ABC STARS LIGHT UP THE CMA AWARDS
"Desperate Housewives'" James Denton, "According to Jim's" Kimberly Williams-Paisley And "Private Practice's" Kate Walsh Will Host Segments of the Three-Hour Gala
Country Group Little Big Town to Perform, Dierks Bentley to Present an Award and Vocal Group and Music Video of the Year Nominee Emerson Drive to Present CMA Awards in Pre-tel Festivities
ABC stars James Denton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Kate Walsh were announced today as hosts of segments of "The 41st Annual CMA Awards," airing live WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network from the Sommet Center in Nashville. Country singers Sara Evans and LeAnn Rimes were also announced earlier as hosts. This marks the first time in the history of the CMA Awards that multiple artists will share hosting duties during the three-hour gala. In addition, Vocal Group and Horizon Award-nominated Little Big Town will perform, and Album of the Year nominee Dierks Bentley will present. Vocal Group and Music Video of the Year nominee Emerson Drive will also present CMA Awards in Pre-Tel Festivities.
Nashville native James Denton can be seen as sexy plumber Mike Delfino on ABC's "Desperate Housewives." Along with the rest of the cast, Denton was honored with the 2006 and 2005 SAG Award for Best Ensemble in a Comedy. He has just completed filming the feature films "Wanted: Undead or Alive" with "Saturday Night Live" alum Chris Kattan and "Tortured" with Laurence Fishburne. Other feature film credits include "Primary Colors," "Face/Off" and "That Old Feeling." Denton also starred in "The Pretender" and ABC's "Philly," and has had guest appearances in "JAG," "Dark Skies," "Ally McBeal" and "The West Wing." He has recently become part owner of the minor league baseball team The Orange County Flyers.
Kimberly Williams-Paisley can be seen as Dana on ABC's hit comedy "According to Jim," opposite Jim Belushi and Courtney-Thorne Smith. She lit up the screen with her film debut as the radiant young bride in the comedy features "Father of the Bride" and "Father of the Bride II." Williams-Paisley was recently seen in "We are Marshall," co-starring opposite Matthew McConaughey, "How to Eat Fried Worms" with Tom Cavanagh, and in the coming-of-age comedy "Eden Court." She has also been establishing her creativity outside the performing arena, beginning with accomplishments as a published writer for such publications as In Style and Redbook magazines, and she also directed episodes of "According to Jim" last season. She recently wrote, directed and starred in -- with Patrick Dempsey -- the short film "Shade," for which she won the Director's Choice: Outstanding Directing and Acting in a Short Award at the Sedona International Film Festival. She will be rooting for husband Brad Paisley, who has five nominations, bringing his career total to a record-breaking 38 nominations.
Kate Walsh stars in ABC's "Private Practice" as Addison Montgomery Shepherd, the role she portrayed for two seasons on the ABC series "Grey's Anatomy." She and her fellow "Grey's Anatomy" cast members received the 2007 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Her film credits include "Kicking and Screaming" opposite Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall, "Under the Tuscan Sun," "After the Sunset," "Inside Out," "The Family Man," "Normal Life" and "Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer II." She also had series regular roles on "The Mike O'Malley Show," "Mind of a Married Man" and "The Drew Carey Show." Born in San Jose, California and raised both there and in Tucson, Arizona, Walsh began her career in Chicago, studying at the renowned Piven Theatre Workshop. She's also starred in theatrical productions of the critically acclaimed "Born Guilty," "Moon Under Miami" and "Troilus and Cressida" at the Shakespeare Repertory.
Little Big Town has received four career CMA Award nominations for the Horizon Award (2006, 2007) and Vocal Group of the Year (2006, 2007). Their last album, Road to Here, was certified Platinum in February and their new project, A Place to Land, will be released Nov. 6, the day before the CMA Awards.
Dierks Bentley is a first-time nominee in the Album of the Year category in 2007 for Long Trip Alone, which was produced by Brett Beavers. Bentley won his first CMA Award in 2005 with the Horizon trophy.
Presenting trophies in pre-tel festivities, including acknowledging the CMA Broadcast Award-winning stations and radio personalities prior to the live broadcast, is Emerson Drive. They received two nominations this year for Vocal Group of the Year and Music Video of the Year for their No. 1 hit, "Moments," which was directed by Steven Goldmann.
"The 41st Annual CMA Awards" is a production of the Country Music Association. Walter C. Miller is the executive producer and Robert Deaton is the producer. Paul Miller is the director. 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 and Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning. A TV parental guideline will be posted closer to airdate.