Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Described by its home network, Lifetime, as a "docu-soap," the weekly, hour-long Cheerleader Nation chronicled a year in the life of the varsity cheerleading squad at Kentucky's Dunbar High School. From initial tryouts to the final round of the squad's efforts to win its third national championship in a row (something that no one had done for 20 years!), the series dealt with the personnel of the squad on an individual basis, with each member's dreams, ambitions, victories and defeats duly recorded in their video diaries. The "cast" was comprised of the 22 girls on the squad -- of whom only one was a new arrival -- their parents, their coach, Donna (whose own daughter Ryan was on the squad, and did not attain this position via nepotism), and their choreographer, Saleem. Although sympathetic to its subject matter, the series' producers made no effort to hide the fact that, in certain cases, being on the cheerleading squad meant more to a girl's parents than the girl herself. Also, the time, commitment, and financial expense required of each girl and each girl's parents was annotated in excruciating but entertaining detail. Debuting March 9, 2006, Cheerleader Nation concluded its Lifetime network run on April 28 of that year.