CMT’s Gone Country returns, followed by “softly scripted” spin-off Outsiders Inn

The most-watched show in CMT’s history, Gone Country, returns tonight at 8 p.m. ET for its second season. Like the first season, John Rich will supervise a group of C-list celebrities who try to become country music stars.

This season’s cast Sebastian Bach, Irene Cara, Mikalah Gordon, Jermaine Jackson, Chris Kirkpatrick, Lorenzo Lamas, and Sean Young. They “will again be paired with two of Nashville’s finest songwriters with whom they write a country single,” according to the network, and “will compete in challenges that test them musically and physically to adapt to a life in country music, both on and off the stage.”

Following the debut, CMT will air a spin-off of the show’s first season that stars three members of that original cast. Eight half-hour episodes of Outsiders Inn will follow Maureen McCormick as she tries to run an inn with the help of Bobby Brown and Carnie Wilson. Brown works as the inn’s entertainment coordinator, while Wilson will work as its chef.

The show isn’t real, though. Although CMT calls it an “unscripted comedy,” it is “softly scripted,” according to its star. “It was improvised and we were playing ourselves,” McCormick told USA TODAY. In other words, it’s fake. The paper reports that “[t]he nine-room inn was closed during filming, guests were handpicked,” and McCormick and her husband didn’t own the inn, but “[had] a lease with option to buy.”

She reiterates that the show is just improv on CMT’s blog, saying, “The whole thing was improvisation, and they would just give us a situation and we just had to run with it and see what would happen. We never ever knew what was going to happen from second to second. It was like being at camp, it was so much fun! As an actress it’s your ultimate dream to be able to do improv.”

Gone Country 2 and Outsiders Inn [CMT]
The ‘Outsiders’ get in on the inn business [USA TODAY]
Outsiders Inn: A Dream Come True [CMT Blog]

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.