Nashville Season 5

Nashville Twist: Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick to Take Over as Showrunners in Likely Season 5

Rayna James’ so-called country life is heading in a surprising new direction.

TV vets Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (My So-Called Life, thirtysomething) have inked a deal to take over as Nashville‘s new showrunners in the very likely event ABC renews the bubble drama for Season 5, TVLine has learned exclusively. The duo would replace current showunner Dee Johnson, who is expected to depart at the conclusion of Nashville‘s current fourth season.

Herskovitz and Zwick have a long history with ABC, having created critical darlings My So-Called Life, thirtysomething and Once and Again. After the swift cancellation of their NBC coming-of-age drama Quarterlife in 2008, the duo took a break from TV to focus on their feature careers. Last fall, they inked a first-look deal with Lionsgate, the studio behind Nashville.

This would mark the first time Herskovitz and Zwick have assumed control of a series that they did not create.

Nashville, which was conspicuously missing from ABC’s mass renewal announcement earlier this month, enjoyed a modest ratings uptick with its winter premiere last week, drawing 4.3 million viewers and a o.9 rating (up 5 and 12 percent, respectively, from the fall finale).

ABC declined to comment for this story.

Thoughts on the surprising/encouraging behind-the-scenes shake-up? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Tim says:

    Wow! ABC is renewing it! That’s kinda big given how low it’s ratings are. Happy for the fans. I’m wondering if other bubble shows will make it or not. Castle probably, Agent Carter maybe.

    • John036 says:

      Both Nashville Castle will probably receive a (shortened?) final season if they are renewed.

    • Falcon says:

      Pretty sure that Agent Carter already got renewed?? I could be wrong though.

    • Boiler says:

      Well Nashville the one show for ABC that increased its audience after the hiatus. It’s audience is now bigger than OUAT, Quantico, AOS and a couple comedies. Yea, yea I know audience isn’t the big thing but it is certainly an indication of popularity. Also would guess full season with new showrunners

  2. YES! Amazing news about the probable Renewal and THIS SHOW NEEDS FRESH IDEAS and new blood. I havent seen any of their work but I hope they can bring the focus back to the music and fight ABC about the over dramatic plots.

    • Ella Jasper says:

      I so agree with you. This show should be about the music. Too much drama. They are adding too many new characters. Write for the ones you have, they are great. And bring back Zoe!

  3. A. D. says:

    This season has sucked!

  4. Steven says:

    Surprised ABC is putting in the effort considering these ratings. Soaps don’t usually enjoy a lasting life in syndication anyway.

  5. Z says:

    Likely renewal? It’s a sure cancellation, which is why Dee is Johnson is leaving. The wedding episode ratings won’t change that.

  6. Andrew Hass says:

    I think Nashville will be renewed for another even if it’s just a shortened final season and/or mid-season show.However i think having new show-runners could be a good thing because sometimes shows need new blood in charge of things.

  7. Col says:

    Maybe ABC will hype up Juliettes return which might give Nashville a ratings boost. This show has been in a downer for quite a while.

  8. Mr. Tran K says:

    Hope Nashville gets renewed for a fifth and proper “final season”.

  9. Bryce says:

    Is Callie Khouri remaining on the show?

  10. Why is everyone so shocked by this?Back in Nov a tv critic tweeted Nashville would be back.ABC is having a horrible season and can’t cancel everything and Nashville makes lots of money in syndication-two networks-,cibpncerts/tours/music sales and abc renewed shows like AC,AC,Galavant which were at 1.0 or lower last season.Nadhvilles getting new Showrunners,they have a new tour announced for this summer( why tour or why spend the money on a tour if the shows cancelled?-& Sky Living UK just picked it up.It was also ABCs only show to return up in ratings after a hiatues.

    • Plus Nashville gets millions in money from TN

      • Tom Kovach says:

        So… you think that a for-profit corporate venture should get money from government??

        • It’s tax credits/tax incentives and lots of places offer them to shows.CWs CEG got them from Cali and most CW shows get tax credits from Canada where they film.

        • Scream Queens on Fox also recently got Cali tax credits.Its incentive for tv shows & movies to film there.

        • Rob says:

          TN is paying for visibility and generating tourism. Many states air commercials to bring in tourists; this is similar. The show has made me want to go back to Nashville – especially since I didn’t go to the Bluebird the first visit. I watch the show for the great music. Hopefully the new guys will refocus on the music. And bring back Watty White!

        • It provides jobs and promotes tourism and isn’t illegal.Without these tax credits,tv shows would be more exspensive to produce,

        • David4 says:

          My tax dollars are not even $20.000 a year are given to GE and other MASSIVE corporations as refunds for no reason at all. You are upset at some little show getting a few mainline when corporations are screwing over the poor in the order of trillions a year?

        • Stephen A says:

          They don’t get cash payments, they get incentives to produce the show in the state which provides jobs, tourism, and boosts the economy of the state. Otherwise, it’d be in Canada somewhere boosting their economy.

        • Boiler says:

          Tom they are basically paying the show to advertise Nashville, the city.

        • tvjunkie says:

          I just have to LOL at short-sighted people like yourself. You must be terrible at managing your finances to not be able to see the big picture. A show generates a lot of revenue for the area where it shoots. Behind the scenes jobs: catering, living space (rental homes/hotels), construction crews (for sets), and much more. It’s not like TN gets nothing for the tax breaks.

    • Ben says:

      I agree. I was looking at its ratings and figuring it actually had a pretty even shot at renewal.

    • Boiler says:

      Hey Brandy I totally agree with you on this one!!:)

  11. norah says:

    Love this news. The show has an incredible cast and the backdrop/material is packed with potential. Excited for a new take on it (and less unnecessary drama!). Hope Callie Khouri is still involved somehow.

  12. Tom Kovach says:

    I’m gonna go waaaaaaaaay out on a limb here. Having worked on 17 episodes of the show, I’ve tried to get the attention of “the powers that be” with some ideas that I think would help. But, because I’m not high enough up the ladder, I can only say so much. Short version: even musicians have lives apart from music. Not everyone in Nashville is a songwriter. The city is powerful in other ways, as well. The first season touched on some of it with Lamar Wyatt and Teddy Conrad. But, now, both are gone. That’s as much as I dare say for now.

    • Stephen A. says:

      I wouldn’t give any ideas bc they’ll take them and you won’t get paid.
      Isn’t Nashville the country capital?

  13. icevolcanos says:

    This is a fascinating marriage, if it all holds. In my head, Herzkovitz and Zwick aren’t exactly known for their heavy plotting. I’ve watched all their shows – eight seasons total- and think there is one season that is plotted like current television….OTOH they write some brilliant characters, and Nashville has plenty of characters that could use something to do

  14. Ben says:

    My wish list from new show runners is simple.

    1) Maddie needs to get over her rebellious teenage phase and be nice. Maddie and Daphne are some of the best assets the show has, so they should use them well (musically and storywise).

    2) Please, more Gunnar and Scarlett duets.

    3) Please, lets have some reliably stable relationships that aren’t drama-filled. I get this is really a soap with country music, but it would be nice if there were some relationships that we could rely upon to be relatively drama free. Deacon and Rayna’s family unit would be a particularly good place for it, but seeing Juliette and Avery manage to get to that kind of relationship would also be really satisfying.

    4) Please, give Jonathan Jackson as many comic beats as you can. He is so good with them.

  15. Shutterbug99 says:

    Good! Nashville needs new blood – and more music! I couldn’t help but think when reading Connie Britton’s recent interview posted on here that she was none-too-happy with the way things are going with the show right now. Pure speculation on my part – but her tone read all kinds of irked!

    • ? says:

      Everytime the show hits the right tone (more drama about the music business, less soap) I credit Connie for fighting for that. From what I know of these new showrunners, they’re firmly in her corner.

      • norah says:

        Completely agree with you and Shutterbug99. Connie knows what’s up. And I’d also love for Rayna and Juliette to have scenes and a storyline together again. Some of the most magical moments of the series have come from their dynamite dynamic.

  16. iHeart says:

    actually I think I would be cool if the next season was the last and was 13 episodes

  17. TW says:

    First order of business should be to dump Layla and give Will something to do.

  18. Charlene says:

    My so called life and Thirtysomething are two of my favorite shows. Bringing that talent to Nashville would be AMAZING🤗

  19. Deadline says Nashville is an important serires for Lionsgate as its the biggest broadcast serires for the streaming & cable centric Indie studio

  20. Chris says:

    According to “Nashville” Ed Amatrudo’s twitter account, he said that this season is going to end on multiple cliffhangers! Are the writers that delusional ending this show on cliffhangers when it could be cancelled this season due to low ratings and a regime change at ABC? And hiring new showrunners doesn’t mean the show will get renewed for a fifth season! And Connie Britton said in an interview to The Hollywood Reporter that there are no talks in the writers rooom to wrap up the show and give it closure if this season ends up being its last! WTF are wrong with the producers and writers of “Nashville”?

  21. Jason says:

    Once and Again is one of my all time favorite shows and one that ended far to early. I’m not sure of their music background but I believe they may be able to bring a more thoughtful approach to the drama. I love the show but too often it feels like an afternoon soap, bouncing from one implausibility to the other. This may be a great way to see these characters mature a bit.

  22. Alex says:

    I really wouldn’t be that enthusiastic about the renewal. I love the show, but there is no way it’ll be renewed.

    • Ben says:

      I don’t understand comments like this on an article by Michael Ausiello that proclaims the show will ‘very likely be renewed’. Michael doesn’t say things like that because he is guessing.

  23. Liza says:

    Nashville has been awful this year! I am sticking with it because I love the characters and hope new showrunners can turn it around next year!

  24. arlene says:

    ‘My So-Called Life,’ forever fabulous. Love this idea.

  25. Eran says:

    This is wonderful news. Nashville has been sleepwalking for far too long now. It’s high time new blood swept in and cleaned house. A lot of what makes for this show’s core has gone forgotten this past year or two. Let’s hopefully remember what this show is all about.

  26. Boiler says:

    Love the show and hope the new folks light a spark….hopefully in a more calm direction.

  27. Lululime says:

    I think they need to put the dynamic between Rayna and Juliette front and center, and put the Deacon, Maddie and Avery aspects on the back burner. I’d move Will more to the forefront, and either put Scarlett and Gunnar back together or write them off the show. I also love Layla but I’m not sure there’s much more to do with her character.

  28. christopher bee says:

    As Someone who´s involved in the Music and Advertising Business, i welcome the Thirtysomething Gang into one of my favorite TV Pleasures.

    Yes I´m that old to remember Elliot & Michael and their struggles.

  29. matty says:

    This seems like a weird fit to me, but I’m happy to have these geniuses working on any TV show. I expect thing in Nashville to suddenly get a whole lot moodier, deeper and more profound.

  30. Natalie says:

    Maybe they can save this hot mess. I took this show off my DVR and read recaps every week. Nothing changes..nothing. This show has the most talented group of actors, but the worst writing.

  31. SherryB says:

    ABC never tells us where Nashville stands until the clock strikes midnight..Keeping the fans hanging is not right, nor welcomed. Networks know what is staying or going and we would appreciate knowing as well..And stop with the “winter breaks” that last for months..We also lose interest, and move to other networks in the meantime..You want viewership? Then EARN it ABC..

    • Ella Jasper says:

      I agree with you, the winter breaks are ridiculous. And they wonder why they lose viewers afterwards. That’s because we have moved on to another show that didn’t take two or three months off. What happened to the “old days”, shows started in September, took off a couple of weeks at Christmas, then were on till May with a few reruns scattered in? I’m surprised they don’t lose more viewers than they do. We have given up on shows that took the long breaks.

  32. mona says:

    Gosh, don’t know what to think about the renewal as I was sure it’d be cancelled and was hoping to enjoy Connie Britton’s amazingness in something good, going fwd.
    But hey, if they do make it about the main charactes (W Rayna!), the Nashville music world again, and turn down the soapiness a millin notches…!

  33. Frances says:

    Love Nashville. Hope new team will increase ratings so show be around awhile.

  34. Pamela Baker says:

    Nashville is the only show I watch on ABC other than world News. Most of what they have on these days is not worth my time. Most shows I watch are on CBS. They better keep Nashville!

  35. artechno says:

    Huge fan and I want to write for the show! Gnashville! It could by Dallas, or it could be insipid and hopefully this is a turn toward more of Aaron Spelling spin…My fave is Hayden – and her baby daddy…they are the stars, not Rayna and the pussy alcoholic BF!

  36. Sharon says:

    I don’t know what a showrunner is. Could you explain?
    If they include more music, then I’m all for it.

  37. Diane Beebe Ms 2014 Sr New Jersey says:

    Keep this show going. Great music. Great talent. Gives life to country music. Great storylines…….Go Nashville!

  38. Rachel Heck says:

    Yes please!!! Crossing my fingers they do renew, I love this show.

  39. margobeatty says:

    I love this shows & have watched from the beginning. Great acting, fabulous music & good storylines. I like the drama and think it’s well done, unlike stupid scripted reality shows! There are some good heartwarming lessons to be learned and is tasteful in presenting some uncomfortable real life situations. I hope it goes on for many years to come! It is my favorite show!