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TV Bulletin Board (June 5)

Twangers Gabe Garcia of Lyle, Melissa Lawson of Arlington.

NBC's new edition of Nashville Star premiering Monday, June 9th, is going to be lousy with Texans.

OK, let's rephrase that. There are four Texas-bred contestants among the competition's 12 finalists, although only Melissa Lawson still lives in the state.

Lawson, 32, lists Arlington as her hometown and Dalworthington Gardens, TX, as her current residence. She's a working mother of five sons. And in NBC's words, she "wants to prove that country music is about the songs and the voice, not about the size jeans you wear."

Other Texans in the field are Gabe Garcia, 28 (born in Lyle, now living in Dickson, Tenn.); the single-named "Coffey" (from Bangs to L.A.) and the group Third Town (members Jeffrey Fairchild, James A. Kouns and Tony Mosti emigrated from San Antonio to Vegas).

Hosting is Billy Ray Cyrus, with Jewel, John Rich and Jeffrey Steele serving as the obligatory three judges. The opening two-hour episode, from 8 to 10 p.m. central, will include a performance by Taylor Swift, the Academy of Country Music's reigning best new female vocalist.

***Bill Engvall, the Galveston native who worked his way to stardom via Dallas comedy clubs, returns with new episodes of TBS' The Bill Engvall Show on Thursday, June 12th.

First though, a lone repeat from the first season will air Monday, June 9th at 7 p.m. central on CBS, preempting The Big Bang Theory.

CBS isn't exactly beating the promotional drums for this, but TBS confirms that it's happening as part of a unique trade-off between two networks that otherwise have no corporate connections.

Says a TBS spokesperson, "Airing an episode of The Bill Engvall Show on CBS provides an opportunity to introduce the series to a new group of fans and is a great way for people to sample the show. In exchange, Turner (owner of TBS) will air a major CBS fall campaign."

***ABC has booked Michelle Obama, wife of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, as a guest host on the June 18th episode of The View.

ABC says she'll be "seated alongside all five co-hosts," namely Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd.

It seems only a matter of time before presidential candidates or their spouses will be signed as presenters on awards shows. Campaigns are all under one big show biz tent now, as WWE Raw proved conclusively earlier this year with tailor-made addresses to wrestling fans from Obama, Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.