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Nashville Season 4: Eric Close Won't Return as a Series Regular

Nashville Eric Close Series Regular Season 4

Toodles, Teddy.

Nashville‘s Eric Close, whose character was taken away in handcuffs at the end of the ABC drama’s third season, will not be a series regular in Season 4, TVLine has learned exclusively.

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ABC declined to comment, but we’re hearing Close’s status change is part of a larger creative effort to place the focus of the show squarely on the music business.

For three seasons, it seemed as if Teddy had been starring in his own satellite show about local Nashville politics. His penchant for making terrible decisions finally caught up to him in the third season finale, when the Feds arrested him for frequenting a high-priced call girl and then embezzling official funds to pay her off.

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However, the character’s strong ties to Rayna (Connie Britton) — he’s her ex and they have two children together (one biologically) — likely ensures that we have not seen the last of him. In fact, a source tells TVLine that there’s a very good chance Close will be back as a guest star.

In the meantime, Close is set to reprise his Suits role of lawyer Travis Tanner for one episode in the USA drama’s upcoming fifth season.

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64 Comments
  1. luvtheheaven says:

    This sounds like a good creative move. I do want to see him at least one last time, preferably a few more times though. For closure for his story!

  2. aph1976 says:

    I’m not surprised that Eric Close won’t be a regular on Nashville next season but i’m sure we’ll see the character of Teddy again because he and Rayna do have a biological daughter together.So even if Teddy goes to prison we might see him say goodbye to the people he cares about.

  3. Phillip says:

    Thank. God.

  4. abz says:

    This should have happened after the first, maybe second season. The character was in his own little world on the show. I don’t mind see him continue as Maddie and Daphne’s dad, but that’s pretty much it. Now, hopefully they can devote more of the screen time he took up to Juliet/Rayna interactions and more Will as well instead of sidelining him every other episode.

  5. Normandy says:

    Once they got rid of Lamar, they had no idea what to do with Teddy. There were plenty of opportunities to bring him into the music fold, most notably with Jeff Fordham, but then they blew it.

  6. Amy H says:

    This is going to be good for the show. That whole storyline was ridiculous.

  7. Gayle Sutter says:

    but they keep Oliver Hudson???? YUCK!

    • Normandy says:

      Oliver Hudson moved onto Scream Queens as a regular, so he’ll have to be recurring on Nashville too.

  8. Elissa says:

    This is a good move. Now if only they would get rid of Layla. And Jeff. And Kylie. And keep the focus on the main cast and the music industry.

    • luvtheheaven says:

      I agree about Jeff and Kylie, but why Layla? If her storyline wasn’t so wrapped up in the ridiculousness that is Jeff I think she still could be a great part of the show. I love her.

      • abz says:

        Agreed. Layla can’t catch a break. There could have been some potential to keep things interesting with her, but she’s continuously being brought down by Jeff.

        • MelindaB says:

          As much as I like Eric Close, Teddy was always superfluous and annoying. I was hoping that Jeff would get killed off this season–maybe I can hope for next season. I like Oliver Hudson, but can’t stand Jeff. I started off disliking Layla, but found myself feeling for her, and really want her to come into her own next season.

          • AG says:

            I enjoy Jeff’s plotlines and performance a lot! I can’t help it, I just do. Please DON’T get rid of Jeff!

      • ChrisGa says:

        Layla is not only the most improved character on this show but one of the most improved on any prime time series. And, personally, I think Aubrey Peeples has one of the most appealing singing voices of anyone on Nashville right now.

      • Miranda says:

        Have to disagree about Layla – she was a great source of music AND drama this season. I think she was utilized quite well in the absence of Hayden P while she took it easy to have her baby. And, this may be an unpopular opinion, but I kinda liked Layla and Jeff together.

        • jbj says:

          I like Layla and Jeff, too, but I don’t mind them being just recurring. I really enjoy the fact that Layla has been most successful at crushing his ego.

        • Rain says:

          Finally, I thought I was the only one who liked Layla and Jeff together!!

        • Stella says:

          People who defend Jeff/Layla, you’ve got to explain it to me. He gave her drugs while she was underage, he continually lies to her, verbally abuses her, manipulates her… and I could go on. How is this even remotely okay?

          • Miranda says:

            Jeff is and always has been an awful selfish creep, no question about it. What he did to Layla was inexcusable. But instead of villainizing Jeff (like they did with Liam McGuinness, who got banished for way smaller crimes against Scarlett) the writers for once chose the not-so-easy easy path and gave Layla greater agency in her life and career. She isn’t such a victim anymore. She has cut Jeff down to size to some extant and there is potential for that to continue. I’m not saying it’s a perfect relationship, but since this is a soap where many of the relationships are merely a plot device, I’d say this one is more interesting than others.

      • Jill says:

        Aubrey Peeples is a TERRIBLE actress. I can’t stand to watch her in a whole scene.

        • J says:

          She’s awful, which is a shame. The character could be interesting, but she’s been rewritten a million different ways since the beginning of season 2, but whatever guise she’s meant to be in from week to week the actress can’t really sell it, so I can’t really root for her.

    • mollytanner says:

      I watch for Jeff and Layla! You could sense Eric Close leaving once the youngest daughter started treating Deacon like her dad, I thought that was really weird.

  9. DramaMomma says:

    Not surprising given where his story going but as they wrap it up can Tandy get her comeuppance? Teddy clearly made bad decisions but his only way get out wasn’t viable because Tandy intentially or unintentially got Rayna wrapped up in the mess. He was at least man enough to drag Rayna under the bus with him.

  10. Not really surprised. IMO they ran out of ideas for the character a long time ago. Now they need to get rid of Layla ASAP as she is another one that should have been long gone.

  11. Mamma Mia says:

    After storyline closure, I hope Eric Close is released from his contract with Nashville so he can be cast in a show that puts him to better use. FYI, I am a huge fan of Nashville; they just messed up with Eric’s character.

    • Shira says:

      Yes, agree (and also a huge Nashville fan:). Ever since the middole of the first season when they dropped the political storylines and changed them into personal ones all the “political” actors of the show lost their purpose: Coleman, Tandy, Lamar, Peggy and Teddy. He was the one that stayed the most. The only way to leave him there was through the music business and that didn’t happen. His character was the “anti music” character so there really not much they can do. Letting him carry entire storylines in a show with so many stories already is simply absurd..Hope he’ll find a better more fitting role soon.

  12. Ben says:

    I think he needs to pop in from time to time but glad for this move really. Also agree with others that we don’t need as much of Jeff any more, I was surprised he even remained a regular in season 3.

  13. BuhBye says:

    This is a good move for the show, but I have always been very fond of Eric Close, so I will miss him, if not Teddy.

  14. Alicia says:

    So hoping this means that Nashville are going to refocus the show on Rayna&Deacon Juliette&Avery Scarlett&Gunner and Maddie&Daphne. They need to start giving the leads more screen time. I felt robbed in the finale with the lack of quality Deyna scenes. I do like Teddy and Eric Close is a great actor but this move hopefully means the show will be moving forward and streamlining the cast for the better

  15. Monica4185 says:

    This a duh news. It’s about time this happened. He should back here and there for the girls but yeah his storyline had no connection to the rest of the show.

  16. opus says:

    I hope Eric Close finds a great part next because he is a very talented actor. The role of Teddy was just a disaster from the beginning and has become a joke since, as written, he has little to do with the show. Best of luck Eric.

  17. DSoR says:

    That’s too bad, really like Eric Close but his character Teddy was going nowhere – interesting how they’re going to play that one out … Teddy himself as is mentioned due to his ties with Ray and the girls can’t really not be in the picture too.

  18. Lilacbarries says:

    Good riddance

  19. Matthew says:

    its about time.

  20. Kay says:

    Finally.

  21. Matty Si. says:

    Not surprised at all considering his storyline this past season

  22. Mr. Tran K says:

    Not surprised to see Eric Close leaving Nashville during his three year run on the show. He was so great on Without a Trace (CBS) which lasted seven seasons from 2002 to 2009. Don’t know if he’s planning another TV gig sometime in the near future.

  23. MarianaBanav says:

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for them to do this since season one! Such a BORING character!

  24. Scribe says:

    Hopefully he turns on Law and Order SVU, hopefully as Pinto’s replacement :)

  25. Jake L. says:

    Teddy can certainly not be in the picture. If he’s in jail, that would explain his not being able to see the kids very often, or ever, as Rayna wouldn’t likely want them hanging around a jail very much. I agree he needs to show up for a couple more episodes to play this storyline out, but after that, in jail offscreen is fine with me. Hopefully Eric Close ends up on another show that will be able to utilize him more; with the way the writers have been handling him here, he hasn’t really served much purpose since divorcing Rayna, and that was what, late season 1? I’ve never liked the character much, but it’s not Eric Close’s fault.

  26. Abby says:

    Nothing against the actor but after his divorce from Rayna I felt the character should have been recurring, he was needed for some storylines like the reveal of Maddie’s true paternity and it would have been nice to see him pop up with the girls occasionally to show he was still in their lives but his own storylines were always a weak point for me that I felt were taking up too much room on a show with an already bloated cast.

  27. lorna says:

    I’m sure I’m in the minority, but I liked Teddy.

  28. Terry says:

    I love Eric Close. But not in this series. I am glad he is gone

  29. Lizo says:

    Good, he should have left two seasons ago. No problem with the actor, just the character became a detailing hindrance to the show

  30. Maria says:

    I like Eric Close, but can’t stand Teddy.

  31. Kimberly says:

    Good move–I like him, but his story line just kind of fizzled…………..

  32. Diz says:

    Good. Buh bye!

  33. Babygate says:

    Best news! Teddy has been a drag on the show from day 1. His storylines are completely disconnected from what the show is about.

  34. Christian says:

    Keep Jeff + Layla!

  35. Karen says:

    booo. Rayna should go, she’s the worst

  36. Jared Munson says:

    Sign him to Greys as the named actor who can be a surgeon

  37. J says:

    Thank goodness! Let’s hope it’s the first in a major cull. This isn’t an ensemble show, Rayna and Juliette are meant to be the main characters and the music business the focus but sometimes they get so little screen time just to shoehorn majorly irrelevant characters and storylines in there.
    Now if we never see Kiley, Micah, Jeff, Luke, and random stunt-casted guest stars who don’t boost the ratings etc again I’d be in heaven!

    • Justie says:

      The ratings haven’t been boosting since the start of the show. I would blame the writers not the actors. I see some comments it like they are happy a actor loss his job! Yes the characters was probably not well like. But almost all of these characters are not well liked. Just because they got rid of few characters doesn’t mean the show going to be a ratings success. It all comes down to the writing and we all know they’re going to have more recurring characters on the show. I wish they killed Deacon! It would have been kind of cool to see how it affects few of the characters. But most writers don’t have the guts to kill off one of their series regulars.

      • J says:

        I meant more like the stunt casting of Christina Aguilera or Derek Hough was meant to boost ratings: that was their sole purpose, and it didn’t happen. The regular actors won’t affect the ratings too much either way I guess (although if Connie Britton, Chip Esten or Hayden Panettiere left I probably wouldn’t watch anymore). And while I like Eric Close, and don’t wish unemployment on him, his character was at a dead end, but instead of cutting him loose earlier we had the never ending hooker storyline this season which wasn’t tied into anything any other character was doing. There are quite a few characters on the show whose storylines do this, and they take away screen time from the lead characters.

  38. Miranda says:

    Hallelujah. But why did it take them more than a season to make this happen? Teddy has been a drain on the show since early season 2.

  39. He’ll end up on Grey’s Anatomy…

  40. Whatevah says:

    Maybe he can go to Grey’s.

  41. Carol_R says:

    They could have just killed the character off rather than trashing the character in a lame move to make Deacon the drunk look good.

  42. jenny alexa says:

    eric is way too good for this crummy show…it was the only good thing on it..terrible storyline
    ..terrible music..terrible acting except for him..hopefully he will move on to something with an actual plot

  43. smartysenior says:

    Eric Close and Oliver Hudson are terrific actors who deserve far better roles. Neither was written well in this show and I’m sad to be glad they’re gone.

  44. tsevca says:

    Finally.

  45. laura says:

    Well i enjoyed the differing layers of the program…the music is fantastic but the different plots were interesting

  46. Erna Vahr says:

    Vil der kommer en ny sæson af Nashswhille?