Nashville Season 5 Maddie Storyline Fix

Nashville EP Talks 'Course Correction' Regarding Maddie's Role in Season 5

If you weren’t Maddie Conrad/Claybourne’s biggest fan during Nashville‘s fourth season, the men responsible for another highly talked-about TV teen want you to know: They’re on it.

“I can say that i was not a fan of the storyline that they gave Maddie last year,” says Marshall Herskovitz, who along with Ed Zwick assumed showrunning duties when the country-music drama moved to CMT for Season 5. He refers to the series’ emancipated minor plot, which found Rayna and Deacon’s adolescent daughter (played by Lennon Stella) legally separating from her parents when they wouldn’t allow her to sign with a recording label.

Herskovitz tells TVLine that the series’ upcoming fifth season (the first hour of which airs Thursday at 9/8c) addresses fans’ grievances with Daphne’s big sis. “We’ve made a course correction on that that we’re very excited about, and I think Lennon is excited about,” he says, though to avoid spoilers, he declines to give specifics. He also adds that Maisy Stella’s Daphne also will “have her own storylines” as the season progresses.

Still worried? Herskovitz, who along with Zwick created the critically acclaimed My So-Called Life and its Kool Aid-haired protagonist Angela Chase, asks wary fans to review his track record.

“If you look at our history, we did a whole series about teenage girls,” he says, chuckling. “We’re excited by the idea about telling stories about both [Maddie and Daphne], and that’s going to manifest itself.”

Got thoughts on Maddie in Season 5? Hit the comments and let us know!

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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  1. Robberey says:

    You can easy find out: If Connie Britton is really leaving the series in season 5 as rumors said, the series will go on with finding Maddie fitting into Raynas (too) big footsteps and competating against Juliette Barnes.

  2. Dave says:


  3. Everton says:

    If they can fix Maddie they could fix Layla. I’m going to miss Aubrey’s amazing voice…

    • ChrisGa says:

      Same; I thought she had the most appealing voice of anyone on the show.

      • A fan of TV says:

        Except Claire Bowen. Always except Claire Bowen.

      • Stevie1 says:

        It’s such a relief to see I wasn’t alone in my dismay over the way the show turned Maddie into such an obnoxious pill, gradually since about season 3. As anyone who’s ever raised children knows, teenagers can be a major headache sometimes, but Maddie’s transformation into some variant of “the bad seed” was starting to get unbearable. It was also unfair to the talented young actress who portrays her to turn viewers so strongly against her. She went from a normally sweet and well behaved kid (for an adolescent!) to a sullen, spoiled, surly, sighing, eye-rolling, temperamental underage diva, while Daphne remained so likable and so cute, and also loyal to her family. It was hard to believe Rayna could have raised such a bratty daughter, as well. It didn’t sound to me like the writing of such a smart, savvy, gifted screenwriter as Callie Khouri.

      • Stevie1 says:

        it can be hard to separate my feelings about a character from an objective, justifiable and well-reasoned opinion of someone’s vocals, but I managed to do it with Juliette and with Rayna. Even when I found Juliette her most unlikable, I could not say her singing was the pits. I do think her vocal style is more suited to pop, or Nashville pop than country or even alt country, but she can sing. I love Rayna, and yet I can be objective enough to say, she sings reasonably well, but she doesn’t have the ‘big voice” you’d expect from a country mega-star. Layla, though, can carry a tune, but not much more. Her singing is hollow sounding, the kind I would not feel deprived if I never heard it again. And her lyrics are just all about her post-adolescent angst. And BTW, note to Maddie: ignore all Cash’s advice that you just “write a song about” all your failed romantic relationships. If they’re too personal, they’ll be boring, and you’ll sound like the perennially adolescent Taylor Swift, regularly airing her dirty laundry about her most recent puppy love gone bad.

    • Ben says:

      Layla was so ancilliary though. They had to cut people for cost, with her and Luke I don’t think it was about them so much as the fact they were the furthest removed from the main action.

    • Jim says:

      Same. I always really found her an appealing actress, even as I was cringing at how she was being written. I do appreciate that they had to trim the cast though.

    • JarrodH says:

      100% with this statement. Layla was more easily fixable than Maddie, but given the family ties it’s obvious what they were going to have to choose with the cost cuts. At least bring her back for a few episodes so we can get more music from Aubrey!

  4. Kat says:

    Less make-up!!!!!

  5. neha says:

    I’m so happy that we finally have writers who know what they’re doing! I loved the show because of the cast and the setting, but the writing had been a disaster for a while now.

  6. ChrisGa says:

    Cautiously optmistic; Maddie was one of the worst characters on primetime TV last year, teenage or otherwise.

  7. ec says:

    whoa, Kristin Cavallari, anyone? Just me?

  8. Larc says:

    I think Maddie is damaged beyond believable redemption. She showed her true colors. What she did says much about the kind of totally selfish person she really is.

    • Marge says:

      Yeah they kinda really crossed the solid white line with “Maddie”..Over the edge, went too far. From sweet, rule abiding, every mother’s dream daughter to a disrespectful, conniving, all about “me” little “b__ch” which is gonna make it hard for viewers to believe that she can go back to the epitome of sweetness and charm and walk the straight and narrow. Especially after her tirades, tantrums and evil actions.

  9. Laura says:

    I think Season 5 is going to be great! Looking forward to Maddie going in the right direction.

  10. FranksomE says:

    That girl is immensely talented so i’m all about it for Maddie getting a chance to shine!

    I could listen to Lennon sing all day, she is my fave vocalist from the show.

  11. Robyn says:

    I am so happy that Nashville is coming back on.I was heartbroken when it ended. This is one of my favorite shows ever.I can’t wait to see where Maddies storyline goes.Also Deacon and Rayna.I am rooting for them to stay together.please let me know what channel on Spectrum cable cmt. Is so I don’t miss it……

  12. TVFan says:

    Any suggestions on how to watch the show if you don’t get CMT?

  13. JKR says:

    Herskovitz and Zwick also did amazing work on Once and Again and their teenage cast. (Sidenote: One is now the lead in Westworld). So, I’m quite optimistic that they can tell good storylines for both Maddie and Daphne.

  14. Debbie says:

    Don’t break up Rayna and dEacon

  15. Victoria Gretzky says:

    Why do I have to add CMT to my cable contract? I watched Nashville for 4 seasons. I watched the preview last night. I hope MTV airs new episodes after they air on CMT. I want to watch this show.

    • John says:

      You still can….just go to CMT’s official website. They have the first episode (titled “Wayfaring Stranger”) uploaded there. I just watched it myself.

  16. Maxene tanner says:

    Not happy with story line this year .so disappointed.

  17. Margaret Schroeder says:

    Newsflash, Nashville — it’s not the storyline, it’s the annoying character and the terrible actress. There is NO storyline that will make us care about Maddie. Bring back Luke Wheeler and give Will some airtime!