Scoop: Connie Britton Heads for Nashville With Lead in ABC Musical Drama Pilot

Connie Britton NashvilleConnie Britton has lined up her next TV gig — and it truly is something to sing about.

The Friday Night Lights and American Horror Story alumna — who was offered everything under the sun this pilot season — has been cast in Nashville, an ABC pilot described as a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene, and revolving around one star at her peak and another on the rise (Heroes‘ Hayden Panettiere). Britton will play the former, Rayna — and yes, she will be singing.

Pilot Season Lingo Guide (Including the ‘Scary’ Second Position), Plus a List of Picked-Up Pilots

Fun fact: Today just so happens to be Britton’s birthday!

As previously reported, Without a Trace‘s Eric Close will play the husband of Britton’s character. The cast also includes Deadwood vet Powers Boothe and General Hospital grad Jonathan Jackson.

Renowned documentarian R.J. Cutler (The War RoomThe September Issue) is directing the Nashville pilot, from a script by Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise).

ABC’s other drama pilots in the pipeline include the supernatural-tinged 666 Park Avenue (starring Terry O’Quinn), an adaptation of the Beauty and the Beastfairy tale, Devious Maids (a sudser from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry), Shawn Ryan’s Last Resort (starring Andre Braugher) and Shonda Rhimes’ period drama Gilded Lillys (with Blythe Danner and Madeline Zima).

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  1. Kenbud says:

    I’m allllllllll about Last Resort and Devious Maids, and damnit, now this. My DVR can only hold so much!! :-)

  2. natalia says:

    No more singing on television shows. For a while at least. Please.

    • Rachel says:

      agree. although, i do love smash, enough is enough.

      • Ana says:

        I’ve found Smash to be disappointing. I’m about to give up on Glee, too, since so many of my favorite characters are graduating this year… I might watch this. I do love Connie Britton. She was brilliant in American Horror Story.

  3. Carmichael says:

    ……First Hayden Paniterre and now Connie Britton? You REALLY want me to watch this don’t you ABC?

  4. Ainav says:

    This Pilot just got interesting.

  5. Mitholas says:

    Why is Marc Cherry making Desperate Housemaids now, though? He’ll need to make it deeply different from Desperate Housewives if he wants it to do well, I think.

    • Captain says:

      He wont and I’m a little offended that ALL the maids on the show are hispanic and I’m not even latin. I’m a huge advocate for diversity on television but when you’re just making a big stereotype out of them, it kind of defeats the purpose. I’d rather see a lawyer/doctor show with an all-hispanic (or even mostly hispanic) cast than a show about cleaning ladies.

  6. Lorie says:

    Connie and Eric Close?! I’m so tuning in now.

  7. juan says:

    ABC is on fire

  8. Sarah says:

    Okay…Connie Britton and Jonathan Jackson. It already has a spot on my DVR.

  9. Nero theTVFiddler says:

    Connie Britton may be the new ‘It Girl’ – or at least the ‘It Woman’ on TV this coming season. Good for her. She’s smart, talented, attractive and has got a very good eye for scripts [perhaps a really good agent as well.] I like their choices of work – from Spin City to 24 to Friday N Lights to American Horror and now to Nashville. A good, wide ranging body of work – a good resume. She’s the one to watch right now.

    Each time she takes on a new role, I think, maybe this is not a good fit, but she makes it work well. That’s saying something – that’s what you want to do as an actor/actress – push yourself and push boundaries and perceptions of who you are. I was worried for her when I first heard she joined up on American Horror Story, but she was fantastic in a really cool, cutting-edge show with a terrific cast. I suspect Nashville has the same potential. Good for her – keep your eye Connie – she’s going places.

  10. Renee says:

    They have assemble are really good cast!

    Connie Britton
    Jonathan Jackson
    Eric Close
    Hayden Panettiere
    Powers Boothe

    PLEASE let the writers be decent!

  11. Nick says:

    Another musical show… Yay(sarcasm)

    God, what is wrong with this retarded country.

    • DB says:

      musicals have a long tradition in TV and film, just look at all the golden era of Hollywood movies. it has been with film-making since there was film-making. if you don’t like it, obviously you don’t like film entertainment. no one is forcing you to watch, idiot.

  12. Olan says:

    Looks like ABC is trying to snag some of the Low-IQ CBS audience with a country music show.

  13. Pamela says:

    Connie, please DON’T DO IT. I hate how ABC and NBC (and eventually CBS, probably) are trying to bite off the Glee-tree. For the record I know FOX didn’t invent musical shows and its fairgame for anyone. FOX took a risk with a make it or break it show and reaped the financial and popular benefits. Glee happened at the RIGHT time and say what you will about the show’s quality but the show still has ratings most shows would kill for and the money from Itunes (which they FOX nor Glee recieves, merchandise, concerts, ect is outrageous. Now, shows like SMASH (which will get cancelled) are trying to make musicals “happen”. Its not cop, lawyer, medicine type stuff. Connie, I repeat. Don’t do it. Nashville will be heading to cancellation before before the I can predict each punchline on Modern Family–which is pretty fast, btw.

    • Tabularasa says:

      You clearly have not seen the ratings for Glee’s 3rd season. They’re terrible and are almost every single night outdone by New Girl. I also doubt NBC is gonna cancel Smash. The ratings aren’t terrible, it’s got buzz, and right now NBC will take pretty much anything they can get.

      As for this, I can already see her in this role and they already have a pretty talented cast. I don’t see this getting canceled and it will stand out from Glee and Smash for tapping into a huge music demographic, Country, which Glee and Smash seem to ignore.

  14. I am rally glad she got a good gig like this, although I have to say I’m upset she isn’t one of the caste coming back for the second season of American Horror Story. I loved her and Lange doing scenes together.

  15. Mel says:

    SO EXCITED!!!! She is defs one of my fav actresses ever :D

  16. l says:

    Eric Close sealed it for me. I’ll be going against my plan not to start watching new shows. He’s smoking and he was great in Without a Trace.