ADDITIONAL NOTES: confirmed as canceled on 3/12/09
DESCRIPTION: (from NBC's web site, September 2008) The sixth season of "Nashville Star" will premiere on NBC Monday, June 9 (9-11 p.m. ET) followed by 90-minute live episodes each week. This year, the longest-running cable reality competition series moves into the spotlight on NBC. With a bigger stage to play, the expectations become higher and the competition tougher as each contestant will turn to the celebrity panel that will not only judge them during the live shows, but will also provide a unique mentoring aspect to the series. Host Billy Ray Cyrus ("Hannah Montana") will join country music star, singer-songwriter and acclaimed producer John Rich and Multi-Platinum singer-songwriter and three-time Grammy nominee Jewel, along with acclaimed industry heavy weight and BMI Songwriter of the Year (2006) Jeffery Steele, to bring their unique insights and experience to the show and its contestants. The competition opens the doors for talent 16 years-of-age and older and welcomes not only solo artists to the stage, but also duos and trios. The winner or winners of this year's competition will receive a major recording contract with Warner Bros. Nashville and the performance of a lifetime when they take to the world's stage at the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. "Nashville Star" is the grassroots talent search to find America's next great music star. This year the auditions criss-crossed the USA and left no mic unturned with stops in Austin, Los Angeles, Washington D. C., Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Kansas City, Tallahassee, Denver, New Orleans, Portland and aboard U.S.S Iwo Jima for a special military casting call. Over 45,000 (more than double those who auditioned for the fifth season) auditioned to make their dreams come true. The first five seasons of the series have launched the careers of promising artists including Chris Young, Buddy Jewel, Erika Jo, current ACM triple nominee Miranda Lambert, Lance Miller and Angela and Zac Hacker -- the siblings who made it a family affair by coming in first and second, respectively, last season. Buddy Jewell debuted his self-titled CD at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and was eventually certified gold by the RIAA. Runner up Lambert became a household name when her "Kerosene" became the highest-selling debut album of 2005 and then went on to be certified gold as well. Erika Jo landed at #5 on the same chart with her self-titled debut CD and at #27 on the Hot 200 Album Chart (all genres), outselling Kenny Chesney, Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich, Tim McGraw and Shania Twain, among others. Most recently, Chris Young debuted his self-titled CD at #3 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, making him the top-selling debut male artist of 2006. "Nashville Star" is created by Reveille and produced by 495 Productions. Ben Silverman (NBC's "The Office"), Howard T. Owens ("American Gladiators"), Mark Koops ("The Biggest Loser") and Sally Ann Salsano ("Design Star," "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila") serve as executive producers. Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live in LA") is a producer.