There may only be 18 tables at Larry’s Country Diner, but it services 1.4 million people each and every month as one of the top-rated shows on RFD-TV. At this diner, the cornbread and black-eyed peas only complement the heapin’ helpin’ of country music performances served up by the stars of yesterday and today.
Taped bi-monthly in front of a live studio/diner audience at NorthStar Studios, the show is one of the last remaining vestiges of live, spontaneous variety programming featuring country music in an old-fashioned setting. Integrating entertainment, interviews and music, Larry’s Country Diner features regular characters including Keith Bilbrey, Sheriff Jimmy Capps, Waitress Renae, and avid church lady Nadine, along with special guest appearances by country music artists of yesterday and today. Since its initial airing on August 3, 2009, Larry’s Country Diner has produced nearly 100 episodes and has become one of the most popular shows on RFD-TV.
And at a time when even reality shows are produced within strict script guidelines, the formula at Larry’s Country Diner is simple: the cameras are always rolling. The fact that plates are dropped or broken during a performance, a rack of knives and forks are dumped on the floor, or that some of the lights go out while they were filming only adds to the show’s mystique.
This spontaneity has contributed greatly to its success.
“We don’t care [about mistakes],” explains Larry Black, host and creator of Larry’s Country Diner. “It’s the kind of television you just don’t see too much anymore, and both the artists and fans love it. We even tell our artists that once the tape starts rolling, it does not stop. If you get yourself in trouble, get yourself out, ‘cause we’re not stoppin’.”
Because of its popularity, getting a seat to see a live taping might prove more difficult than getting a reservation at one of L.A.’s most trendy posh restaurants. If you want to see a live taping of the show, be prepared to wait — the waiting list extends into 2013.
Just because you can’t get a seat in the diner doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the show. New episodes air each week on RFD-TV. In March the line-up offered a little something to satisfy every flavor of country music with Bill Anderson, Ray Stevens, Red Steagall, Mark Chesnutt, and Gene Watson all appearing on the show.
Larry’s Country Diner airs Thursday nights at 7 p.m. CST, with encore presentations Friday mornings at 9 a.m. and Saturday evenings at 10 p.m. For more information on Larry’s Country Diner, please visit www.larryscountrydiner.com.