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Nigel Lythgoe going a little bit country with new CMT series

February 9, 2011 |  2:43 pm

Nigel Should Carrie Underwood be shaking in her cowboy boots?

Nigel Lythgoe, the executive producer of "American Idol" and co-creator of "So You Think You Can Dance," is teaming up with Simon! No, not that one. His son Simon! 

The father-son duo are gearing up to launch a new music competition series on CMT in search of the next country star.

In "CMT's Next Superstar," from Legacy Productions and Big Red 2 (owned by Nigel and Simon, respectively), contestants will compete while living together in Nashville.

There will be the requisite celebrity guests each week, performance rounds and music business-related "challenges." And it's all about country -- that means giving pop or Motown hits a country feel.

"This isn't just a singing competition, the contestants will also be judged on their songwriting, radio interviews and music videos," Nigel Lythgoe said in a statement. "We're looking for more than just a singer, we want the complete creative, talented package -- performer, personality and writer. We want the next Country superstar.”

Each week a finalist is to be eliminated, with viewers having the opportunity to take part in a final vote to determine the winner.

The 10-episode series will begin in April.

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Nigel Lythgoe. Credit: Annie Wells / Los Angeles Times