Country singer and former Celebrity Apprentice contestant Clint Black has been tapped to exec produce a new TV anthology series called American Storytellers. According to Variety, the show will turn current and classic country songs into dramatic hourlong episodes. No network or on-screen talent has been announced, but producers will be looking to cast country artists in major roles.
Now, I can see where this sounds like a good idea to someone. Country music tells some hauntingly beautiful/heartbreaking stories (see the clip below). But (a) the genre does have music videos, so we’ve already seen “The Heart Won’t Lie” brought to life and (b) how is this not gonna end up cheesier than a stuffed crust pizza? I don’t think Reba McEntire and Vince Gill can star in every episode — though a girl can dream.
As much as I can imagine myself getting sucked into the “Me and Little Andy” episode on Hallmark (which you know Black and Co. must be pitching), a part of me would really like to see the concept tweaked for an irreverent game show on CMT. Contestants would have to guess the country tearjerkers being reenacted, like a modern take on Name that Tune. Would you know it was Kathy Mattea’s “Where’ve You Been” the moment “Edwin” introduces himself to “Claire”? Or not until Edwin finds Claire, his wife of 60 years, in the hospital, where they’re now in separate beds on different floors, and she asks him the question? You could have a core group of actors live in-studio each week (perhaps borrow Melissa Peterman from The Singing Bee), then a celebrity guest (paging Blake Shelton!).
So, are you in favor of the serious TV anthology or the fun game show? If you vote the former, which songs would you like to see become episodes?