TNN – The Nashville Network to Return – Updated

April 18, 2012 - By Trigger  //  News  //  71 Comments

The fight to preserve classic country and present it to a new generation of fans may just have become a lot easier. After 12 years off the air, the original TNN, “The Nashville Network” has just announced it is coming back this summer, and is committed to “true country music.”

***UPDATE***UPDATE*** (10-29-12)

TNN has just announced through press release that they will be officially returning November 1st, and their flagship will be WSMV-TV, Nashville’s NBC affiliate. It will be available over-the-air on channel 4.2 as well as on Charter channel 91. TNN will also be added to Comcast in November.

Matt Winn, Vice President of TNN said in a press release, “Finding the right partner to be the flagship station of The Nashville Network has been our top priority. Our decision to name WSMV the network’s hometown affiliate was based on the station’s award winning news team and the station’s leadership in the Nashville market. We are pleased to have WSMV be the home of The Nashville Network.”

TNN has also announced an affiliation with ABC 33/40 stations WCFT/WJSU/WBMA in Birmingham, AL (DMA 42). WCFT/WJSU/WBMA. They will begin broadcasting TNN on Nov. 1st as well.

TNN ran for 17 years from 1983 to 2000 until Viacom, which owns CMT, MTV, CBS, and many other networks, morphed the country music, outdoor lifestyle, and family entertainment channel into Spike, leaving many traditional and classic country fans underserved. The new TNN will be a sister network to My Family TV, TUFF TV, PBJ, MyCarTV and Frost Great Outdoors, and Luken Communications’ Retro Television (RTV).

This time, instead of a cable network, TNN will be a digital broadcast station, meaning it would be picked up by affiliates. The programming will be a mix of digitally-restored classic content from the TNN archive, with contemporary shows mixed in. Shows already scheduled to be a part of the TNN lineup include: Memories of the Grand Ole Opry, Crook & Chase, Celebrity Kitchen, The Country Vibe, Music City Tonight and Larry’s Country Diner.

The original announcement about TNN’s return was made at the 2012 NAB show in Las Vegas. Television and radio personalities Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase teamed with Luken Communications and Jim Owens Entertainment to acquire the rights to the TNN brand.

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71 Comments to “TNN – The Nashville Network to Return – Updated”

  • interesting in theory. I’ll reserve judgement until I see the finished product…….

    • Agreed.

      Also it’s an interesting time in the world of tv programming. I think it’s a good sign that it won’t be a cable network since Oprah bombed and now it looks like WWE’s plan for their own network is failing as well.

    • There will be shows some folks like and others don’t just like on any network. What excites me about it is the vast archive they have of classic programming, to the stuff they produced for 17 years, to all the Grand Ole Opry stuff, to who knows what.

      I think not being on cable gives them tremendous flexibility, and let’s face it, this is probably not going to be some huge budget operation to begin with, it is going to be a handful of original shows, probably some catering to new stuff, some to old stuff, and a bunch of old classic content being re-aired, so I can’t see how it could get too out of hand.

      What we do know is CMT, owned by Viacom is going in the completely wrong direction if it was ever in the right one, taking a cue from its sister station MTV and going farther and farther in the reality show direction, specifically with shows that perpetuate negative stereotypes about Southern and rural folks, just like they did with BET, another Viacom property.

      Here’s my rant about it:


      I’m going to stay positive about the TNN relaunch until there’s a reason to be negative, because we need a cool station for country music. My guess is the people behind this re-launch sensed that as CMT continues to go in the pop and reality show direction.

      • Thank you for the comments! We look forward to bringing America’s Country Home back to television. Follow us on Twitter (@WatchTNN) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/WatchTNN) for more information.

        • Excellent, we’ll add that info up top!

        • As a former employee of TNN from 1989-1996, I am thrilled to see someone bring back this network. Of all the places I have worked, TNN holds the best memories. Has anyone tried to contact Katie Haas? She was such a talented personality. She would be great as part of the line up. Best of luck to all.

          • Just talked to her. She’s still in town. You can find her on Facebook

        • Thank You TNN! I worked in the 1980’s-’90s here in Canada, for Country Music News, Canada’s only national Country Music magazine, which, sadly, is now no longer. I often made trips to Nashville for ‘Fan Fair’ and various other events, covering true Country Music. There is such an empty void for family oriented CM based shows now, hopefully one TNN will finally fill! For my fix of traditional CM, Country Gospel and Southern Gospel Music, I am somewhat restricted to Internet sites, or my own music collection. It is encouraging that I may be able to expand my sources now, with the airing of TNN. One question, though, will TNN be available over the Internet or here in the frozen north of Canada? (only kidding about the ‘frozen ‘ part…we had a drought here all Summer!) All the best on the new network…

      • Reminds me of a simular situation with Much Music up here in Canada, and with the rise of a musical channel called AUX TV that promises/is promising to do the same thing that this new version of TNN wants to do. Hope it works.

  • I remember the only time I watched the old TNN was when it had Monday Night RAW or ECW on TNN.

    • I dont think that was the OLD TNN if it had RAW on it.

      • I think they may have been changed to The National Network by then, but still TNN.

        • You are correct. It became The National Network when it had RAW. Those were sad days. I worked at TNN then and had to watch it’s gradual destruction. In fact, I was there when they shut the lights off for the last time.

          • Am I right though, in thinking they were still The Nashville Network when ECW on TNN aired?

          • Yes it was still The Nashville Network when ECW started airing on the channel. I think it changed while ECW was there though.

            And I’m still bitter how they fucked over ECW. Damn Rollerjam and Rock N’ Bowl.

    • last time i checked this site ani’t called saving pro wrestling.

  • wonder if there is a way to petition to get a show on this new TNN…

    • Good question. I think the way stations like this get cool and stay cool is by keeping the ownership independent and having active participation from the listeners/watchers. It would be cool to see a show on Saturday nights for example that highlights cool, independent country and roots bands coming up.

    • I hope they bring back The Statler Brothers Show.

  • So, where do I go to watch?

    • If you go to their website, they’re trying to sign up affiliates. It probably won’t all be hashed out until they launch late summer. My guess is it might be easier to get it if you’re living in a small, rural market than it may be in the big cities since they aren’t going the cable route, but we’ll see.

  • I remember the old TNN…it sucked.

    • And you think CMT is great. You either like that new want to be Country or you don’t even know anything about Country Music at all. You just want to have something stupid to say because you’re Bored.

      • I don’t think CMT is great.

    • it didn’t suck. in fact they better bring back HEEHAW and The Dukes of Hazzard. Ralph Emery was one of the greatest talk show hosts there was. I am curious to see how Music City Tonight will work out!

      • No it did suck and sucked hard.

        Dallas reruns, Roller Jam, ECW wrestling, Diff’rent Strokes, and many more of the same.

        TNN was circling the toilet far before the Spike TV thing happened.

      • By the Lords of Kobol, please, no. Let both The Dukes of Hazzard and Hee Haw stay buried, and for TNN to concentrate on country music.

      • hee haw is on RFD-TV Sunday nights

  • I hope it will be available for Satellite and Comcast customers. I know right now I want to have RFDTV to see Marty Stuart’s show but I don’t believe it’s available or you have to pay extra to get it.

    • RFD-TV was a channel I could never see until my cable provider finally started to carry it in 2010…10 years after the channel launched! I hope it doesn’t take 10 years for me to see this new TNN channel.

  • You can follow the new TNN on twitter at WatchTNN

  • A Roku channel prehaps?

  • we have DISH so i assume i won’t be seeing it anytime soon. too bad.

  • Great news! I really miss the old TNN. You could put that and Marty Stuart’s RFD-TV on 24/7 and I’d be happy.

  • NO HEE HAW!?!? lol

    • I just came to say. All Hee Haw all the time!!!!!!

  • It looks like another RFD-TV to me.

  • As cool as it would be to have classic country back on Tv, I think id be more stoked if there was a channel that played stuff like Scott Biram, hellbound glory, and hank 3….

  • I don’t about all these other comments but I can tell you the old TNN was great and it would be great getting the Opry Live Back on Saturday nights for starters and hopefully seeing the reruns of Nashville Now, Music City Tonight, Prime Time Country, The Texas Connection, American Music Shop, On Stage and all that great stuff. You can mix in some live Country concerts maybe some nice specials of Country Music Hall Of Fame stuff they have in those vaults as well but keep it Country. No Sitcoms, Wrestling, Roller Derby and stinken Reality shows. It will be nice to see more of Merle Haggard, George Jones, Loretta Lynn and more of the Legends of Real Country Music.

  • I think this is great that TNN is coming back. Even in the late 90’s TNN showcased artists like Waylon and Mel Tillis. Of course they talked about the newer artists of the time, but they definatley did not forget about the past and countrys legends. and they had good shows like the dukes of hazzard, the real mccoys, and the waltons on that channel. Now that TNN will come back and showcase REAL country, that’ll be great. RFDTV is good too, but itll be nice to have another channel as well. And I agree they can play Hee Haw all day and id be happier than a pig in shit!!!

  • This is a win, that’s all there is to it!

  • It depends on what they will call true country. I will hold judgement until I’ve seen it.

  • I hope my cable provider will carry it or I’m able to see it somehow. I have RFD-TV and I watch it for the country music programming. Hee-Haw currently airs on that channel every Sunday evening at 8pm Eastern and it repeats Monday mornings at 10am Eastern. I saw where “Larry’s Country Diner” will become a program on this new TNN…it currently airs on RFD-TV as well.

    I’d love to see a lot of the early programs from TNN resurface again! A lot of legends were given their proper respect on that particular network and so many of them made frequent appearances on the various programs…a lot of those legends have since passed away…but it would be great if the shows from the ’80s and ’90s resurfaced! Ralph Emery often remarked that there’s a huge audience who WANTS to see those shows but the powers that be continually keep the shows out of circulation…so here’s hoping the programs from that time period return to the air! I hope I’ll be able to catch this new TNN, too! Gary Beatty was the voice of TNN in my opinion (specifically during the first 10-11 years of the channels existence). He’d do show promo’s and station I.D.’s…signing the network on and off…in addition to being the announcer on “Nashville Now” and later a co-host on “VideoPM” with Kathy Martindale.

    An earlier comment remarked that this new TNN sounds like a second RFD-TV. Actually, though, RFD-TV does air it’s share of country music programming but it’s in broadcasting blocks on specific days…it’s not a wall-to-wall Monday-Friday country music channel like The Nashville Network was during the ’80s and ’90s. RFD-TV’s actual country music programming as of 4/22/2012 consists of Hee-Haw, Crook and Chase, Larry’s Country Diner, The Porter Wagoner Show, The Marty Stuart Show, The Wilburn Brothers Show, and Pop! Goes the Country. There are a couple of shows that have what I’d call Appalachia music overtones and then there are polka music shows. Throughout the day usually there’s auctions aired or livestock shows. Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong host an Agri-Business show.

    For those that don’t know, the former TNN (1983-2000) aired sports programs on Saturdays and Sundays…I think the weekends were billed as TNN Outdoors? Anyway, several of those programs featured country music personalities as hosts or participants. Porter Wagoner appeared on fishing programs on TNN.

    Jim Ed Brown hosted a travel show called Going Our Way where he and his wife drove around in an RV going from place to place. It was sort of like his former program, Nashville On the Road, but without the abundance of music performances.

    The only programming of the old TNN that I wasn’t a viewer of were those dance shows. I don’t like to dance…I don’t mind hearing country songs about dancing…but dancing is something I don’t do…so I never watched the dance shows.

    • RFD-TV will still be better than the new TNN!!!!!!

    • They aired alot of nascar races back in the 90’s as well. it was billed TNN Motorsports. Most of the personalities on speed channel and nascar on fox were on TNN and CBS

    • I would like to see the dance show from the Wildhorse

  • CMT has some good qualities,yet them and Vh1 have lost their touch.It is sad to say,yet their flair is gone.CMT used to be one of my favorite channels until they let it get diluted of it’s original zing.They quit doing Signature Series and Crossroads and then added more reality shows then I knew they headed or the gutter.It is ad to put it that way,yet there is no other appropriate nd direct way to put it.

  • CMT has become a Vh1 clone with a country twist.It is sad to put it that wy,yet headed for the gutter.It is only a matter of time.I no longer watch CMT.No classic video shows.No.That was one of the reasons why I abandoned the channel.Disney is another channel that I hate watching because Winnie the Pooh is not on it like it was in 2002.Television has gotten crummy these days.

  • I hope TNN coming back will work and then maybe true country music fans will have something to watch and listen too. This country pop of today with the 16 and 17 year olds trying to tell you about hard living and lost or new found love is a joke! These are the same kids that most folks wouldn’t even let take their cars out on a spin for a date. It’s hard to sing about something if you haven’t lived it. Being it love, fun, getting drunk or going to jail! I think back in the day TNN leaders followed the way of the main media of what country was to be. That is the country music industry you have today, all youth driven. Most of the new singers can’t even get into a bar to sing or get a beer. Remember George Strait had already served in the army, got a college degree and was 28 with a family before he got his record deal. Hoping for TNN best!!

  • I hope they bring back Fandango!

  • I am looking forward to the new TNN. I really hope that they bring back their bluegrass music oriented shows. They used to have Fire On The Mountain in the beginning, then later they had The American Music Shop. This is one of the big reasons why I watched the original TNN in the first place.

  • Is there any chance that this year’s City of Hope celebrity soft ball game will be shown at all any on this station like it used to be back in the day? I always looked forward to watching it and this year’s game will be even more special to me because my most favorite singer will be there, I love James Otto SO much!!! (big smile)

    God bless you and him always!!!

    Holly in East Tennessee

    P.S. The reason why I can’t be at the game is because the car that I have is not the most reliable car. (burying my head)

  • I wish someone would relaunch The Scifi Channel. lol

  • This is great news. Jim Owens is a class act. I wish things had worked out with a few investments in Myrtle Beach, but bringing TNN back is huge. A friend of mine hosted a racing show on the old TNN. Ol’ Ralph Emery and Shotgun Red….Yeah, Crook & Chase, too. I’ll be watching. Best of Luck to the dreamers and investors.

  • Katie Haas is working at Cheeburger Cheeburger in Hendersonville, TN. Saw her about 2 weeks ago. Still great person that she always has been. Sure would like to see and hear her on TV and radio again.

  • I’m glad to know that TNN is coming back, i was very disappointed when it ended they were the only ones showing my favorite shows, like Alice, mamas family and the Carol Burnett show. I hope they will be showing those shows again.

  • Oh, how can I watch tnn, i have direct tv?

  • I just heard that Rick and Bubba will be the morning show starting Oct 1 !!!

  • Looking forward to Rick and Bubba coming back to TV!

  • This is excellent news! I’m from Cleveland, Ohio and grew up in the 80s and 90s in the prime days of TNN. I grew up a REAL country music fan, and LOVE Ralph Emery and Crook and Chase, watching the shows with my parents.

    Folks, if you think TNN was about stupid wrestling and other garbage, you have no clue what you’re talking about. This web forum is about the ORIGINAL TNN (The Nashville Network), which ran from 1983-98. The OTHER TNN (The NATIONAL Network) is what it became in 1998-2000, and it was a horrible fall from grace. So disappointing. For all purposes when I reference TNN I am talking about the original.

    TNN is the network that broke Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson to a nationwide audience. It’s something of a double edged sword, as Garth was SO good he basically brought the entire country music genre to the likes of New York City and LA in full throttle. As such, he influenced an entire generation of country music to be more “pop” like, and I think that is what happened to TNN. It tried to be more “pop”, only, just like modern country, never had the same feel or sound. Lady Antebellum and bands like that are NOT country.

    If TNN can score the perfect balance of keeping classic and old school country music alive and well, while presenting up and coming country stars in the right way that keeps the core of country music whole without becoming too “pop”, I think you’ll see a resurgence of REAL country music and TNN can be successful again.

  • they just pulled rtv wrcb and tuff wdef off our local affiliate in chattanooga :(

  • I was very lucky to be working at the Opryland Hotel during the original launch of The Nashville Network in 1983. I worked in the audio visual department of the hotel. As and employee of that department I was assigned to represent the hotel and help with the production. Opening night consisted of an extension of Nashville Now. It was broadcast live in the Stagedoor Lounge at the hotel. Nashville Now was there during the preparation of the Gaslight Theater in the Opryland Theme park which was its home for the duration of its run. When it moved to the park I was still a welcome visitor to the studio and control room. I do hope they show reruns of this show.

  • It was announced, or will be shortly that WSMV-Channel 4 will carry The Nashville Network on digital channel 4.2..Also, vintage reruns of Ralph Emery’s Nashville Now will be on the daily schedule at launch date, November 1, 2012..Emery himself picked out the first 30 episodes to air on the new TNN..

  • I am excited that TNN is coming back. Does anybody know if DitecTV will pick it up?

  • I am excited that TNN is coming back. Does anybody know if DirecTV will pick it up?

  • I am super excited about the return of TNN! I really hope they bring back Prime Time Country with Gary Chapman. The best evening talk show EVER.

  • Tnn (the Nashville network) should be aired all over the USA, not just in one
    Area!!!! Please tell your cable companies to get tnn back to cable!!!

  • I was disappointed when The Nashville Network went off the air UNTIL Turner South came on. 6 years of excellent Southern television.
    Turner South was the first to put The Bluebird Cafe and Rick & Bubba on TV.
    Wish somebody would bring that network back instead.

  • Thanks for finally writing about > TNN – The Nashville Network to Return – Updated Saving Country Music < Liked it!

  • TSK TSK Now TNN will be a Johnny come lately…Watch “REAL COUNTRY” on RFD TV Now TNN wants to copy RFD’s success. But be forewarned “REAL Country to TNN is Carrie Underwood Taylor Swift and the other little BIMBOs you can see as I write Ralph Emery Steel Guitars, Fiddles are NOT part of it. The Once GRAND Ole Opry had a NO GRAY Hair policy a few yrs ago got rid of ANY player with gray hair.
    Weldon Myrick a GREAT Steel player, Jimmy Capps who played on to many nashville sesions to count got the AXE. Then Along comes Patrick Gotsch YESSSS.
    Marty Stuart Country family reunions and the forgotten tradtional country fan got new life…We could hear our music once again see our favorite forgotten stars pushed aside by no talent BUMS who come on stage with ripped up jeans and looking like they havent bathed in a month… So who cares?? I already have a REAL Country venue remember you guys left us in the COLD!.

  • I would love it if they would have an app so I can watch via my tiki box.

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