|NASHVILLE, Tenn., January 8, 2020 – Circle, the new country music and lifestyle television network that went on the air January 1, has launched a three-hour live morning show that features WSM-AM’s popular Coffee, Country & Cody, hosted by Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame Inductee and television personality Bill Cody.
Cody is also a regular announcer on the Grand Ole Opry. With Cody each weekday is his longtime show partner Charlie Mattos. They are joined by new entertainment correspondent Jo Smith, a Vanderbilt University graduate and former Sony recording artist.
Cody and his team start every weekday off with great music—country, bluegrass, Americana, Opry cuts, live studio guests, the latest news, entertaining features, social media interaction, lively talk and some surprises. The inaugural TV broadcast featured Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill.
Coffee, Country & Cody airs LIVE Monday – Friday, 7–10 a.m. CT/ 8–11 am ET. It will continue to be heard on WSM-AM, WSMonline.com and the station’s mobile app. The show is broadcast from a newly renovated studio at the Opryland Hotel.
“In my many years of hosting Coffee, Country & Cody at WSM, there have certainly been many industry firsts, unforgettable milestones and history-making moments,” said Bill Cody. “To now have the opportunity to share them with a national television audience this large is truly monumental.”
“No better way to start the day than a cup of coffee and Bill Cody,” said Drew Reifenberger, Circle general manager. “Amazing things happen on that show – from artists being asked to sign to a label to hearing one of their songs on the radio for the first time – and you never know who’s going to show up. Now, we’re able to capture some of those magical moments and share them with even more country fans on-air and through social. Artists universally love Bill, and there’s no one better to do this show.”
Circle is broadcast in markets covering more than 50 percent of U.S. TV households via an over-the-air digital multicast network and cable television providers. Circle’s affiliates include Gray Television stations across 56 markets throughout the country as well as on stations in markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Tampa and Detroit through a separate distribution agreement with CBS Television Stations. More distribution deals and announcements will be forthcoming. For an updated listing of Circle’s broadcast affiliates and more information about availability in your market, please visit: www.circleallaccess.com.
Circle expects to launch a streaming premium service in Spring 2020.
Circle features original programming centered around artists and their music; hobbies; outdoor and offstage adventures; food; family; and friends. Circle will also offer entertainment news, documentaries and movies along with licensed programming and archival content.
Coffee, Country & Cody joins an initial slate of programs at launch including:
1. Opry: Beginning in February, Opry is a showcase of new live-recorded Grand Ole Opry performances each week. In the Opry tradition, this show will be a mix of today’s top stars, up-and-comers and all-time greats.
2. Fandom: The artist-fan relationship is unlike any other. Fandom is a series that explores the impact and intimacy of the artist-fan relationship from the perspective of fans as well as some of country music’s biggest stars, like Eric Church and Zac Brown.
3. Southern Weekend: Hosted by singer and musician Natalie Stovall, each episode will highlight the best in southern living by visiting notable attractions of the South including restaurants, museums, unique stores, and music venues. Country music artists will join in along the journey and share some of their favorite places.
4. Backstage at the Opry: Peek behind-the-scenes of the Grand Ole Opry, alongside artists as they go from rehearsals to the stage – and everything in between!
5. Craig’s World: Follow Opry member and Army Veteran Craig Morgan at home and on the road as he and his tight-knit family navigate triumphs and challenges while developing businesses, writing hit songs and balancing a country music career.
6. Authentic America: Hosted by veteran TV host Nan Kelley and her Grammy-nominated husband Charlie Kelley, Authentic America takes viewers on a two-wheeled version of the classic American road trip by way of backroads and rural routes exploring some of the country’s best kept secrets – including lesser known attractions, off-the-beaten path eateries, and most interesting of all, the people who make America one of the most colorful and eclectic nations in the world. Guests include Blake Shelton and Alabama.
7. Upstream: Join Elizabeth Cook as she invites artist guests to a new fishing location each episode. While the fishing may be good, the real catch is the conversation. Early guests include Cam and Shooter Jennings.
8. Opry Debut: Enjoy mini follow-documentaries that chronicle the moments and emotions that artists experience leading up to the memorable career milestone every country music artist dreams of achieving – their Grand Ole Opry debut. Debut’s include Opry NextStage 2019 picks Tennille Townes, Travis Denning and Riley Green as well as the Opry debut of Ashley McBryde.
9. The Write Stuff: Viewers get a peek inside the inspiration and creation of some of country music’s greatest songs. Join country music hit makers as they walk step-by-step – from the initial concept to the final chord – and share the key licks and lyrics that brought their stories to life. Episodes feature Little Big Town, Old Crow Medicine Show and Travis Tritt.
10. Opry Docs: Hosted by contemporary artists like Brad Paisley, Charlie Daniels and Amy Grant, Opry Docs is a series of documentaries on country greats like Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, George Jones and Minnie Pearl.
11. Better Half: Meet the larger-than-life spouses of some of today’s brightest stars and find out what gives them their own star power. Featured spouses include Samantha Busch (wife of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch), Kate Moore (wife of Justin Moore) and Christina Ballard (wife of Frankie Ballard).
12. Dailey & Vincent: Join Dailey & Vincent – the world-renowned bluegrass, country and gospel duo – as they host and perform in front of a live audience along with some notable friends like Vince Gill and the Oak Ridge Boys.
13. Stand Up Nashville!: Shot before a live audience at Nashville’s legendary Zanies Comedy Club, each episode of Stand Up Nashville! features a well-known comedian host as well as four up-and-coming comedians. Laugh along with a packed Zanies’ house and the most brilliant comics the South has to offer.
14. Family Tradition: Follow the next generation of country’s legendary families as they honor their roots while forging their own path. Episodes include Sam Williams (grandson of Hank Williams and son of Hank Williams Jr.) and Ashley Campbell (daughter of Glen Campbell).
15. Phil Vassar’s Songs from the Cellar: Join country music hit-maker, Phil Vassar, as he welcomes artists, songwriters, entertainers, athletes, and wine enthusiasts into his favorite place to write songs – his wine cellar! Each episode will feature conversation and collaboration along with a shared drink. Simple in concept yet rich in content, Phil’s laid-back style and quick-witted personality brings out the best in his guests as they share entertaining stories about their interesting lives. Guests include Kelsea Ballerini, Charles Esten, Mike Tyson and Hunter Hayes.
16. Bellamy Brothers’ Honky Tonk Ranch – Chronicles country duo David and Howard Bellamy’s unusual lives, blending music stardom, vigorous road tours and ranching at their homestead in central Florida, which has been in their family for more than a century. Each episode also captures unpredictable and unforgettable moments the Bellamy Brothers encounter while on the farm and on the road. Catch appearances from their famous friends, including Blake Shelton, Tanya Tucker, Lonestar, Joe Diffie, John Schneider and many more.
Circle is also bringing back Hee Haw, the classic and long-running music and comedy sketch show, which aired from 1971 – 1993 and 1996 -1997 and featured hosts Buck Owens and Roy Clark along with country music artists like Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard.
For a preview of shows launching on Circle, click HERE.
The Circle fan experience continues online at CircleAllAccess.com and @CircleAllAccess on all social media platforms.
Circle is a partnership between Opry Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (NYSE: RHP), and Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE: GTN).
For more details and to find out if Circle is available in your market, please visit www.CircleAllAccess.com.