Carrie-less CMAs: Underwood stepping away from awards hosting gig

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Michelle Rose / TV Media
Carrie Underwood will not return as host of the Country Music Awards

Carrie Underwood will not return as host of the Country Music Awards

Carrie-less CMAs: After co-hosting every CMA Awards show since 2008, Carrie Underwood has announced that "it's time to pass the hosting torch (at least for now!)."

That means the award-winning singer and 2005 "American Idol" winner won't be taking the stage -- at least, not as a host -- when the 2020 CMA Awards airs this November.

The move signals a new era for the awards show, but it's also a big change that audiences will have to get used to. Underwood has been the MC for 12 consecutive years, with Brad Paisley serving as her hosting partner-in-crime for all but one of those galas. Their banter made them audience favorites, with both performers playing off each other nicely (it probably helps that they're friends off stage, too).

The one exception was last year's telecast, when Paisley was replaced with Dolly Parton and rival awards show host Reba McEntire ("rival" only because McEntire is the frequent host of the Academy of Country Music Awards).

The show opened with a "Women of Country" performance and saw a 12% increase in viewership from 2018, when ratings were down 29% and hit an all-time low. And that upward tick is surprising, given that most awards shows have been grappling with falling viewership lately (see last year's host-less Emmys).

Admittedly, numbers aren't always the reason for personnel changes. Plus, Underwood hinted at "many exciting things coming in the new year and beyond." For starters, she'll be releasing her first book, "Find Your Path," next month. She's also coming off a busy year, having recently wrapped a 60-city arena tour in support of her "Cry Pretty" album (hence the limited tour dates in 2020). Not to mention the birth of her second child this time last year.


'Carrie' maybe: According to Variety, it's still in the early stages, but FX has teamed with MGM Television to develop a potential limited TV series based on Stephen King's 1974 novel, "Carrie."

It's the story of a shy, young outcast who unleashes her telekinetic powers on her tormentors after a cruel prank (and destroys the town in the process). Fans will be quick to point out that it has already been adapted several times, the most famous one being the 1976 feature film starring Sissy Spacek ("Castle Rock"). There was also a Broadway musical in 1988, an off-Broadway revival in 2012, a TV movie in 2002 and two more feature films (1999 and 2013).

Still, the prom scene is one of the most analyzed and talked-about horror film moments of all time, and the story itself is worth returning to time and time again.

But the FX project is still without a screenwriter or stars, so don't plan your viewing party just yet.

"Carrie" holds the distinction of being the first of more than 100 TV and film productions that have been adapted from King's novels. And there are still more on the way, with "Jerusalem's Lot" coming to Epix and MGM's planned film adaptation of "The Dark Half." A televised version of "The Stand" is also in the works for CBS All Access, with Greg Kinnear ("Frankie," 2019), Alexander Skarsgard ("Big Little Lies"), James Marsden ("Westworld"), Amber Heard ("Aquaman," 2018) and Whoopi Goldberg ("The View") all cast in key roles.


Killer Colman: Fresh off the first of her two-season run on "The Crown," actress Olivia Colman will be playing the part of a decidedly less noble character in her next TV gig.

The Oscar and three-time BAFTA winner has signed on to play a convicted murderer in the true crime drama "Landscapers." The four-part drama recently landed a series order from HBO and Sky, and both broadcasters are hoping it will be just as successful as their last pairing: 10-time Emmy winner "Chernobyl."

"Landscapers" is inspired by real events and will start filming this year. The story is based on hours of real-life interviews with Susan (played by Colman) and Christopher Edwards, a seemingly mild-mannered couple who were convicted of murdering her parents.

The crime went undiscovered for more than a decade. The bodies of Patricia and William Wycherley were buried in the garden behind their home in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire (U.K.) in 1998. Over the next 15 years, their bank accounts were gradually drained while the Edwards collected their pension checks and bought expensive Hollywood memorabilia.

The true crime story will present the case from different perspectives, including that of the investigators and the Edwards themselves, who have always maintained their innocence.

Alexander Payne ("The Descendants," 2011) will direct "Landscapers." It is being co-produced by "Chernobyl" producer Sister and South of the River Pictures, the production company recently launched by Colman and her husband, Ed Sinclair, who also penned the screenplay.