Country stars lit up the nation's TV screens
Click on any TV network and you were bound to find a country star on your screen.
Showing up almost everywhere was Faith Hill, who hit the TV trail hard promoting her new album, Cry. The songstress kicked off her campaign on 60 Minutes II, where she took host Dan Rather on a tour of Nashville's famed Music Row. Faith also shined on Late Show With David Letterman, and Today show's "Rocktober Concert Series" and a segment of The View.
Faith also showed a gift for comedy when she appeared on Saturday Night Live. Her sketch - she was tricked into a wrestling match with guest host Sarah Michelle Geller - was considered the highlight of the show. "I was nervous about it at first," admitted Faith, adding that she'd like to try more acting in the future.
But music remained the focus as the stunning singer capped off her big TV year with a prime-time variety spectacular, which aired on Thanksgiving night.
And the night before Faith, hubby Tim McGraw starred in a special of his own - Tim McGraw: Sing Me Home. The special was filmed in Tim's hometowm of Start, La., and featured behind-the-scenes footage of his tour. "I think that created a unique setting for a concert special," said Tim. "I'm proud of my roots and honored that NBC let me go home to Louisiana for my first concert special."
Reba McEntire and Billy Ray Cyrus remained in the spotlight with new seasons of their hit shows. Reba's sitcom Reba, continues to draw high ratings as well as raves for the singer's comic flair. Billy Ray's medial drama, Doc, is the PAX network's No. 1 show, and has won several awards from family organizations for its quality programming.
Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines did some ratings-busting of her own when she appeared on TLC's Trading Spaces. Natalie's segment of the home makeover show drew record audiences for the network.
Natalie and fellow Chicks Emily Robison and Martie Maguire rocked on a VH-1 Divas special, and made appearances on Live With Regis & Kelly, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and more. The award-winning trio was also the focus of a 20/20 segment, dealing with their crazy life on the road. Finally, the Chicks soared in their first TV special in two years, which aired on NBC in December.
Martina McBride got up close and personal for Lifetime's Intimate Portrait series, which delves into the lives of female celebrities. The show also featured comments from Faith, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks.
Lee Ann Womack turned up on The View and shared the spotlight with a bevy of female pop stars on the Lifetime special Women Rock: Girls & Guitars.
There was more than music drawing the stars to the small screen - several were bitten by the acting bug. Jo Dee Messina paid a return visit to Touched By An Angel, portraying the single mother of a teenage girl in an episode titled "Bring On The Rain," after her hit single. Tammy Cochran parlayed her single, "Angels In Waiting," into a guest shot on Doc, marking her debut acting experience.
Deana Carter spread her wings on the sitcom Raising Dad, playing a potential love interest for star Bob Saget. Andy Griggs turned in a potent performance on Sabrina The Teenage Witch, where he played his hit "Tonight I Wanna Be Your Man."
Rascal Flatts crooned their smash "These Days" on The Wayne Brady Show. Newcomers Brad Martin and Shannon Lawson made their TV debuts in episodes of the soap As The World Turns.