left after that unless they went to Public Television. Personally, RFD would be fine with me. How about a Saturday night line-up of Hee-Haw, The Marty Stuart Show and The Grand Ole Opry?


  1. I really appreciate what you are doing here. I have been a fan of the Opry for all of my life(I'm 43) and attended my first Opry show when I was 3 months old in 1965. I have been to hundreds of shows since.

    I heard a few weeks ago from someone in the know that they were talking with both GAC and RFD and it sounded optimistic that something would get done with one or the other but I haven't heard anything of late.

    I really hope they land somewhere, because I think it would really be a blow to the Opry's relevance and importance both in the industry, and in America's consciousness to not have TV coverage. It's funny when you hear some of the newer acts interviewed, like Carrie Underwood, and they say their first recollections of the Opry are when they "watched" it with their parents or grandparents.

    BTW, I believe April 13th will mark the 24th anniversary of the Opry Live series on TNN,CMT and GAC, so it has been running regularly for a long time. It would be sad to see that ever end.

    I think RFD would be great because maybe we would start seeing more balance between the newer acts and the traditional artists which we really didn't see as much on GAC. I believe, Bill Anderson, for example, had not been on a GAC Opry Live since July 06 which is really a shame because he has continued to make himself relevant with his songwriting successes of late.

    Like you said, though, if GAC and the Opry part, RFD is probably the last option available for TV, so hopefully something will be worked out because "out of sight is really out of mind."

    I would think having the Opry would be a real feather in the RFD cap and could help expand their reach/get on more cable systems like they are trying to do with having IMUS on in the morning.

    Frankly, though, there hasn't much TV out of Nashville period in recent months except for Marty Stuart on RFD. What is going on with Ralph Emery and Crook and Chase on RFD? They have been airing reruns for 7-8 months of these shows over there and have aired some of the Crook and Chase shows 2 or 3 times over, I think. I had heard Ralph Emery say late last year that his shows would be original again on RFD starting in March 09 but that hasn't happened either. Maybe it is all due to the economy like everything else these days??

  2. Sad to say, I don't get GAC or RFD--and I really regret not getting RFD, with all of those great country shows.

    As to the shows, production costs may enter into it. But in Ralph's case, he did just celebrate his 76th birthday and might want to slow down a bit.

    Another thing is that GAC has, a couple of times, taped the Tuesday Night Opry. Frankly, the format there is more in line with what GAC seems to want, because what GAC had been televising was not really the "Opry." The original Opry Live was the cameras brought in to show what was happening and Keith Bilbrey filling in as needed. That was truer to what the Opry was and is.

  3. This is sad. I loved the GAC Opry live feathering new and popular artists and Nan Kelly. What would the Opry be without her? These great new traditions made the Opry fresh and popular. I will never forget the night that Randy invited Carrie to join the Opry. Mixing old and new traditions. I think I herd that was the highest rated Opry ever. If RFD gets the Opry it will go back to the stale show that was loosing popularity. Don’t get me wrong the older artists that made the Opry should have a place as will. I think GAC tried to do that. It is hard to believe it may never be again especially after such a great year. Thanks for the information. I hope Opry live doesn’t become a victim of corporate greed.

  4. I hope the Grand Ole Opry chooses to deal with RFDTV. I also hope that they go back the old way like it should be the TNN way. It was great, you didn't have all the chit chat just good ole fashion Country Music. GAC showcased to much on the young Bubblegum considered country PLEASE..Say Hello to Little Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Jack Greene, Ricky Scaggs, Stonewall Jackson and spotlight again the Opry Stage Band, The Carol Lee Singers and The Opry Square Dancers. And try getting some real Special guest once more Merle Haggard, Loretta, Willie, Garth and George Strait.Kellie Pickler, Taylor Swift and the rest of its kind need to go back to top 40 radio not the Grand Ole Opry or Country Music for that matter. Please support RFDTV on getting The Grand Ole Opry.