The USA Network recently announced that it would be shooting a new competition show, Real Country, and that country music icons Shania Twain and Jake Owen would star. Now the network has added the legendary Travis Tritt to the series.
“I’ve been influenced by so many amazing country music artists in my career, and the key to longevity is using those influences as inspiration to become something unique,” said Tritt to TV Insider.
“I’ve never been shy about how I feel about country music, so I can’t wait to join Real Country to share my experiences and thoughts,” he added.
“Like I always say … if you don’t want my opinion, don’t ask me a question.”
The eight-episode series will feature Tritt, Twain, and Owen hand-picking promising musicians — solo acts, duos and groups — to perform in showcases spotlighting “the rich traditions, songs, and themes of specific country genres,” according to Real Country‘s official page on USA’s website.
At the end of each hour-long installment, the favorite acts from each showcase will be selected, and they will move on to the final round where they will have to give the best performances of their lives.
The winner of Real Country will be crowned country music’s next breakout act.
“Real Country celebrates everything we love about country music, while providing a unique platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent,” said Heather Owen, the senior vice president of alternative development and production for the USA Network, in a news post on USA‘s site.
The series will begin filming in Nashville this summer, but it will have to be done in between tour dates as all three of its multi-platinum singers will be on the road throughout this busy concert season.
While Twain has judged reality TV shows in the past, this will be 36-year-old Owen and 55-year-old Tritt’s first time in the powerful position.
The “That Don’t Impress Me Much” singer, who is also an executive producer for Real Country, served as both a guest judge and a mentor on Fox’s American Idol, and was twice rumored to be joining the show as a full-time judge — for the seat that Jennifer Lopez took over in Season 10, and for the new ABC reboot. Last year, 52-year-old Twain was a guest judge on Dancing with the Stars, and in April, she helped judge RuPaul’s Drag Race.
This is not the USA Network’s first country music reality series. From 2003-2008, the first five seasons of Nashville Star aired on the channel. Future singing sensations Miranda Lambert, Chris Young, and Kacey Musgraves competed in the series.
Expect Real Country to premiere on USA Network this fall.