Nashville Season 5 Update: Axed ABC Drama on Verge of Renewal at CMT

Juliette’s errant jet has been cleared for landing at CMT.

The country-infused cable network is nearing a deal with producer Lionsgate to pick up a fifth season of Nashville, which last month was cancelled at ABC. A formal announcement is expected to be made during Wednesday’s CMT Awards.

Execs at Lionsgate and ABC Studios were so confident they would find the series a new home that they convinced the network to end what could’ve been its series finale a cliffhanger. “We wouldn’t take such a strong position to advocate for [the cliffhanger ending] if we didn’t feel good about our chances moving forward,” Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs told The Hollywood Reporter.

In the cancelled series’ ABC swan song on May 25, the fate of Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette was left very much up in the air as the plane that was carrying the starlet lost radio contact. As TVLine reported, an alternate ending showing Juliette alive, well and being reunited with estranged hubby Avery (Jonathan Jackson) at the airport was shot but ultimately discarded.

As TVLine was first to report, TV vets Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (My So-Called Life, thirtysomething) are set to take the showrunner reins in Season 5, replacing Dee Johnson. One big question mark: Which current cast members will join the show over at CMT? Reps for Lionsgate and CMT declined to comment for this story.