Post Mortems
Connie Britton Interview

Connie Britton Talks 'Devastating' Nashville Twist ('There Wasn't Any Alternative'), Teases Rayna's 'Return'

The following story contains massive spoilers from this week’s Nashville — proceed at your own peril.

It was the flatline heard ’round the TV world.

At the conclusion of Thursday’s Nashville, Connie Britton‘s Rayna succumbed to her car-crash injuries as her anguished soul mate Deacon (Charles Esten) and grief-stricken daughters Maddie (Lennon Stella) and Daphne (Maisy Stella) looked on. The heartbreaking twist came after months of speculation that Britton’s days on the creatively resurgent CMT drama were numbered. 

In the following Q&A with TVLine, Britton sets the record straight about her decision to part ways with the series, takes us behind-the-scenes of Rayna’s “devastating” death scene and teases her alter ego’s imminent return. The Emmy-nominated actress also reveals why she assured Ellen DeGeneres that she would be with Nashville “for the duration.”

TVLINE | First off, for the record, this was your decision to leave, correct?
It was. It was something that had been percolating over time, and there were lots of different reasons behind it. But my priority was really making sure that the timing was right. My priority has always been Nashville. So when the show was moved to CMT and we got these great new showrunners — Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick — I was [confident] the show would be in a good place. Because one thing we learned over the summer is how passionate the fans are. We would not be on the air right now if it weren’t for the fans. We’ve all been so incredibly grateful for that. But the fans love every single one of these characters. And the show is now in a place where all of these characters can live and just be incredibly dynamic and amazing. I feel like Nashville can go on indefinitely.

TVLINE | Did you feel like you accomplished everything you set out to with Rayna?
Maybe that was part of it. As I said, there were a lot of things that came into play. Some of them were personal… It was just the right timing.

Nashville Rayna DiesTVLINE | Was it weird shooting these nine episodes knowing you were going to be leaving but everyone else would be staying?
Yes. It was. It was sad. It was very hard to say goodbye. Every time I worked with Chip [Esten], we just both kind of would look at each other with these sad, puppy-dog faces. [Laughs] And then I’d be like, “I’m really sorry, babe.” It was very hard! Particularly, of course, those final episodes. And that final episode was devastating. There was no easy way around it for anybody.

TVLINE | The show is in the midst of a creative resurgence. When you were reading the scripts this season, did you ever have any second thoughts about leaving?
No, I didn’t second-guess my decision. Look, I was just thrilled that the show was able to improve. That was something that felt really essential to me. I was absolutely grateful for that. But as I said, there were other factors that came into play. I did [say] to Marshall at one point about, “Hey, I could stay on and do a few more [episodes] if we’ve got more story to tell.” [But] I think at that point we were very committed to [this ending].

TVLINE | Some fans are going to be especially shocked by Rayna’s death after you assured them last month on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that you would be sticking around for “the duration.”
The duration of Rayna’s character. [Laughs] To be completely honest, I was taken off guard. I had no idea that Ellen was going to bring up [the exit rumors]. I was really [put] on the spot and I had to protect the story. My commitment has always been to the show. But I’m not a good liar! [Laughs] So, “I’m in it for the duration,” in my mind [means] I’m in it for the duration of… what I perceived to be this character. But of course, I understand why it was construed in the way it was. That was a very difficult moment for me.

TVLINE | Did you have any say in how Rayna would leave?
No. Marshall definitely shared his ideas with me. And I was so appreciative of that. It was so important to me, as I said, to do it in a way that felt like it was honoring the character. I really wanted to do justice to Rayna. And I felt like he really did that… I was not excited for Rayna to die though. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Was there ever any discussion of her leaving town versus dying?
When I was talking to Marshall this summer, I was like, “Does she have to die?” [Laughs] But then I realized: She would never leave her family. She would never leave her kids. She would never leave Deacon. So there really wasn’t any alternative.

TVLINE | Is this week’s episode the last we see if her?
I do pop back in in after Episode 9. And Nashville‘s always going to be important to me, so I’m totally open to whatever as time goes on. But it is really hard to say goodbye to this character.

unspecified-1TVLINE | Rayna had a lot of final moments with various characters. Which was the hardest to shoot?

Probably the scene where I die and [Chip, Lennon and Maisy] were singing “A Life That’s Good.” We could not get through it. I was lying there, supposedly dying, and just had tears streaming down my face; I was trying not to slobber. And the girls couldn’t get through the song. We did probably five takes where they could barely get three words out. That was really hard — in a very real way. The crew was crying. It was a tough week.

TVLINE  | What was your offscreen goodbye with Chip like?
Well, Chip and I still talk on the phone. We had several goodbyes. And I keep going back. Every time I come back, he gives me those puppy-dog eyes and a long hug. There were a couple of very teary goodbyes between us, too. With him, we’ll be friends for a long time.

TVLINE | Is there anything you would’ve liked to have seen Rayna do that you didn’t get a chance to? Another car accident? 
Yeah, that’s what I need. Just one more car accident. [Laughs]  I really wanted to delve into Rayna and Deacon’s [life as a married couple]. We had that one big episode where they’re writing their record together. If we could have spent a little more time on that, I would have loved it. I loved those two characters together. And I feel like after we had the great satisfaction of watching them get married last year, we never got to experience the rewards of that — [especially not] last season. We definitely got some of that [this season]. But I could have had more.

TVLINE | What’s next for you? 
Honestly, I’m going to take a little rest, if such a thing is possible. I’ve been doing network TV for 10 years straight without a break. And I adopted my son five years into it… But I also love to work. There are a couple of film things coming up that I’m excited about. In terms of TV, I’m very open to whatever comes around. But moving forward, I like the idea of maybe starting something from the beginning and being really at the ground level in terms of development and creation. To me, that would be very exciting.

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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466 Comments
  1. Gloria Seales says:

    I am absolutely brokenhearted and sobbing my eyes out. The show absolutely will not be the same without the Rayna/Deacon storyline.

    • Tasha says:

      I agree the show will not be the same. Not sure I will continue to watch, but will see what happens next week.

      • tbeaux29 says:

        Me either, I feel the same. SO DISAPPOINTED, 1 more year for show to get Established w/ new CMT & for her & Deacon..

    • Amy says:

      Agreed.
      Hated it.
      Saw it coming.
      Always figured that vague “duration” comment meant something like that. Like the duration of my character…it was lame.
      Yea, not the Nashville we fought to save. As good as EVERYONE is, as much as I LOVE Charles Esten…it’s too heartbreaking…it was all of it, Deyna, Mamma Rayna, Rayna/Juliette, Rayna Highway 65, Deyna music…the show got rescued, they were just getting started being able to delve into all that and it could have been great. But instead, because she just haaaad to leave now…O.V.E.R. Bummer. #actors whatever.

      • Izzie b says:

        Ok, this is exactly what I would have said but you beat me to it! Well said!!!!

      • Jim says:

        Not cool, Connie. Not cool. Not sure I’m going to be able to forgive her this.

          • TheDuck0 says:

            FORGIVE her? For making a professional decision? It’s a TV show: she’s an actress: and she decided it was time to move on. She owes you NOTHING other than to do the best job she can while she’s on the show. I have a hard time dealing with the entitlement you people seem to feel.

          • tbeaux29 says:

            Really! Just 1 more season would have locked me in again.. Now, not sure… Feel Betrayed! DAMN DUCK-O You have to have a HEART to understand Where we are coming from!

        • ChrisGa says:

          Yeah, I’m disappointed in how she handled it, especially after both Ellen and Ausiello asked her about it. I’d rather her have said “As long as Rayna’s alive, I’m there” or something along those lines.

          • Cathie Williams says:

            I had not heard anything and took time today to get caught up on my shows via On Demand. I was so frustrated when I realized where the storyline was going. I’m sorry Rayna was such a major part of the show. I kept waiting for the storyline to show it was a dream. Gonna be very hard for me to go forward with Nashville.

        • robin says:

          I agree it was low class

        • Lynda Ferra says:

          It was posted that she was only going to do 10 episodes..ya all need to get over it. This is also a job for her and she does have a real life.

        • kab5157 says:

          I question her commitment to the show, cast & crew. As much as I love Nashville, I wish the show would have ended last season on a happy note. Her exit feels selfish.

          • C Dawson says:

            I agree. I was looking forward to watching some ‘more positive’ shows this season after Rayna and Deacon finally got back together. There is so much they could have done with a solid happy marriage and stable parents who would go through the ups and downs of helping their daughters deal with getting into the business and all its problems. And then they could also have done a lot with the story lines with the recording business. I also felt that it was selfish on her part to leave in the middle of a season.

        • C Dawson says:

          I second that, Jim…

        • tbeaux29 says:

          Me either!

      • TeriR says:

        Probably the most moving television epusode I’ve ever seen. So well done, and absolutely heartbreaking! Those girls are amazing! That said, I have decided not to watch anymore. I just can’t imagine the show going in any direction that would interest me without Rainy. The story was built around her, she has been the mainstay and backbone of the show from day one and has no business continuing without her. Connie had to do what she had to do I suppose, but I’miss not tuning in for weeks to see Deacon disintegrate…doesn’the sound like fun.

        • Ann says:

          I would have said it was the most moving episode I’ve ever seen, but that episode followed the beautifully written episode of This is Us that had similar themes, so Rayna’s death, though somewhat shocking, ranks #2 for the week in moving episodes.

          • Desiree says:

            Agreed. This episode was powerful because of the reactions of everyone around Rayna who loved her. This is Us was much more complex. It was powerful in every way. Of course, both had me sobbing.

          • Dryheat says:

            Between William and Rayna, I sure gave my tear ducts a good workout this week! :-(

          • Jacqueline Jones says:

            I’m not sure which was best. This is us out Nashville. I knew William was going to die so I was kinda prepared for it but I was blindsided by Rayna. I think this one hurt worse. Raynas death made me cry out loud!!! Crocodile tears!!! What will be left of Nashville???

          • D says:

            I thought the episode was very well written & hopefully will bring more attention to stalking. I don’t think another actress would have been accepted by the fans to replace her to keep the character in the series.

        • SANDRA WYZYKOWSKI says:

          I agree,but I will still watch Nashville. There are a lot of good singers and storylines.

        • I guess you don’t want TWD. It was good and I truly love this show. but there have been way better scenes on TWD over any other show I have ever watched.

        • I agree. I respect Connie´s choice and like she said she didn´t want Rayna die, that was on writers. But without Rayna even off screen I just cant continue watching unless something really great comes up. But I am forever grateful we have 4,5 seasons of greatness to watch forever <3

        • Tina Jones says:

          All of them made the show amazing. Yes it sucks she is gone but everyone else is still there moving on & she will still be there through them.

        • C Dawson says:

          Yes, I agree. I was crying though that whole episode. I kept hoping that she would survive, or it would end up being a dream or something. Ms. Britton says her dying was the only alternative, but I disagree. She could have had injuries that put her in a coma. Then there would have been an opening for her to come back on the show in the future if she chose. Too bad they had to make it so permanent. Even though it’s a good show and can survive without her, it just won’t be the same because the whole show was created around her character and her TV family. So now it will go into so many different directions, the show will lose it’s purpose.

          • I agree that show lost it´s whole meaning by killing Rayna. That choice how and in which time it happened though aren´t on her. Those were completely showrunners decisions, which I don´t forgive to them :( Connie´s decision I respect and hope they would have respected her wishes too and did it right way instead this sad mess we now got :(

          • Neva says:

            What is wrong with all the negativity here? This is a slice of life that at some point we will have to get through. The kids are going to get through their mother passing away. Yes, it is sad and I too miss Connie as Rayna but life goes on.

      • Marilyn says:

        I agree. It feels like she will be reponsible for Nashville dying but I am praying not. It is goiing to be hard for me to watch.

        • Diane says:

          Connie was wonderful and her character Rayna will be missed but she is not the entire show. Let’s focus on the other many great talents still there to entertain us. Jonathan Jackson is a very talented young man. He can sing & play music and I watched him grow up on General Hospital. The man can act so there are places for the show to go without Rayna. Writers can delve into other characters too. The young girls Maisy & Lennon Stella are growing up and very talented, Hayden (Juliette) is an awesome performer.

          • Desiree says:

            Yes! 100% this. If I’m being honest, as much as I love Connie Britton, Rayna was never my favorite character on this show. She wasn’t my least favorite by any means (that dishonor would go to Scarlett. Wishy-washy hypocrite.) but I felt like her story was kind of played out.

            I would love to see some of the other characters (*cough, Juliette and Avery, cough*) get some more screen time.

          • tjchurch2001 says:

            Every time I have seen Jackson on this show, I think of him not from “Hospital” (I’ve never watched), but a film called “Camp Nowhere” I saw when I was maybe a teen. Wondered if he was actually singing, until I saw he had a CD available at a Mall store.

            Then, the show ended (or so I thought) with Juliette at least missing, if not gone. I read rumors (on this site) of it being shopped elsewhere, but hoped if it landed, it would do so with nobody finding Juliette so “Avery” could go on a real tour, & have a real music career.

            Agreeing with many commenters that (though I for one like much of the stories this season) the songs seem to be largely repeats or not there at all. Let the interning sister replace the singer she insulted a few weeks back, & the other one have stories that don’t make male viewers like me change channels or delay Dinner (love alliteration). Luke, the Exes, Avery, & Deacon should go out on a tour like one of those “Megaticket” deals I actually see advertised every Summer… Or regardless, less predictability & more music!

          • Donna says:

            Honestly, I just feel hurt. We the fans fought hard to get Nashville on another network and if Connie knew she was getting tired of playing Rayna, then why did the show go on. It could as very well ended last season.
            The show even changed from last season. Where is the music? I know I am taking this personally but the show is not going to be the same.
            Really, I am getting tired of Scarlett & Gunther and Maddie was getting on my nerves with her attitude. I know she is in growing pains but enough. Can’t she ever be nice, even with her sister?
            Now we are going to go through a big fight of custody. The sister and the ex. and Deacon is going to fly off the handle, Maddie is going to be mean and the one I feel sorry for the young daughter. She is under age and it’s going to be diffcult.
            I am planning on watching but I am hoping music is coming back to the show. This will probably be the last season.

        • SLC says:

          agree! poor choice as a professional
          to quit like that when she was the lead and knew how much the fans “relied” on her and the show each week!

          • tjchurch2001 says:

            That would be true… Except she knew the fans were a big part of what kept the show around while also knowing (as many fans here seem to be unaware/have forgotten) there were many other reasons (not just the songs, but the characters & actors) that kept those same fans coming back.

          • Bennington says:

            What is wrong with you people!!! Tell me, if you or a loved one had a business opportunity or possibly just a personal desire to move on, would you or your loved one be expected to stay at the position just because your boss and co-workers RELIED on you. As long as you leave in a professional manner, neither you or Connie are obligated to sacrifice your own happiness. Please remember “it is called show “BUSINESS” for a reason” There is no reason Connie should have stayed and sacrificed her own happiness just to please people like you, especially the ones that are judging her and calling her names? I understand that it is sad when a favorite character dies and leaves the show, but to refer to her decision as “low class” or selfish is absolutely childish and mean. The only people I see that are acting low class and selfish are the immature fans whining about “her career decision not yours”. You are adults start conducting yourselves like ones.

      • Carolyn Wheeler says:

        You and your character are truely going to be missed. I know the show will go on but it will never be the same without you. What are we going to do without Rayna
        and Deacon. Miss you already

      • Lorraine Ricca says:

        It will never be the same. Rayna WAS NASHVILLE. She was my female crush. Not sure I will continue to watch. Note to all: I love you all.

      • C Dawson says:

        I agree…

      • tbeaux29 says:

        Really! Just 1 more season would have locked me in again.. Now, not sure… Feel Betrayed!

    • Ally says:

      Agreed. So, congratulations, y’all! You’ve just killed your own show! I’m out.

    • Klarm says:

      Connie needs to go back to AHS!!!!! Make it good again!!!

    • Vinita says:

      I totally agree with Gloria Seals. I loved the Rayna/Deacon storyline. I can’t even imagine the show without Connie Britton playing the Rayna James character. I didn’t expect it. Her dying felt like an afterthought. Actually, I didn’t like the way I felt once the episode ended. I’m not looking forward to the storyline of Rayna’s ex-husband and Rayna’s sister in law teaming up against Deacon. Ugh! Not happy at all.

    • Guy Schneider says:

      Agreed this ones done, Reyna was the only char. that was not broken or twisted Scarlet and Gunner were copies of Reyna’s and Deacon’s story, tacky. nothing to see there. The Kids are pure self centered, even when the mom was dying it was all about Maddie and that sucked. Juliette has always been a complete poster child for rubbers nothing redeeming about her self-centeredness so she can’t carry the show EVER!! Deacon’s had soul but alone he will be an unending sad sack that won’t work. Ya I see big things for this show now LOL

    • Yvette Clayton says:

      I’m really sad that Rayna had to leave the show like that but it will not be the same without her 😭😭😭

    • Luanne says:

      I absolutely agree!!

      • Lois Taylor says:

        The show has lost my interest without Rayna and Deacon storyline. THEY BOTH MADE THE SHOW…

        • Kathie says:

          I quit watching after Rayna died, too. But a friend of mine is still watching and says the show is still good, so I may catch up On Demand.
          The best news is a few days ago, I got tickets for me and said friend to a concert on Aug. 30 featuring Clare Bowen. Chris Carmack, Charles Esten and Jonathon Jackson.
          Scarlet, Will, Deacon and Avery!! I’m so excited! I’m hoping Jonathon will sing “How You Learn To Live Alone”. I’ll be bringing extra tissues, just in case, lol.
          They’ve been on a world tour and selling out everywhere.

  2. Jill says:

    Well, that’s it for me with this show. I was barely hanging on for Deyna, now that Connie’s gone I won’t be returning either. And I’m sorry, but dying after ANOTHER car accident in the same stupid way they killed off Beverly is not original or creative.

    • Mica Crow says:

      I don’t think the show will last now. Heartbreaking episode

    • TeriR says:

      Agreed! I actually groaned when I saw the car accident about to happen…again? Couldn’t they at least have been more original? No interest for me without Raina and really not interested in pending the rest of the watching Deacon fall apart. Why the hell didn’t they just let the show die instead of Ning back just to die a slow death without Connie. No one else on that show can possibly carry it like she did. Done done done

    • Brigid says:

      I thought Beverly died from complications saving Deacon from sclerosis of the liver. Deacon and Rayna were in a car accident because he was drunk driving but she pulled through just fine. It may be a car accident but it wasn’t the same story line at all.

    • I’m with u ! Don’t want to see Deacon and Teddy and sis fighting for custody. To me that will not be very entertaining. Might not be able to watch ita again. Might be too depressing.

  3. Teresa says:

    It was a great show, but now that you’ve killed off Ryana I Will no thank watch it. Deacon is great. But Maddie with a black guy. And the dad back from jail trying to take the girls back. Nope. I’m done.

    • Carlee Shay says:

      Agreed

    • K says:

      Are you serious? What does Maddie dating a black guy have to do with it?? This comment would have been perfectly fine and respectable without that racist comment. #trumpsamerica

      • K — did Teresa mention Trump at all? Sounds like you’re just as racist. What’s with the ‘TrumpsAmerica’ tag? The dems created the KKK, and the left has used racism and division as tools of state for the last 8 years.

        #MoreLikeYourAmerica

        • K says:

          Ok. So remove the hashtag from my comment. Regardless, you are deflecting from my main point. Also, I am not sure you understand the word racism. “Trump supporter” is not a race. It certainly isn’t synonymous with white people as that describes me and I certainly don’t feel the way she does. I also never mentioned democrats vs republicans, something else you decided to throw into the mix to detract from my point.

        • Loree says:

          WTF Teresa!

      • mazphiri says:

        Agreed, not necessary.

      • D. Bishop says:

        Well you knew somebody would bring race into it eventually. Every comment thread I ever read has racist comments. I was reading an article about a possible planet out past Pluto, when some ass makes a disparaging remark about Neil deGrasse Tyson. What can the color of a man’s skin have to do with the formation of the solar system.

      • slimhobbit says:

        Yet somehow no one cared when Gunner was dating Zoe. At least not about her race, the main complaint was that Zoe is boring. Of course that was before Trump was elected and openly spewing racism, homophobia and the like became more acceptable to people because the so called president does it. So even though Teresa did not mention Trump, the increase in this type of thing is related to him. I did not like Clay at first not because of his race but because his age and bi-polar made me really uncomfortable. But he is growing on me. He was so sweet to Maddie when she had the panic attack. It seems as if he understands pain and loss so he might turn out to be a good source of support to her.

      • Lindajordan says:

        What’s Trump got to do with it ?I didn’t like it that Rayna died,it was a very emotional segment to watch .It’s not as bad as watching Training Day, just Knowing Bill Paxton really died this past week. So stop with the negative comments, and just be happy Connie Britton is alive in real life !

    • christopher bee says:

      Wow, I´ve cried my eyes out to say farewell to a beloved Character and you´ve pissed on a human relationship thankfully normal in our time. That´s bigott and you know it.

    • Jay says:

      @teresa
      Take it easy Archie Bunker. Rayna dying doesn’t excuse your unfiltered bigotry.

    • jadensgranny says:

      Are you kidding me? Speaking of that black guy, he is ADORABLE and dang he can sing! I love him…

      • TinLV says:

        Me too !! I know I’ve seen him in something else.. but can’t place him.

        • Donna says:

          I know I have seen him somewhere but can’t place where. Going to have to google him. I think he brings a lot to the show. great voice and I see he bring a tenderness side to deal with Maddie. Why the heck did it take her all night to go see her mom? not pleased with her actions but I am happy Rayna was able to see her before she went on her journey.

    • Heaven forbid…….Maddie with a black guy………..sheesh…….you folks………….

    • Arlene says:

      Yeah, dad was in prison, so how does he “get out” and become the better choice for parent? WRONG!!!! NOSE DIVE TO END OF SERIES…….

    • wayne says:

      Agree, ruint the show, couldn’t wait to put a white girl with a black guy,oh’ me, got to be political correct. DONE

  4. Marsha Lamb says:

    TV stars care nothing about anything but themselves. The Rayna character was the heart of this show. Therefore, I will no longer be watching.

  5. A.J. says:

    I am devastated. Even though I could tell the way the episode was playing out that this is how it would end, I really hoped I was wrong. Rayna IS Nashville. I’m sorry but it’s true. The other characters are great but Rayna is the heart of the show. I love Connie Britton. HUGE FAN. But I might have to be mad at her for a little while. And no the sure I can continue watching without her.

    • A.J. says:

      not sure I can continue watching*

    • Tess says:

      I don’t know if I will continue watching. LOved this show was disappointed when ABC left it go. Love Jackson from General Hospital. But Rayna James was the star. Probably will tune in but my heart won’t be in it

      • TinLV says:

        That pretty much sums it up for me, too. I actually started watching because Jonathan Jackson was in the cast. He and Hayden are now going to be the stars of the show without Rayna around.. and that will keep me watching, but it won’t be the same.

  6. Garbo says:

    I’m sad to see her go and I definitely have reservations about sticking with the show now – it’s not that there aren’t other characters that are great, it’s that most of them were great – or at their best – because of their relationship / scenes / chemistry with Rayna (Deacon, Juliette, Scarlett) – BUT right now we just have to give a big round of applause to the incomparable Connie Britton for four and a half seasons of Rayna James and have to let her go and wish her well to her future endeavours. We may not agree with her decision but we all have to respect it. She went from five seasons of Friday Night Lights straight to the now iconic first season of American Horror Story and from there straight into almost five years of Nashville. Long story short, if she wants a break, she should be able to have one without an online uproar. And if she does end up with a pilot again, even better, then instead of a break, she will simply get the new challenge and creative shakeup she has been clearly longing for for a while now. Either way, best of luck!

    • Vernell Bonner says:

      I am quite upset with the people at Nashville. Right up to the very end I did not expect Reyna to die. She was the number one focus of the show to me. I don’t know if I will still be interested to continue watching or not. Very disappointed ending of tonight’s episode Connie Britton I will miss you. I am still sobbing.

    • christopher bee says:

      Applause and nothing to ad. Bullseye.

    • I agree and I´m not criticizing Connie, only show-runners, because clearly there would have been better ways than killing her off. Even with family staying, it really wasn´t only choice.

  7. Anandasky says:

    Another show going down with what I’ve dubbed “the Little House” syndrome, as in the show Little House on the Prairie that jumped its shark when it started having a tragedy every week. Nashville started off about the music – the wonderful music – and the dreams that swirl on that path. Lately, however, no one is ever happy on the show – ever. It’s painful and not in a cathartic way. I miss the music. I miss what it used to be. And what it could have been.

    • TeriR says:

      Agreed! I actually groaned when I saw the car accident about to happen…again? Couldn’t they at least have been more original? No interest for me without Raina and really not interested in pending the rest of the watching Deacon fall apart. Why the hell didn’t they just let the show die instead of bringing it back just to die a slow death without Connie. No one else on that show can possibly carry it like she did. Done done done

    • Camille Baier says:

      Anandasky, you have nailed it. I am NOT a country music fan, but it was the music–and Connie Britton–that drew me tothis show. The rest of the characters were great, but it was the music that really starred.
      But, the show has been dying since it came back. The writing was all over the place. There were too many new themes, too many ridiculous character changes, and too much soap. It has been doomed, and now with Rayna gone, it soon will be too. Sad. It was one of the best when it started.

      • Anandasky says:

        TerlR and Camille – Remember the “This Time” duet? I would’ve listened to those types of moments all day long.

  8. Debi says:

    I am So bummed I loved Rayna and Deacon.

  9. Irene says:

    I am heartbroken also that Rayna left the show. I will not be watching it anymore she was and is my favorite character in the show. I loved the Rayna/Deacon relationship and the girls.

  10. steve says:

    im done watching the show and i bet alot of outher people are to it will not be the same now

    • Amy says:

      Correct. Bummed most for Chip Esten he deserves better than fighting that jerk for the girls. No, I don’t need to watch Dallas-something. Done.

    • Mary says:

      As much as I am sorry to see her leave because I love Rayna/Deacon in the long run I think it might be better. I kind of felt their story has been stagnate over the last couple of years and it has been my experience that the best outstanding acting is usually after a tragic event. I actually look forward to new episodes. I remember many who said they weren’t watching Greys because McDreamy died but I think it has improved and I guess I am not the only one because the ratings have been great.

      • Ann says:

        Yes, by McDreamy was never the star of the show. The show was always about Meredith, front and center. The series started with her narrations and her points of view. Nashville was always about the Queen of Country, Rayna James, and the up and coming, spoiled, Juliette Barnes, and their lives around the Nashville scene. Now Rayna is gone. I guess Juliette will have to pick up the mantle but the show just won’t be the same.

  11. GreenEyedAngel says:

    OMG!! Im SO sad!!! Nashville will not be the same without Rayna (Connie Britton)!! I can’t imagine continuing to watch–and love!–the show without her! She was truly the heart and soul of Nashville!

  12. Jill Jones says:

    Wow!! That really sucks, don’t know if I’ll watch anymore.Rayna and Deacon made the show what it was. Every time there is a good show on T V that everyone likes something screws it up.It should have been someone everybody hated😢😢😢😢

  13. Laura Donna says:

    i’ve watched Nashville from the beginning Reyna was my favorite character I’m so sad that she’s going to be off the show now just got done watching the last episode and cried almost the entire time I love the show I’m not sure how it’s gonna go without her!!’

  14. Bevery says:

    Why would Connie Britton leave the show after so many people fought to save it. She doesn’t deserve another TV show

    • Garbo says:

      Perspective, sweetheart, perspective. You signed a petition and shared a few tweets, it’s not like you actually sacrificed a damn thing and for Britton who clearly felt she had done everything she could creatively with this role she played for almost five years, staying on for the rest of the season or further seasons, clearly would have been a tremendous sacrifice, one that simply couldn’t have been expected or demanded of her, not after she delivered excellent work for four and a half seasons. The fans brought back the show and that indeed was a wonderful, collective accomplishment but it didn’t buy you the time of the actors for years to come. Her coming back for these 10 episodes at all, was her way of bringing closure to the character. She could have just said no after the move from network to cable. It’s not like it would have been an unfathomable decision considering she signed up for network television not a niche cable channel.

      • So we all get upset about the show going off the air and write and ask for the show to come back on only for Connie Britton to leave the show so soon after she decided to come back to the show just to disappoint everyone now that she decided to leave Nashville?

      • I disagree Garbo that Britton had done all that she could do for her character. The love story had only just begun for her and Deacon. Her character Rayna also loved her girls very much and this mother would never have wanted to leave her family. There was so much more she could have done with Rayna’s character. I am sad and disappointed that Rayna had to die.

        • Garbo says:

          Whether you disagree with me or not is irrelevant. It wasn’t up to you – or me – to decide if she was done with the character or not, it was up to her. And she made her decision that we should respect.

      • Haz says:

        You have a point however Britton knew she would be leaving and knew the show had a passionate fan base. That being said they could have done a short 8-10 episode season to wrap the show up or went the CSI route and did a TV movie. Britton was one of the main reasons people kept tuning in, this sounds similar to the Castle situation when Stana Katic was let go many fans were outraged and promised to quit watching.

        • tjchurch2001 says:

          I see many comments here saying she was a reason the people watched the show… However, most of the passionate fan-base that got it continued on another station also watched due to Chip, Hayden, the music, or some such combination.

          Before one second aired, we all knew Hayden had signed on for a full season (Juliette is found), Connie had not (Rayna leaves one way or another), & some had signed for no appearances at all.

          The only reason to be sad is they ended with “Life That’s Good”, a decent song, but far from the first time they have repeated one this season. Like films’ box-office receipts, fans will regret fighting for more when they see so much of it was predictable based on Marshall/Ed’s prior work (if not simply other shows on these days) & songs we’d heard previously on the show, etc.

      • John Roeder says:

        You made one incorrect statement about how the show was saved. More than individual effort. Tourism department money also went into the effort because the show brought many tourists to Nashville.

    • Andrew Hass says:

      I’m sure Connie Britton loved doing Nashville but maybe she wants to do other stuff too.Plus if Nashville had fired her instead of leaving would you stop watching then too?Britton owes the show Nashville nothing just like they owed nothing.

    • This is the same thing I was thinking girlfriend! We all fight for the show to come back on and shortly after we get the show back on Connie Britton wants to leave the show and kills off her character Rayna? I am very sad and disappointed too.

  15. joan scott says:

    I did not like the way it ended, I loved her, why did she leave, she was the one who made the show?

  16. Linda capuzzo says:

    I loved this show it’s been my favorite since the beginning. I don’t know if I want to watch it any more without Rayna and watching her go on with deacon. Why would you do something so stupid. I’m heartbroken about this and in shock. You have to bring her back as a ghost or something she was the core of Nashville

  17. Kim Goodwin says:

    Absolutely heartbroken! The only person who might save the show is Juliette, but come on….Rayna was the show.

  18. Autumn libdsau says:

    Well….we fans wanted Nashville back and we got it. ….but Connie Britton IS Nashville, so thanks for the let down. I’m done w this show.

    • Amy says:

      Right. I feel duped and angry. And I realize it’s a show. And she’s an actress with a life. And “get over it” already. But really right now it just seems like another actress wanting greener grass, and that they rescued this show for nothing. They all signed on just to give her her actor/ego/ending, and screw the rest.

      • Krista Larsson says:

        I completely agree and lost all respect for Connie Britton as an actress. Furthermore, I will not give this egotistical actress any air time again. Cancel Connie! Rayna James was a role of a lifetime and revived her less than stellar career.

        • Sarah says:

          Revived her less than stellar career? She’s literally been in successful tv shows for the last ten years. No breaks. I understand being upset, but don’t make things up.

        • grazelled says:

          Seriously??? Many actors would give anything to have Connie Britton’s career! I didn’t watch most of Friday Night Lights but know that her pairing with “Coach” is held as one of TV’s most enduring married couples so that, Tami Taylor, was her first “role of a lifetime”. That’s just of the top of my head, there have been other shorter roles she’s been in that were acclaimed. As for her leaving Nashville, yes I do wish they hadn’t killed Rayna off but Connie has 5 sons who she feels need her attention right now. Hearing her in interviews after they cancelled Nashville at ABC it always seemed as if she was done and ready to move on so when CMT picked up the show, from day on its been clear she was doing about 10 episodes. Things got a bit confusing when CB used the word “duration” and it was reported she’d stay for the duration of the SHOW, instead of reporting she said “duration” but of what (?).

          • Lou Ann says:

            They could have replaced her and should have. I still say her character was the star of the show. They could have found someone as good or better to play her.

          • brooksiew83 says:

            She has one son who is now 6.

  19. Vernell Bonner says:

    I am quite upset with the people at Nashville. Right up to the very end I did not expect Reyna to die. She was the number one focus of the show to me. I don’t know if I will still be interested to continue watching or not. Very disappointed ending of tonight’s episode Connie Britton I will miss you. I am still sobbing.

  20. Jane petrole says:

    I can no longer watch.

  21. Coco Flowers says:

    I’m so sad ! I cried just as if she was a family member. I will still watch because they just opened up a lot of big story lines . I love Deacons character this should be good !

  22. Jane petrole says:

    I will no longer watch this. I do not enjoy the fighting about children. There is not enough music and the only positive relationship is gone. I stuck it through but now am done.

  23. Andrew Hass says:

    I think Rayna dying was probably the only way she could leave since she wouldn’t leave Deacon or her kids.Plus in a way this could free Deacon up to have more exciting stories.Plus even though Rayna is dead maybe we’ll still see her in dreams or something.

    • What? Well of course she wouldn’t want to leave her children and Deacon. She loved her family. Deacon and Rayna was an exciting story. There isn’t going to be any more exciting stories than this.

  24. Janie Frye says:

    I can’t believe this please say its not true this show is my favorite. Why can’t she stay let someone else go.

  25. Melody says:

    Connie had a right to leave the show but Nashville will not be the same – Deacon & Rayna where such an intricate part of the show that I’m not sure it will survive! It’s really too bad that CMT saved it and this will probably kill it!

  26. Kathleen Jenkins says:

    I am very sad to learn Rayna died! I watched Nashville for long time waiting for Deacon & her to finally get together, then this happens! Such a shock! Very disappointed! I wanted to see them finally happy together! Certainly did NOT expect this very sad shocker! Was hoping they would revive her!!!!

    • Me too Kathleen, I am very disappointed. We all thought Rayna was going to be ok and then all of a sudden her organs shut down and she dies? I wanted her to be able to be ok too.

  27. Leigh Knutson says:

    I feel betrayed! We fought to save this show!!! I will continue to watch but let’s face it…I doubt it will make another season anyway! I’m still numb! I feel for the other actors because I like them all but Rayna was the heart of the show. Sad day.

  28. Stephanie says:

    I’m in shock and will no longer be watching. I was so excited that CMT picked up the show, and now it’s over I guess I got a few more episodes out of it. I also have no interest in teddy and the sister coming back. Sigh.

    • Amy says:

      same. :(((

    • Carolyn says:

      I feel the same, won’t be watching it anymore Rayna Decon and the girls made the show and now to bring her ex and sister to try take girls away from Devon just makes it that more I won’t be watching. So sad

      • tjchurch2001 says:

        WTH is he?! I have followed Chip since before “Whose Line” or “Nashville”… Whereas you say he was one of the reasons you watched, he will still be on it (probably more than a lot of other characters), & you won’t watch it?! On top of that, spell his character’s name 2 different ways, neither of them right!

    • Deborah Gebauer says:

      I agree. I do not like Teddy’s sister at all or Teddy!!!

      • tjchurch2001 says:

        Teddy’s sister is less-likely to come back, IMO… Then again, I would have said same about Teddy, as I thought he was jailed after not being CI for police/government. (Makes custody-battle-storyline ending predictable, though, if I’m right!)

      • flutiefan says:

        that’s Reyna’s sister, Tandy. but sure, you’re a big fan of the show…

  29. Debbie Meeks says:

    Will really miss you rayna james.good luck and godbless whereever life takes you .

  30. So we all get upset about the show going off the air and write and ask for the show to come back on only for Connie Britton to leave the show so soon after she decided to come back to the show just to disappoint everyone now that she decided to leave Nashville?

  31. susan ciliska says:

    I am really going to miss you on the show…….. I love the show.. Good luck in your next venture….

  32. Adrienne says:

    I hate that she told us an untruth. A lot of people will leave now especially since her and Deacon’s album never finished. Ellen! She looked you in the eye and said she was staying! Ugh

  33. Angie says:

    I believe you were one the most important parts of the show and why I watched it I feel you and the writers made a huge mistakes people won’t watch it as much as we used to changing networks waiting for so long for it to come back then you leave in the moSt critical time of it airing on cmt come on are they stupid or what watch the show go down hill for sure. So mad I live Rayne James.

  34. Larry says:

    While it’s a shame they killed off Rayna, the writing was on the wall right after episode one of this season. This show took a totally different direction, thanks to the new producers. It became less of what made this show attractive in the first place — Nashville, the music, the scenery, the landmarks, and became more of a soap opera.There was more music in tonight’s commercials than there was in the show. If I wanted a soap opera, I’d watch daytime TV. The unique charm of this show is gone. When they put Rayna in the grave next week, they can throw the whole show in with it. No desire whatsoever to watch Teddy get into a custody battle again. Sorry, Nashville. I’ll still visit your city because it’s a delightful place. But I won’t be watching the show anymore

    • Yes. It had descended into soap opera in its last seasons on ABC. I had hoped it would turn around when it moved networks, but that wasn’t the case. Connie Britton did the right thing for her family and career and I respect that. What I resent is how the writers chose to handle it. I was watching out of loyalty and nostalgia for what it once was, but I think I’m done now.

    • I will tune in to the show again and See how the story goes but without the Rayna character I’m not sure how much longer the show will last. I guess only time will tell . I have been watching the old episodes on Axys TV. Those were written better I think .

  35. C.C. says:

    What the heck… Rayna was THIIIIIS close in reaching 100 episodes.

  36. Tonie Holmes says:

    So very sad 😢

  37. Amy says:

    I have waited so long to see Rayna and Deacon be together and after tonight’s episode my heart is broken. I’ve cried my eyes out and not sure if I can watch show anymore.

  38. Victoria Locklear says:

    Just shocked, sad, disappointed!

  39. Lin Brand says:

    Wow, that’s a bummer. I understand she needed to leave but I watched the show because of her. I’m not a country music fan, although this show has changed that somewhat, but I am a huge Connie Britton fan. Probably will not continue to watch because I don’t care about the toher characters.

  40. Lora says:

    I am done. Will not watch Nashville ever again.

  41. Judy Nolan says:

    Not worth watching mow. How could u!!! you might as well go ahead and cancel the show. I can’t believe you did that period ratings will go downwhat is wrong with TNT You took a great show and put it in the ground. asphalt television with all about the ratings now you do this you need people in your office. how dare you get rid of Connie Britton. Connie made the show. I’m not the only one that feels this way there are thousands upon thousands that will no longer watch this show because you have crushed in the ground. I look forward every Thursday night to watch Nashville now you have disintegrated this show you should be ashamed of yourselfI will no longer watch CMT for anything.I cannot believe you did this why did you buy this to put on CMT just to destroy it?shame on you and I know there are thousands to feel the same way I do. CMT is dead to me you pulled the final straw

    • Dawn says:

      I agree 100℅

    • Deborah Gebauer says:

      They didn’t get rid of Connie Britton. She choose to leave. She knew that when she signed on to CMT. SHE ONLY wanted to do so many episodes and then she was done. That was the only reason she came back. If your mad you need to be mad at Connecticut Britton!!!

      • Deborah Gebauer says:

        They didn’t get rid of Connie Britton. She choose to leave. She knew that when she signed on to CMT. SHE ONLY wanted to do so many episodes and then she was done. That was the only reason she came back. If your mad you need to be mad at Connie Britton!!!

    • L. S. says:

      Did you read any of the other comments? The network didn’t end her character, Connie chose to leave. She felt the character had been developed and had no where to go. Plus, according to others, she’s been working straight for at least 10 years and she needed a break. She also has 5 children who may be of the age where THEY need their Mom around more often. Life will go on. The show will go on – at least for a while. We’ll see if the writers will bring back more music that everyone seems to love and work with the cast to create a dynamic show. I know I will watch and see. I wish Connie Britton all the best and thank her for developing the wonderful character that we all love, Rayna James!

  42. Amy says:

    CMT used Nashville, knowing Connie was leaving and it could be short-lived, to pimp Sun Records. Not watching it either. So disappointed. Sooooo disappointing.

  43. I don’t watch this show, but I have to ask what the point of CMT picking it up after ABC axed it was if the main character/star was not going to continue with the show. No way that this show lives past next season. I guess at least the fans got 9 better eps. with the new showrunners.

  44. Kaye says:

    The show will never be the same without
    rayna and Deacon I cried my eyes out. They went through so many bad times and love held them together

  45. mary ann wilson says:

    No Decun I am so sad…I doubt I will watch she was the glue…not ok

  46. Dawn says:

    I don’t know if I want to watch it anymore. I don’t think rayna and Deacan had enough time as a couple on the show. Maybe they can play off as a dream and bring her back.

  47. mary ann wilson says:

    Cried my eyes out
    Never watching again

  48. Gadgetqueen says:

    Why the heck would Coonie Britton do this to the show now…she lost a fan right here…praying that every cast member makes it better without her…

  49. Pam Roberson says:

    I cried myself sick….I hate she left the show….loved her with Deacon and thought this was a love to go on forever…we the fans fought so hard for this show and I love all the actors and will continue to watch but was not honestly thinking this would happen. I’m still in shock Connie will no longer be around, she was so amazing, she will be missed💓

  50. Claudette says:

    I cryed like it was a real life story Rayna will be missed so sorry she left the series tonights show was so very sad i am still watching it and still crying so long Rayna……