CMT Most Wanted Live
|CMT Most Wanted Live|
|Starring||Lance Smith (2001)
Amber Mogg (2001)
Katie Cook (2002-2004)
Greg Martin (2002)
Cledus T. Judd (2002-2004)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||±500|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original release||May 28, 2001– April 3, 2004|
|Related shows||Total Request Live
Most Wanted Live was a country music spin-off of sister network MTV's Total Request Live, which features mostly pop, rap, and R&B videos. The original format of MWL was nearly identical to TRL, but it was altered several times and encountered two host changes throughout its three-year run. Much like TRL, viewers cast their votes online at CMT's website or via a toll-free telephone number. A total of ten videos were counted down daily, but not all ten would be aired in their entirety due to time constraints.
MWL debuted May 28, 2001, broadcasting live with a small studio audience from the lobby of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The show initially aired in afternoons Tuesday through Friday. Co-hosting the show were Lance Smith and Amber Mogg, both in their early twenties at the time. During this era, the show was targeted at the youth demographic, featuring many baby blue and pink colors on-screen and a graphics scheme modeled after the periodic table of elements. Insets of studio audience members commenting on the current video as well as internet messages from across the country were included into the show, much like TRL. Often, country music stars would appear for live, acoustic performances. Smith and Mogg would together present the videos and interact with the audience, and Mogg alone would periodically deliver country music news and artist updates.
On January 5, 2002, after a holiday hiatus, the show's broadcast location was moved across town to the Gibson Bluegrass Showcase at Opry Mills mall. Though the format remained mostly the same, the show was retooled, aiming for a more mature audience. The periodic table scheme remained, but the show was given a darker, more rustic color scheme. The number of videos shown was reduced from ten to eight. The audience insets were also eliminated, but the internet messages remained. It was at this time, also, that MWL experienced its first host change. Amber Mogg left CMT and Lance Smith was moved to the network's Top Twenty Countdown show. Katie Cook and Greg Martin replaced Smith and Mogg. As part of the move to Opry Mills, the show added a Saturday airing, to act as a lead-in to Opry Backstage, which itself was a lead-in to CMT's live coverage of the Grand Ole Opry. Another host change occurred with less fanfare in October 2002, when Greg Martin was released. He was quickly replaced by Cledus T. Judd, a face with which many country music fans were already familiar.
Most Wanted Live was reduced to a once-weekly Saturday airing in 2003 and again moved its broadcast location, this time to the Wildhorse Saloon in downtown Nashville. The periodic table scheme was lost in the move, as was the basic format of the show. The move to Saturday would often result in the show being taped in advance (against its own name), and the show would sometimes feature an on-stage performance from the Wildhorse.
CMT's final airing of MWL was April 3, 2004.
MWL Hall of Fame
Songs which appeared on the Great Eight for 65 days, or spent 50 days at #1, were retired from the countdown and inducted into the MWL Hall of Fame. In summer 2002, when the show began airing special episodes such as MWL Summer Request or MWL Mystery, the number of days necessary for retirement was reduced to 50. The following videos were inducted into the MWL Hall of Fame:
- "Laredo," Chris Cagle (August 24, 2001)
- "There You'll Be," Faith Hill (August 24, 2001)
- "I'm Just Talkin' About Tonight," Toby Keith (August 31, 2001)
- "Never Love You Enough," Chely Wright (September 18, 2001)
- "Austin," Blake Shelton (November 8, 2001)
- "I Wanna Talk About Me," Toby Keith (December 12, 2001)
- "The Cowboy in Me," Tim McGraw (April 19, 2002)
- "Young," Kenny Chesney (April 19, 2002)
- "I Don't Want You to Go," Carolyn Dawn Johnson (August 8, 2002)
- "The Good Stuff," Kenny Chesney (September 6, 2002)
- "My List," Toby Keith (September 6, 2002)
- "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)," Brad Paisley (September 12, 2002)
- "Who's Your Daddy?," Toby Keith (December 18, 2002)
- "These Days," Rascal Flatts (December 20, 2002)
- "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!," Shania Twain (February 8, 2003)
Most Wanted Live, itself a spin-off, spawned two of its own.
On January 13, 2003, CMT launched MWL Star, an interview series focusing on one artist per episode. The series was hosted by Katie Cook. MWL Star ended its run on June 3, 2003 and its replacement, MWL Stacked, debuted the same day. Stacked is a thirty-minute show featuring wall-to-wall videos from a single artist or group. When MWL was canceled, MWL Stacked became known as CMT Stacked, and it remains on the air sporadically as of 2012[update].