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Teen singer from W.Va. stars in new Lifetime reality series

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Lifetime's latest reality series, "Chasing Nashville," premieres at 10 p.m. Tuesday, and it stars one of West Virginia's own.

The show follows four small-town Appalachia girls with dreams of country stardom, among them Autumn Blair of Chloe, Calhoun County. "A true coal-miners daughter, Autumn hails from one of the back hollers of West Virginia and is related to country great, Loretta Lynn," the show's page on mylifetime.com proclaims.

She'll be joined by Helena Hunt of Clyde, N.C.; Lauren Marie Presley, originally of Red Water, Texas, and Savannah Little of Pikeville, Ky. Three other Kentucky-based singers will also appear: Julia Knight of Lexington; Celeste Turner of Prestonburg and Tyra Short of Pine Top.

The nine-episode show will chronicle the aspiring singers' journeys as they try to make it in Nashville and also delve into their home lives and the sacrifices their parents have made for their daughters' potential careers. Along the way, they'll be mentored by Grammy-winning producer Keith Thomas and writer/producer Deanna Walker.

When I looked up the show to find out more about it, I recognized Autumn's name and face right away. I know her from when I judged the "Charleston's Teen Idol" competition sponsored by Charleston Town Center and Coca-Cola. Though she never won, she made it to the semi-finals her first year and was one of six finalists the next two years.

(Speaking of "Teen Idol," 2011 winner Colton Pack got a yes from all four judges in his "X Factor" audition, so we'll be seeing him again in the Fox competition this season.)

I remember being impressed not only with Autumn's voice, but also her maturity. Reality TV is hardly known as a bastion of class; hopefully, her poise will shine through here and, combined with her voice, lead her to bigger and better things.

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Series premieres: "Reign," 9 p.m. Thursday, CW (historical soap about a young Mary Queen of Scots); "Big Bad Wood," 9 p.m. Thursday, National Geographic (following tree-cutting companies in Boston); "Ravenswood," 9 p.m. Tuesday, ABC Family ("Pretty Little Liars" spin-off); "Trust Me, I'm a Game Show Host," 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, TBS (contestants have to figure out which host is lying, D.L. Hughley or Michael Ian Black).

Season premieres: "White Collar," 9 p.m. Thursday, USA; "True Crime with Aphrodite Jones," 9 p.m. Thursday, ID; "American Hoggers," 10 p.m. Tuesday, A&E; "Extreme Cheapskates," 9 p.m. Wednesday, TLC.

Returning: "Covert Affairs," 10 p.m. Thursday, USA.

Series finale: "What Not to Wear," 9 p.m. Friday, TLC (two hours).

Season finales: "Project Runway," 9 p.m. Thursday, Lifetime; "Cold Justice," 10 p.m. Tuesday, TNT.

Specials: "Mythbusters Zombie Special," 10 p.m. Thursday, Discovery (with "The Walking Dead's" Michael Rooker); "Great Performances' 40th Anniversary Celebration," 9 p.m. Friday, PBS (Julie Andrews, Michael Buble, Josh Groban and more perform); "Queer Eye Reunion: 10 Years Later," 9 p.m. Sunday, Bravo; "Pretty Little Liars" Halloween episode, 8 p.m. Tuesday, ABC Family.

Of note: ABC Family begins its annual "13 Nights of Halloween" holiday programming Saturday; "The Middle" celebrates 100 episodes, 8 p.m. Wednesday, ABC.

W.Va. alerts: "30 Days of Bridge Day Above the New River Gorge," 10 p.m. today, PBS2; "Mountain Monsters" searches for the mythical Devil Dog in Logan County, 10 p.m. Sunday, Animal Planet.

Reach Amy Robinson at flipside@wvgazette.com.


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