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Nashville Season 5 Will Chase Aubrey Peeples Fired Exit

Nashville Shakeup: Two Series Regulars Exit Ahead of Move to CMT

To use a phrase popular with one of Nashville‘s main characters, it’s wheels up for Luke and Layla when the country-music drama returns for a fifth season. Series regulars Will Chase and Aubrey Peeples will not be with the show when it makes its CMT debut, TVLine has learned exclusively.

Nashville Season 5 Will Chase Aubrey Peeples ExitChase’s Luke had little to do after his engagement with Rayna fizzled in Season 3; most of his Season 4 storyline involved sticking up for Wheelin’ Dealin’ Records artist Will Lexington when he was attacked by a homophobic talk-show host.

PHOTOS Dead or Alive: Nashville‘s Juliette, Plus 16 Other Characters in Grave Danger

Meanwhile, Peeples’ Layla sought to avenge Jeff Fordham’s death by ruining Juliette’s relationship with Avery, but Avery’s discovery of her plan — and his seemingly imminent reunion with Ms. Barnes — meant the end of that storyline.

The exits — which TVLine predicted this spring — come as new executive producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (thirtysomething) take over show-running duties, filling the role previously held by Dee Johnson.

Lionsgate, which produces the series, declined to comment.

ABC cancelled Nashville in May, but the drama was revived by the cable network CMT soon after. CMT head of development Jayson Dinsmore recently said that “our expectation and our hope is that [the entire cast] will participate in this next cycle.”

What are your thoughts about Chase and Peeples leaving Nashville? Sound off in 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!

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250 Comments
  1. EM says:

    Wasn’t a fan of Layla, but Luke grew on me as a decent guy. I suspect the hits will keep on coming.

    • Nick K. says:

      I hadn’t really watched since the middle of the second season, but Layla had it out for Juliette from the beginning!

  2. Foxytri says:

    I’m fine with that! I’m just glad the show has been saved!! Woo Hoo!!

  3. Kerry says:

    Yesssss. Feeling better and better about this renewal!!!! I actually grew to like Luke but definitely won’t miss him much. And dropping Layla is a good choice. Not a very well handled character.

    • V. says:

      Yeeeess indeed! Goodbye Layla, you won’t be missed. Now all we need is for them to send Maddie away to college or something.

      • Barbara White says:

        I like Maddie she stays

        • tanisha R smith says:

          I would like to see Maddie in a grown up role instead of the rebellious tantrum throwing child she plays

      • Doug Henning says:

        the sisters in real life are a team… I think the Maddie character will be lots better under the new leadership. The new show runners know how to handle teenagers from their previous family oriented shows.

      • Ben says:

        You don’t send away your best vocalist. Maddie was great in the first couple of seasons. She is now in a space where she can ‘grow up’ and learn from how rebellious she has been, so I hope they let her!

    • Angie says:

      Actually, Layla will be missed by me. Aubrey Peeples is a stunning vocalist.

      • agreed. they did some good things with her character, but then the revenge Layla trope went too far. Her transformation singing-wise though was worth keeping up with.

      • laural says:

        one of the few I didn’t FF the singing. Great voice, and I appreciated how she made me root for such an annoying character.

      • Diana says:

        I agree. I think Layla had a beautiful voice and the writers should have done more with it. I also think she could have been a stronger character because Aubrey appeared to have more to offer.

  4. nadialus says:

    Stoked Layla’s leaving, I couldn’t stand her. Too bad about Luke though, he really grew on me. However if it’s announced that Hayden is out, I won’t continue watching.

  5. Lauren says:

    won’t miss layla.

    • Ray says:

      Won’t miss her character, but I will miss Audrey Peeples’ lovely singing voice.

      • Tina says:

        Same. Character was super annoying, but I enjoyed her singing. Couldn’t care less about Luke. If they aren’t going to at least have them guest, curious how they intend to write them out, unless we’re getting a time jump or something.

        • Tanya says:

          No need. Last we heard Layla’s album was a big hit and so she goes her own way like that other actress that left the show (Scarlet’s best friend, forgot her name!). Same for Luke. He’ll just vanish and not be there, just like he wasn’t there at first – neither was Dolly Parton!

      • hollyhinson says:

        I agree. Her character was stupid, but man that girl can sing

  6. NM says:

    Any word on whether they will tie up their stories for a guest appearance or will they drop to a recurring status?

  7. lvft says:

    Bring back Sadie!

  8. Jim says:

    I’ll miss Layla even though she disappointingly was a terribly written character til the end. I’ll miss what they could have done with her and the lovely, talented Aubrey Peeples. Won’t miss Luke at all. Terrified clicking on this article that it would be almost anyone else!

  9. Sorry for the actors, but the characters will not be missed. I wish Layla had fallen off that building instead of Jeff.

  10. Adrienne says:

    I’m fine with it. Luke had come to realization that he needed to go back to ex wife and Layla’s time was done after Avery found out everything. Send her on a long your and be done with it. No huge losses. Both are talented performers who will land on their feet somewhere else!

  11. Mulloy says:

    bye and don’t let the door hit you on the way out! Luke had his few moments but Layla was a big miss.

    • Caroline says:

      I realize you don’t like the characters but is there a reason why you dislike their portrayers? You do realize it’s a fictional show, right?

      • Celina says:

        He was talking about the characters, not the actors…

        • Caroline says:

          Being that characters have no actual corporeal form other than the actors who portray them, I would have to disagree that the hypothetical door in question was meant solely for the character.

          • Michelle says:

            Since he used the character’s names, not the actor’a names, I’m sure it wasn’t personal to them. Since we are talking about fictional characters, let’s expand our mind for a second…

  12. Marcie says:

    Cue the confetti!

  13. I’m not surprise or upset – although I did like Luke by the end and feel bad for Aubrey, I won’t miss Layla at all. This better be the last of the major exits.

  14. This is amazing news. As much as I love these actors, there were too many characters and too many stories going on at once. This just makes sense.

  15. Mary says:

    I hope Hayden P. will be back!

    • Theresa says:

      Me too. Her and Avery need to get back together. Can’t wait till the show starts again. So happy CMT picked it up.

  16. Sandra Slack says:

    I’m just happy Nashville was picked up its one of my favorite shows even if those two leave ,it will still be a great show.

  17. Bwhit says:

    The absolute right choice in my opinion. Layla had no reason for a return and Luke wasn’t doing much anyways. Sign Will to highway 65 and he, Gunnar and Scarlett can go on tour!!! I’m now going to cross my fingers that this is where the series regular cuts end.

  18. wilsonatmd says:

    Part of it was probably storyline or lack thereof, part of it is probably budget-related (I do wonder how much they’ll have to cut the budget because of the move..)

  19. Kat says:

    Those characters needed to go (along with a few others). Way too many characters and storylines. I liked Luke at the beginning, but he served no purpose after a while. Layla was just plain crazy. Good riddance.

    • Lauren says:

      agreed. there were too many characters. i hate to say it, but Will is another un-needed character… even avery is, at times, dead weight.

      • Ben says:

        +1. IMO both characters were wasted.

        Avery’ character was built just like Luke (a dull goody) but with a relationship that make him interesting (so while Juliette stay he stay)… and Will is the gay PC statement character, most of the episodes in the last season were about him doing those staments and the media love it… so i bet the character will stay (at least the actor have something more interesting to do).

  20. Tonya says:

    That’s too bad that Layla and Luke will not return. Audrey Peeples is such a great singer and was hoping to see Luke find the right girl!

  21. Arlene says:

    I liked Layla, her original songs, her voice. Never saw what Rayna saw in Will. What about his son, though? Does this write out that character too?

  22. Phillip says:

    THANK. GOD!!

  23. NashvilleFan says:

    I’ll miss Luke! I’d like the ENTIRE cast to return.

  24. Kaye says:

    No great loss to story lind

  25. Fine with the departure of Layla, but Luke?? He will be missed

  26. Judy James says:

    I’m just thrilled that the show was picked up by CMT.

  27. Lorna wolbert says:

    I understand about Layla, that storyline seemed over, but I love Luke. Grrrrrrrr.

  28. Ben says:

    Perfect. I have no problem against either of their characters, but they are peripheral. It seemed much more critical to me to keep the core ‘families’ intact, which to me is Rayna, Deacon, Maddie, Daphne, Scarlett and Gunnar on one hand, and Juliette, Avery and Cadence on the other. Make sure Glenn and Bucky still make appearances and I have all that I need, both musically and dramatically.

    • Ben says:

      Oh, and of those characters who are slightly ‘peripheral’ to the main storylines, Will was absolutely the right one to keep.

  29. RichD says:

    I wonder if Patricia Wettig will show up due to the new showrunners. I’ve missed her since Brothers & Sisters.

  30. BarbB says:

    I’m hoping that they change their mind and join the next season of Nashville! I would enjoy seeing them both continue in storylines! The character of Luke is a good one. He could pass as a real country singer!

  31. Kat Farr says:

    Too bad chase is leaving. Great character. But enough already with the drama ridden Layla…

  32. April says:

    Wasn’t a fan of Layla, but will miss Luke. I’m just glad the shows back 💙😄. Also hope Hayden P will be back and alive.

  33. I love the show and hate to say anything bad about any of the actors on the show–but Layla had played out her time on the show, although hope she continues singing!! Luke should have gotten back with his family way back when!! Hope both can find another venue to showcase their talent!!

  34. Charleen Gadd says:

    I liked Luke this year, his character was good and fighting for Will was a good thing. I would have liked Layla’s character to change and for her to find true love. I wish them the best with their future endeavors.

  35. Cheryl says:

    I like them both, especially Layla. Her voice is amazing, please bring them both back..

  36. Joanie DeForest says:

    Although I liked both actors, I agree that their characters are no longer relevant. I hope we’ll see more intensity with the core group of actors. I’d also get rid of Deakon’s business partner and daughter. Those characters evoke themes that are not consistent with the spirit of the show.

  37. Sue says:

    Glad it’s coming back but when??? Hope all the cast is going too!!

  38. Dee Zboray says:

    I was fine with Luke. BUT SOOOOO GLAD LYLA IS GONE!!! AND I AM SOOOO HAPPY CMT PICKED UP NASHVILLE!!! Was in shock to hear at the season finale that it was the SERIES finale!! Thank you CMT!

  39. Yvonna says:

    So glad Nashville is back

  40. Saddened to hear about both of them leaving. I enjoyed the friendship between Hayden and Will as Luke and Juliette. And as for Aubrey, well, Nashville still needs a villain and Layla was pretty spot on as that.

  41. Donna Valencia says:

    I Love all the characters. I would hate to see Luke and Layla’s character leave. These people are so Talented it’s so great watching them every week. Love Nashville. I’m a huge fan!

  42. Jennifer says:

    Thank God. I’ll miss Luke, but good riddance to Layla.

  43. Mary says:

    Too bad I liked Luke. Lala not so much

  44. abz says:

    I guess I’m ok with this. I don’t care as much about Luke. Layla is just a tragic character. The show/writers just never really treated her well I thought. She could have been a better character. One thing is for sure though. I will definitely miss Aubrey Peeple’s voice. Musically speaking, she was among the best talent the show had and she had a beautiful voice. I hope she can recur or guest star at some point and that they explain her absence.

  45. Kathleen Horton says:

    I like Chase but Peebles can go! I think she did a fine job but her character was always whining and crying about something but she signs great!

  46. Janiece Hurst says:

    I tried to feel sorry for Layla but eventually she just became a whiny B##ch. No feelings either way for Luke.

  47. Janiece Hurst says:

    Sure hope that Juliette comes back.

  48. Marci Moe says:

    Will miss Luke, (although his character did nothing last season.) Bring back Sadie, loved her! Get over the gay thing with Will, and move on!

  49. Jacqi says:

    I actually liked Luke after him and Rayna broke up. Never liked layla

  50. Barbara Willis says:

    I could care less about Peebles but I love Will Chase. He is a great actor and will be missed tremendously. Thank you so much for picking up Nashville. It is on the network it should be on anyway. Thanks again.