Perhaps the only thing more alarming than the way Nashville ended its run Wednesday — with a cliffhanger involving a possibly fatal plane crash — is knowing that the ABC series shot a happy ending for the long-suffering Juliette and Avery, but that scene likely will never air.
Lionsgate TV, one of the series’ producers, made what sources say is a strong case (business-wise, at least) to forego the upbeat ending in hopes of making the show more attractive to platforms that might pick it up for a possible Season 5, multiple sources tell TVLine.
In the version of the episode broadcast Wednesday night, Juliette was feared dead after her private jet went missing. The alternate ending had Juliette’s plane touch down safely; an emotional reunion with ex-husband Avery followed soon after.
Reps for ABC and Lionsgate declined to comment, but a source close to Lionsgate tells TVLine that the studio “is fully confident that there’s much more Nashville to be told. Tonight’s Season 4 finale ending speaks to that confidence. Not to frustrate or disappoint fans, rather Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment are listening to fans’ outpouring of support online for more.”
UPDATE: Lionsgate issued the following statement via Twitter immediately following the finale:
— Lionsgate TV (@LionsgateTV) May 26, 2016
ABC cancelled Nashville on May 12. In the weeks since, Lionsgate has said it has been having “numerous talks with interested networks” and has exhorted fans to append #BringBackNashville to their tweets.
Nashville fans, what do you think: Was the studio right to keep the series’ finale open-ended? Or would you rather have seen Avery and Juliette’s reunion? Sound off in the comments!