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

Get More: Casting News, Pilots

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).

Comments (22)

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

    Comment by Kenbud – March 6, 2012 11:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No more singing on television shows. For a while at least. Please.

    Comment by natalia – March 6, 2012 11:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • agree. although, i do love smash, enough is enough.

      Comment by Rachel – March 6, 2012 02:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • 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.

        Comment by Ana – March 6, 2012 03:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Smash is getting better every week, stay with it.

          Comment by Elaine – March 30, 2012 02:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ……First Hayden Paniterre and now Connie Britton? You REALLY want me to watch this don’t you ABC?

    Comment by Carmichael – March 6, 2012 11:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This Pilot just got interesting.

    Comment by Ainav – March 6, 2012 11:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Mitholas – March 6, 2012 11:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Captain – March 6, 2012 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Connie and Eric Close?! I’m so tuning in now.

    Comment by Lorie – March 6, 2012 11:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ABC is on fire

    Comment by juan – March 6, 2012 11:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay…Connie Britton and Jonathan Jackson. It already has a spot on my DVR.

    Comment by Sarah – March 6, 2012 12:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Nero theTVFiddler – March 6, 2012 12:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • They have assemble are really good cast!

    Connie Britton
    Jonathan Jackson
    Eric Close
    Hayden Panettiere
    Powers Boothe

    PLEASE let the writers be decent!

    Comment by Renee – March 6, 2012 01:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Another musical show… Yay(sarcasm)

    God, what is wrong with this retarded country.

    Comment by Nick – March 6, 2012 01:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by DB – March 6, 2012 01:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Looks like ABC is trying to snag some of the Low-IQ CBS audience with a country music show.

    Comment by Olan – March 6, 2012 02:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Pamela – March 6, 2012 03:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • 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.

      Comment by Tabularasa – March 6, 2012 06:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by Denise@americanhorrorstoryfan – March 6, 2012 03:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SO EXCITED!!!! She is defs one of my fav actresses ever :D

    Comment by Mel – March 7, 2012 12:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 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.

    Comment by l – March 7, 2012 12:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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