Life just got harder for those of you who can’t tell the different between the CMAs (Country Music Association Awards) and the ACMs (Academy of Country Music Awards): Fox has created the ACAs — the American Country Awards. The first annual two-hour telecast will air live from Las Vegas on Dec. 6, and be executive produced by Bob Bain, who mans the Teen Choice Awards for the network. Fans will determine the winners, as they do for the CMT Music Awards, which honor country music videos.
Is there enough room on the dial for a fourth country awards show? The Hollywood Reporter has a handy ratings chart going back to 2006 that shows that the most recent CMAs and CMT Awards were the most-watched in that timeframe. This year’s ACMs were second to 2009, but the chart doesn’t show that last year’s broadcast was the most-watched since 1998, and that it had been up against repeats. So the audience will be there, if the talent plays. Country artists are all about their fans, so Fox can guilt them into it, if need be. The bigger question is: Do we actually need a fan-voted country music awards show on Fox? I’ve yet to forgive the Teen Choice Awards for putting a hot tub on stage that one year — sort of inappropriate — and I wonder how far Fox will push the envelope to make a splash. We do not need to see Taylor Swift have a wardrobe malfunction during one of her patented mid-song costume changes or while dangling from the ceiling Pink-style. (I’m guessing she’s thought about it because her hair would look amazing…) Among the categories Fox anticipates: Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Touring Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Music Video by a Breakthrough Artist. Nothing exactly groundbreaking, considering the ACMs already let the fans choose Entertainer of the Year and Top New Artist.