Carrie Underwood headlines Fox variety show

Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:30am EDT
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By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Country star Carrie Underwood is returning to Fox, the network that catapulted her to stardom with "American idol," to host a variety special.

The two-hour project, tentatively titled "Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special," will air December 7.

She will perform hits, holiday classics and songs from her upcoming album, and participate in comedy bits. Musical guests signed so far include Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley and David Cook, last year's "Idol" winner.

Underwood, the fourth-season "Idol" winner, is the most successful recording artist to emerge from the competition series, with sales of more than 10 million albums in the U.S. and four Grammy Awards. Her next album, "Play On," will be released November 3.

The Underwood special has been billed as a one-off, though the broadcast networks have been looking for ways to revive the variety series genre, so far unsuccessfully with Rosie O'Donnell (NBC) and the Osbournes (Fox). John Mayer signed on in January to star in a variety pilot for CBS, which is still percolating at the network.

(Editing by DGoodman at Reuters)