NEW YORK — Carrie Underwood will take over the theme song for “Sunday Night Football,” with NBC sticking to the formula of a female country music star for its intro.
Underwood steps in for Faith Hill, who announced last month that she would not be back for a seventh season. Underwood will sing a new version of “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night,” the network said Tuesday.
Producer Fred Gaudelli said that after Hill informed him in February, Underwood was the only performer he pursued. She was under consideration for the role when NBC first broadcast the Sunday night NFL games in 2006.
Pink sang the opening tune, set to Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” for that first season before Hill came on.
“For me, it just always seemed like something that would be fun to do,” Underwood, 30, said during a conference call. “To watch Faith do it week after week, to see that hype for the game, it’s something that’s so cool.”
Underwood plans to adapt the intro to her style, with the lyrics remaining the same. NFL stars will again appear in the video sequence.
A former “American Idol” champion and six-time Grammy winner, Underwood is married to hockey star Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators. The Oklahoma native sang the national anthem at the 2010 Super Bowl.
Underwood said her husband, who’s friends with several NFL players, was thrilled about her foray into his profession.
“He’s a sports dude,” she said. “Yeah, he plays hockey, but he definitely loves football, as do I.”
The first Sunday night game is Sept. 8, when the New York Giants visit the Dallas Cowboys. “Sunday Night Football,” which averaged 21.8 million viewers last season, is TV’s top-rated prime-time show.
Gaudelli said he contacted Hill’s reps Tuesday to let them know of the hire. Underwood said she expected to get pointers from Hill the next time they cross paths.
Underwood is signed up to star in NBC’s live broadcast of “The Sound of Music” this year. While her familiarity with the network helped, she said, the two deals weren’t connected.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Before he passed away last month, George Jones had scheduled a star-packed final concert for November. It turns out the show will go on.
Jones’ widow, Nancy, said Tuesday that Garth Brooks, Kid Rock and several more performers have agreed to keep the Nov. 22 date and appear in tribute to Jones at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The show was previously sold out.
Jones passed away April 26 at a Nashville hospital at 81. Thousands attended a memorial last week in Nashville to celebrate a defining male voice of country music.
Nancy Jones also said Charlie Daniels, Jamey Johnson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Montgomery Gentry and Travis Tritt have signed on. Lineup updates will appear on Jones’ website.
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NEW YORK — One of television’s most successful sitcom writers is joining with Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello to create a musical based on the artists’ 1998 album “Painted From Memory.”
Bacharach said Tuesday that Chuck Lorre, creator of “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory,” contacted him and said he wanted to write a story to go with the music.
The dark and lush album was an unusual collaboration between a pop classicist and an Englishman who usually traffics in rock ’n’ roll. They earned a Grammy for one of its songs, “I Still Have That Other Girl.” Other songs on the disc include “God Give Me Strength” and “This House is Empty Now.”
Given the songs’ subject matter, Bacharach said the show “won’t be a comedy.” He declined to give details of the story Lorre was writing for the musical. They’re hoping the show makes it to Broadway.
Costello said he and Bacharach are writing additional music for the show.