CMT Saves ‘NASHVILLE’: Hayden Panettiere And Connie Britton Set To Return

Nashville fans can rejoice as their show has survived being canceled and has found a new home on CMT which certainly makes for a good partner. Studio Lionsgate confirmed Friday that country-themed cable network has picked up the drama for a fifth season following its axing last month by ABC, according to EW.

The show was canceled by ABC after a four-season run, but fans of the show banded together and launched a social media campaign to save the country music-focused drama. Lionsgate began pitching the show to other networks and ultimately found a home on Nashville-based CMT.

The deal includes new showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (Thirtysomething), who ABC enlisted months ago to help freshen the series if renewed. The deal also includes a new pact with Hulu to continue streaming the musical drama, with new episodes appearing on the service days after they debut on CMT.

CMT president Brian Philips said the love fans unleased for the show upon hearing it was leaving had been overwhelming.

“CMT heard the fans. The wave of love and appreciation they have unleashed for ‘Nashville’ has been overwhelming,” said Brian Philips, president of CMT. “‘Nashville’ is a perfect addition to our evolving line-up of big music specials, documentaries and original series. We see our fans and ourselves in this show, and we will treasure it like no other network. ‘Nashville’ belongs on CMT.”

CMT is giving Nashville a full season of the show with 22 episodes.

Series star Charles Esten will celebrate the news in Nashville with CMT host Cody Alan and other cast members. However, no cast list announcement was included in the CMT announcement.

Fans of watching the series online take note: Hulu will continue to stream episodes of Nashville the day after they air on CMT. Production, of course, will stay in Nashville with Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz at the helm.

“CMT and Hulu are the perfect combination for our iconic and beloved series Nashville and we want to thank the incredible fans for their unwavering support—#Nashies, you helped make this possible,” Kevin Beggs, chairman of the Lionsgate Television Group, said in a statement. “We also want to extend our appreciation to the State of Tennessee, City of Nashville, and Ryman Hospitality for their unending support. They have been a key ingredient to the continued success of this show and we’re thrilled to extend our partnership for a fifth season.”

After two decades as the reigning queen of country music, Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) is faced with pressure to adapt and reinvent herself to stay relevant. Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) is a sassy, sexy singer with a troubled past who is determined to steal Rayna’s place at the top. Other characters in Nashville’s music scene include a beautiful and gifted songwriter, Scarlett O’Connor, up-and-coming musician Gunnar Scott, conflicted country star Will Lexington, and Deacon Claybourne, a guitar player who has worked with Rayna since the beginning of her career.

Are you excited for the return of Nashville?

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Marc Rose

Founder / Editor In Chief - Movies are my passion. At any time in my life I can throw on a movie and be motivated, comforted, excited, or moved to tears. For me cinema is a universal language that guides me. I love action and natural disaster flicks, the bigger the better. I'm what you'd call an athletic geek. I love covering Con’s, Red Carpets, and Hollywood events. In my spare time I snowboard, DJ, travel, and search out good eateries.

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