Country and ABC Stars Light Up the 2007 CMA Awards

'Desperate Housewives' James Denton, 'Private Practice's' Kate Walsh, and 'According to Jim's' Kimberly Williams-Paisley Will Host Segments of 'Country Music's Biggest Night'

Vocal Group and Horizon Nominee Little Big Town to Perform; Album of the Year Nominee Dierks Bentley to Present; Vocal Group and Music Video of the Year Nominee Emerson Drive to Present CMA Awards in Pre-Tel Festivities

ABC stars James Denton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Kate Walsh were announced today as segment hosts for "The 41st Annual CMA Awards," which airs live Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET), on the ABC Television Network from the Sommet Center in Nashville.

"It will be exciting for our viewers to see actors they admire from other ABC television programs making an appearance on the CMA Awards," said CMA Chief Operating Officer Tammy Genovese. "Their participation as hosts brings a whole new level of excitement and interest to the program."

In addition, CMA Vocal Group and Horizon Award nominated Little Big Town will perform, Album of the Year nominee Dierks Bentley will present, and Vocal Group and Music Video of the Year Nominee Emerson Drive will present CMA Awards in Pre-Tel Festivities.

Nashville native Denton can be seen as sexy plumber Mike Delfino on ABC's "Desperate Housewives." Along with the rest of the cast, Denton was honored with the 2006 and 2005 SAG Award for Best Ensemble in a Comedy. He has just completed filming the feature films "Wanted: Undead or Alive" with "Saturday Night Live" alum Chris Kattan and "Tortured" with Laurence Fishburne. Feature film credits include "Primary Colors," "Face/Off" and "That Old Feeling." Denton also starred in "The Pretender" and ABC's "Philly," along with guest appearances in "JAG," "Dark Skies," "Ally McBeal" and "The West Wing." Denton has recently become a part owner of the minor league baseball team the Orange County Flyers.

Williams-Paisley can be seen as Dana on ABC's hit comedy "According to Jim" opposite Jim Belushi and Courtney Thorne-Smith. She lit up the screen with her film debut as the radiant young bride in the comedy features, "Father of the Bride" and "Father of the Bride II." Williams-Paisley was recently seen in "We are Marshall," co-starring opposite Matthew McConaughey, "How to Eat Fried Worms," with Tom Cavanagh, and the coming of age comedy "Eden Court." Williams-Paisley has also been establishing her creativity outside the performing arena, beginning with accomplishments as a published writer for such publications as "In Style" and "Redbook" magazines and also directed episodes of "According to Jim" last season. She recently wrote, directed and starred in - with Patrick Dempsey - the film "Shade," for which she won the Director's Choice: Outstanding Directing and Acting in a Short Award at the Sedona International Film Festival. She will be rooting for husband Brad Paisley, who is tied with George Strait for the most CMA Awards nominations this year.

Walsh stars in ABC's "Private Practice" as Addison Montgomery Shepherd, the role she first portrayed on the ABC series "Grey's Anatomy," for two seasons. She and her fellow "Grey's Anatomy" cast members received the 2007 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. Her film credits include "Kicking and Screaming" opposite Will Ferrell and Robert Duvall, "Under the Tuscan Sun," "After the Sunset," "Inside Out," and "The Family Man." She also had series regular roles on "The Mike O'Malley Show," "Mind of a Married Man" and "The Drew Carey Show." Born in San Jose, California and raised both there and in Tucson, Arizona, Kate Walsh began her career in Chicago, studying at the renowned Piven Theatre Workshop. She's also starred in theatrical productions of the critically acclaimed "Born Guilty," "Moon Under Miami" and "Troilus and Cressida" at the Shakespeare Repertory.

Little Big Town has received four career CMA Awards nominations for the Horizon Award (2006, 2007) and Vocal Group of the Year (2006, 2007). Their last album, Road to Here was certified Platinum in February and their new project, A Place To Land, will be released Nov. 6, the day before the CMA Awards.

Bentley is a first-time nominee in the CMA Album of the Year category in 2007 for Long Trip Alone, which was produced by Brett Beavers. Bentley won his first CMA Award in 2005 with the Horizon trophy.

Presenting trophies including acknowledging the CMA Broadcast Award winning stations and radio personalities prior to the live broadcast is Emerson Drive. They received two nominations this year for Vocal Group of the Year and Music Video of the Year for their No. 1 hit "Moments," which was directed by Steven Goldmann.
Performers previously announced for the 2007 CMA Awards include Jason Aldean, Rodney Atkins, Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Eagles, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire in a duet with LeAnn Rimes, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, George Strait, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Rascal Flatts will open the festivities and also perform with Jamie Foxx later in the broadcast.

Sara Evans and Rimes will also host segments of the three-hour broadcast. Presenters recently announced include Luke Bryan, Jason Michael Carroll, Bucky Covington, Sheryl Crow, Jewel with Ty Murray, Kid Rock, Montgomery Gentry, Blake Shelton, Gretchen Wilson, and Dwight Yoakam.

Tickets for the 2007 CMA Awards are on sale now and can be purchased by logging on to; calling (615) 255-9600; or in person at the Sommet Center box office, 501 Broadway (corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway, in Nashville). Ticket prices begin at $164 (excluding applicable service/handling fees), with prices increasing depending on seating level.

"The 41st Annual CMA Awards" is a production of the Country Music Association. Walter C. Miller is the executive producer and Robert Deaton is the producer. Paul Miller is the director. David Wild is the writer. The special will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC's selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound and Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning. A TV parental guideline will be posted closer to airdate.

Premiere Radio Networks is the official radio packager of the CMA Awards, including a stereo-radio simulcast of the gala event. American Airlines is the official airline of the 2007 CMA Awards. Chevy: The Official Ride of Country Music. Mary Kay(R) is the Official Beauty Sponsor. Additional promotional partners include AOL, LLC., Borders(R) Books & Music, Carl Black Chevrolet, Coca-Cola(R), Dr Pepper(R), Gibson Guitar(R), Greased Lightning(R) Cleaning Products, Hard Rock Cafe Nashville, Mr. Coffee(R) and The Yankee Candle Company.

Source: Country Music Association
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 31, 2007 /PRNewswire/ --

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