"American Idol" winner
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show will be executive-produced by "Idol" creator Simon Fuller and directed by "So You Think You Can Dance" producer/judge Nigel Lythgoe and his frequent "SYTYCD" cohort, "Hairspray" director Adam Shankman. So far, a handful of guests are already booked, including legend Dolly Parton, country singer Brad Paisley and fellow "Idol" winner David Cook. The show will feature a combination of musical performances and comedy sketches written by veterans from "Seinfeld" and "Frasier."
Underwood isn't the only "Idol" alum to celebrate the holidays on TV this season. Season three vet Jennifer Hudson will host a show called "Jennifer Hudson: I'll Be Home for Christmas" for ABC in December. Unlike Underwood's show (which will take a variety show approach), "I'll Be Home for Christmas" will be an autobiographical tour through Hudson's holiday past.
Underwood's third album, Play On, will be released on November 3 and features collaborations with Max Martin, Kara DioGuardi, Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida and Josh Kear (who penned Underwood's smash hit "Before He Cheats"). Before the holiday special, she'll appear as the co-host (with Paisley) of the CMA Awards, where she is also nominated for two prizes (for Female Vocalist of the Year — versus Taylor Swift — and for Musical Event of the Year).