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American Country Awards looks like it’s around to stay awhile

No one was really sure why we needed this. A third country awards show, the second out of Las Vegas — same arena even — and a similar name. “Not the ACMs, dude, the ACAs!”

Still, four years on, “It’s pretty safe to say we have successfully institutionalized it,” executive producer Bob Bain says of Fox’s American Country Awards.

Tom Brady set progress back a bit last year, as Monday Night Football helped push the awards show’s ratings down by almost a third from the year before.

The answer? Move to Tuesday!

The live broadcast from Mandalay Bay follows the recent drift of awards shows in general, away from speeches and toward what Bain calls “unique performances and experiences.”

Trace Adkins returns to co-host with first-time NASCAR star Danica Patrick. “This pairing begs for a driving sketch,” Bain says.

Brad Paisley will perform and receive something called the Video Visionary Award. Sheryl Crow will sing with Darius Rucker, and Lady Antebellum, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen and Kellie Pickler are among the performers.

“We were met with some justifiable skepticism the first year,” Bain says of Nashville, but “during a crucial buying season,” nobody could think of a good reason not to support “a great opportunity to sell music going into the holiday season.

“One of the things the talent likes best about this show is it’s basically the last hurrah before they all go to Christmas (vacation),” he adds. “It’s pretty much the end of the year office party for all the country stars, and it makes it a lot of fun for everybody.”

Those in town can buy tickets to see the awards at 5 p.m. Others can watch for free when the tape-delayed broadcast is shown on Fox at 8 p.m.

Contact Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0288.

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