The People’s Choice Awards are expanding with the announcement of the first-ever People’s Choice Country Awards airing Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT across NBC and Peacock, live from the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville.
The two-hour telecast will give NBC a country awards show to compete with the CMA Awards, which have aired on ABC since 2006; the CMT Music Awards, which have aired on CBS since 2022; and the ACM Awards, which have streamed on Prime Video since 2022.
NBC aired the CMA Awards from 1968-71 and the ACM Awards from 1979-97 but hasn’t been in the country awards game for years.
“We’re excited to partner with the Grand Ole Opry to bring the year’s biggest celebration in country music to Nashville,” Cassandra Tryon, senior vice president, live events, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming, said in a statement. “Country fans are passionate about their music and there’s no better place to host this event than from country music’s biggest stage.”
As the show’s name implies, the winners will be chosen entirely by the fans, though several honorary awards will also be bestowed.
The People’s Choice Country Awards will extend to social platforms with All-Access Live bringing fans at home behind the scenes as well as interactively connecting country’s most popular stars with their biggest fans.
The telecast will be produced by Den of Thieves with Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager and Barb Bialkowski serving as executive producers
The People’s Choice Awards aired on CBS from 1975-2017 and was highly rated for many years. E! acquired the show in 2017; it aired on that channel for the first time in 2018. NBC joined E! in airing the show in 2021.
The People’s Choice Awards has long included country categories and performances. At the most recent People’s Choice Awards, which aired Dec. 6, 2022, Shania Twain performed a four-song hit medley. Carrie Underwood was voted the country artist of 2022, beating Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett and Morgan Wallen.
The 2022 People’s Choice Awards bucked industry trends with year-over-year ratings growth on the broadcast network, and delivered 173 million total engagements across linear, digital and social platforms, according to an NBC statement.
This new project is an example of collaboration resulting from NBCUniversal’s equity investment in Opry Entertainment Group alongside Atairos, which was finalized last year.
The upcoming awards show is the latest in a series of moves from Ryman Hospitality Properties and Opry Entertainment Group. This week, OEG revealed a minority investment in country music lifestyle brand Whiskey Riff. In 2022, Ryman Hospitality Properties closed on its purchase of Block 21, a property that includes ACL Live at Moody Theater, the home venue of the television program Austin City Limits. 2020 saw the launch of Circle Network, a joint venture between OEG and Gray Television that featured Grand Ole Opry performances and more.
—Jessica Nicholson assisted in preparing this story
UPDATE: This story has been updated with the air date and time.