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.

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  1. CarolH says:

    Best news ever!!

    • Karen says:

      Karen… best news in a long time. So excited to hear this!!

      • Jeri says:

        I hope they don’t continue to keep everyone miserable. It’s as if happiness is outlawed and characters cannot be allowed to be content. It is depressing to watch constant misery.

        • David4 says:

          Never watched most show then? ;)

        • Norda says:

          Agreed Jeri! I stopped watching because it seemed like once they’d get Juliette and Avery together, they’d split them apart again. So repetitive and lazy. Same with Gunner and Scarlet. They were great at building the romance, but then they got too comfy ripping it to shreds. I would have preferred breaks from the “breakups” in favor of more label wheeling and dealing and backstage backstabbery.
          For the sake of the fans getting closure, I do hope it comes back, but I’m gonna wait for reviews before I come back to it.

          • angusmom says:

            I will watch no matter what! I love them all! Norda, cant you find some other show to rag on!?? We dont care what you do.

          • Whatevah says:

            Norda right there w/ you. The previous team of writers didn’t know how to write a show. They needed drama but not the kind they kept doing over & over & over again. They have a really talented cast, they need to write for them.

        • Southeasterner says:

          Very happy to hear Nashville will be back, but wholeheartedly agree that the excessive misery writing burns out the fans. Hope to see this turn into a more positive season 5.

    • Don says:

      Not really. Not everyone has access to CMT. Plus, I won’t pay to see a show that I didn’t pay for originally. I’ll miss it.

    • Fred says:

      YES!!! Can;t’ wait to enjoy another season of this highly addictive music oriented drama!

  2. Chad says:

    Best news I’very heard all week.

  3. Slr says:

    Fantastic news!! Hopefully the writing picks up and they will feature even more music!!

  4. Irene Traska says:

    Oh I hope they pick it up. And the cast is stilll available.

  5. wrstlgirl says:

    Great news except for the fact that I’d have to switch to another cable provider to get CMT, sigh.

    • Same here. I did discover that you can watch CMT shows on their website without needing to choose a cable provider and use your account info but to me, that’s not as convenient as watching it live, On-Demand, or on a DVR. Still, this is better than nothing.

    • Anna says:

      I’m always shocked to hear that people still watch all their tv on physical televisions. Maybe it’s just the people I hang out with, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use the internet to watch their shows.

  6. Andrew Hass says:

    I’m happy by this news about Nashville and it gives CMT a boost in the arm too.

  7. NP says:

    I can’t tell you the last thing I watched on CMT, but I’m so excited to hear this!!!

  8. steven says:

    Now to play Don’t Put Dirt on my Grave Just Yet!

  9. ggny says:

    Very much doubt Connie Britton or Hayden are gonna go to CMT. You might get Nashville name but it will be all new characters

    • TV Gord says:

      Connie talked about how sad she is that ABC cancelled on one of the talk shows (The View?) a couple of weeks ago, so I’m guessing she be there.

      • But Connie and Hayden are exspensive with thier high salaries and a small cable network like CMT may not be able to afford them.

        • Bill says:

          Exactly. They may also rely a lot more upon studios and stock footage of Nashville.

          • Lorna wolbert says:

            I know Hayden is dealing with personal issues. I love her and Juliette tons, but I am ok of she recurrs. It’s been rumored she wasn’t too into the show anymore. I just wish her well.

        • Connie Britton went to DirecTV’s 101 Network with Friday Night Lights. It’s possible that CMT might actually have more money to invest in the show as this show would immediately be a big fish in a small pond and likely more of a priority to them than it ever was to ABC especially if they can acquire syndication rights.

          • It doesn’t matter. All of the stars are under contract with Lionsgate to make the show, and it’s up to Lionsgate who broadcasts it. The existing budget would have been factored in to CMT’s agreement, they’re not allowed to pay the actors less (without a new contract).

    • TV Gord says:

      Connie talked about how sad she is that ABC cancelled on one of the talk shows (The View?) a couple of weeks ago, so I’m guessing she be there.

    • Robberey says:

      No. It’s Season 5 and at least the main characters will stay the same. If the costs are to high, the amount of epiosdes will drop. You might guess, there won’t be seasons with 22 episodes on CMT, maybe 10 – 15, not more.

    • E. D. Boddy says:

      The show will still be done by the same production company. It will just be broadcast somewhere else.

    • Aline says:

      Someone from Lionsgate (I think) said all negotiations about giving Nashville a new home would only happen if all characters could be there. They said they wouldn’t cut anyone, so I guess actors’ salaries were taken under consideration by CMT.
      I’m sooooooo happy! <3

      • johnhelvete says:

        That sounded like the guy from Lionsgate starting negotiations at a certain point, he also wanted 22 episode seasons. I think the fans need to be prepared for a cast member or two not returning for season 5 or at the very least being recurring (few episodes only). That way you won’t be disappointed.

        • wolbert says:

          I would assume Aubrey would be let go. She is the most expendable. I like the actress and usually the character, when she isn’t being a lying crazy nut.

        • Aline says:

          I would be 100% okay with that as long as they don’t cut any of the major characters. Eg: Rayna, Juliette, Deacon, Scarlett, Gunnar, Avery and the Stellas. I’m ok with Layla, simply because the writers dropped the ball with her character, the same with the Frank and Cash non-sense and of course crazy bitch Autumn.

    • Chris says:

      According to the Deadline article about CMT reviving “Nashville”, the cast are still under contract to the show for two more years!

    • Bwhit says:

      I read an article in Variety today that all of them are still under contract with Lionsgate for the show. It may be a shorter season but I think the actors we know will be there.

    • Christy says:

      Connie had no trouble whatsoever when NBC pulled the plug on Friday Night Lights and she followed the show to DirecTV. Where she stayed, until it ended.

    • VegasGal72 says:

      They are still under contract per an article I read a couple of days ago.

  10. WAHOO! This is amazing news! Perfect matching with CMT! Can’t wait!

  11. Dennis says:

    OMG im screaming!!!

  12. Normandy says:

    Going from ABC to CMT would probably require a huge cut in budget, which on the plus side would mean less of these random characters showing up that they devote all this time to and then they go nowhere with. They save some money if they cut Luke and Layla and reduced the daughters to recurring.

    • Michael Littlefield says:

      Yeah but how big could those cuts get? If it’s too big then it may not be worth it.

    • big cheddar says:

      A smaller budget might mean smaller cast and fewer episodes, but that could make for a really good show. My only hope is that a smaller budget doesn’t impact the music budget. The original music is what makes the show unique.

    • drhenning says:

      you realize that CMT is owned by Viacom so money won’t be an issue… I suspect more Nashville music shows like they had on ABC will be a regular..

  13. MattySi says:

    This will be a great place for this show. It enables them to bring more of the real country music industry into the show with other artists, guest stars, and special appearances. I fear what will happen to Chris Carmacks character though. Is CMT willing to keep Will as a main character and continue to tell his story?

  14. Shira says:

    Yessssssssssssss!!!! Nashville-Something is a go!

  15. Shira says:

    Yessssssssssssss!!!! Nashville-Something is a go!

  16. Carol C says:

    Such great news!!

  17. The Kaibosh says:

    Well this is cause for a big ol Yee Haw!

  18. Karen Haynes says:

    Praying, hoping, and wanting to see Nashville episode 5! Love working as an extra on it. Made so many news friends and learn so much in regard to acting.
    Having the show Nashville certainly employees so many people.
    Fingers and toes crossed as the well. So many people are wanting to what’s next! A win win for CMT with Still The King too!!! Thank you! Karen

  19. Col says:

    Deacon and Scarlett will go to CMT

  20. Anne says:

    Oh! That’s a natural fit!

  21. This is very positive as long as CMT doesn’t micromanage the show.

  22. Mike says:

    My only worry is, will Hayden Panettiere return? She’s in rehab again for PTSD. Her health comes first…

  23. Mike says:

    My only worry: Will Hayden Panettiere return? She’s in rehab again for PTSD. Her health comes first…

    • Brooke says:

      Don’t you mean post-partum? I don’t think “rehab” is the right word.

      • David4 says:

        That’s a good point, what is it called? Out patient?

        Either way the show can go on without her. I’m not a fan of the show at all but I’m always happy for fans of resurrected shows. And her health comes first no matter what, when she gets better she can come back.

      • Mike says:

        Rehab is right. But yeah, it’s postpartum depression and not PTSD. Sorry about that.

    • grazelled says:

      It’s been reported that HP has postpartum depression that relapsed recently. It’s good to hear she’s taking care of herself and getting treatment. I hope she gets better soon and can join Nashville if it moves to CMT. I also hope most of the rest of the cast will be there although no Cash, Layla, and Autumn would be great!

  24. Karen says:

    Hope this works out and that the main characters stay with the show. Still love this show and the music.

  25. Ian says:

    Yeeaah, im just not sure if it’ll be the same show (just brought up to its potential) on CMT. Does this mean smaller budget, cast that won’t come back, less actual show and it becomes a concert series for country music artists??????

  26. Ella Jasper says:

    Great news! Just hope new writers are coming with it, and a few less newer characters!

  27. OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG…………………..And did you hear me say? OMG!!!!!

  28. Karen T. says:

    Yay! I do hope all the stars come back just as they would if it had been renewed at ABC! Great news!

  29. mollytanner says:

    So happy for this. If Connie and/or Hayden leave, I think they should play it on-screen and allow for a proper goodbye, and have new characters weaved into the fold gradually rather than a straight-up reboot. I would prefer to keep them and instead lose Luke, Layla and Scarlett and Gunnar. I think the Scarlett/Gunnar stuff reached its proper conclusion. I have to say the dating misadventures of Will has been a highlight.

    • Ben says:

      Scarlett and Gunnar’s duets are amongst the best music though. For me, that is really important!

      • Bwhit says:

        Yep. I would not be okay with losing the duo who has made some of the best music on the show. I have several of their songs in my music on my phone. Plus I just love both of them.

    • moviederek says:

      I think they should keep Scarlett and Gunnar but give them more interesting storylines. No more juvenile bickering. Keep them as a solid committed couple and give them other conflicts outside of their relationship.

      • skyebright8 says:

        Agree, I’m glad they’re moving back together as a couple, I wish it would continue till the end of the show, there’s been enough back and forth with those two.

  30. Maureen Singh says:

    Whoo Hoo…

  31. KLS says:

    Never to miss a PR opportunity. The CMT Country Music Awards are tomorrow night. Good timing!

  32. Ben says:

    Please yes! Now they just need to promise to
    a) Keep Rayna/Deacon/Maddie/Daphne happy with each other and let any drama that needs to play out be mostly about the way life affects them and not them creating drama with each other
    b) Keep Juliette alive.
    c) Stop the will they/won’t they with Scarlet and Gunnar – they will, so keep it that way, and
    d) Cull cartoonish villains like Cash and try to return to a time (like season one) where the drama was created by grey situations in which you could understand people’s various motivations.

    • Eli says:

      Keep Cash to redeem her. Mainly just to keep Jessy on my television

    • Julia says:

      I totally agree! If I never see Frankie or Cash again I’ll be very happy with that. I wouldn’t miss Layla either!

      • moviederek says:

        Don’t blame Frankie, Cash, and Layla. You need to have villains on the show for conflict and drama. Otherwise you would just have boring Scarlett and Gunnar’s repetitive romance storylines. And I think the “villains” on Nashville are all very interesting, complex, and multi-dimensional characters. I agree with Eli that a Cash redemption would be an interesting journey to follow. And for me Layla has become one of the more fascinating characters on the show.

    • Amy says:

      Well put~especially a) “the way life affects them and not them creating drama with each other.” Amen.
      I too, (just re-watched all of Season 1 on Amazon Prime; forgot how GOOD it started out), loved Season 1 and would love the show to go back to that…more great music, music business conflict & drama vs. the fake stuff with the “cartoonish” characters, as you say, and storylines introduced with them that go nowhere…all that is what derailed the show.
      #BringBackNashville …to it’s original glory and then take it further. Lots of potential there…if original key players return..

  33. Desiree says:

    Yay! The last season on ABC was underwhelming in so many respects (too much Maddie, too little Juliette…too many recycled stories all around) but there is still so much potential for the show to be amazing. I really hope that CMT treats this show well!

  34. Maria says:

    Match made in heaven! With all
    The promotion around getting Nashville re-runs, I knew they’d jump at the chance for the real show. I’m so happy!

    Best birthday gift :D

  35. indigo says:

    GO CMT

  36. S.Close says:

    Fantastic news.More music in S5.Best show on TV, hands down.

  37. Charlotte says:

    As happy as I am that this show will continue, I’m just the tiniest bit disappointed because, aside from Juliette’s plane crash, the finale wrapped up all the storylines in a fairly satisfying way. Literally NO ONE has any interest in seeing yet another rehash of romantic will-they-won’t-they: all the major pairs have gotten to a good place, and a lot of the show’s drama in the past has hinged on relationships, unnecessary triangles, etc.

    I also fear Will’s storyline will be one of the ones cut for budget, since I can’t see CMT airing a storyline about and out-and-finally-proud gay country star in a relationship (although I’d be happy enough to see him and Kevin songwrite into the sunset).

    • icetear1 says:

      Except Deyna isn`t really in good place either. Yes Maddie came home, but there is still lot to sort out.

    • VegasGal72 says:

      My feeling is that CMT will only pick it up for season 5 so that we the viewers can have a one last happy season.

  38. A fan of TV says:

    This is probably great news for most cast members that aren’t Audrey Peeples or Chris Carmack. I’d prefer to cull Will Young, but CMT probably won’t, and I’ll assume Lennon and Maisy will be relegated to the most guest-spot like recurrence to save money. I’ll still watch as long as Connie and Hayden sign on. I know Hayden’s back in treatment and Connie has already said her public thank you and goodbye, but if the renewal is this close I’m assuming they’re both in, or why bother?

    • Frank says:

      Great News!!! The new writers could give the show the boost it needs. Hopefully most of the cast will return!!

    • Lorna wolbert says:

      They better keep Chris Carmack. He is always doing promotions and so happy to so this show.

      • A fan of TV says:

        I hope they keep him, too. But do better by his storyline. and I’m not totally sure I believe CMT will do it justice.

  39. Lauren says:

    Great news

  40. she says:

    I loved how Juliette’s ending took a nod to Patsy Cline’s tragic end. But, I hope Juliette is alive in the next season.

  41. SherryB says:

    Supposedly the cast are all still under contract for Nashville. So unless they are bought out I am assuming they will follow to CMT. Hopefully minus Frankie, and Cash.

  42. Elaine says:

    I agree, best news I’ve heard in a long time!

  43. Bill says:

    There are going to have to have pretty substantial budget cuts; CMT doesn’t have ABC-level cash.

  44. Lea Johnson says:

    I am not going to be able to watch the next season if it is on city because I will not pay for TV. I guess I will have to wait until it comes to netflix!

  45. Joyce Evans says:

    I hope the Nashville TV show is picked up by CMT. It would make PERFECT sense! LOVE LOVE LIVE this show!
    Avid fan & background extra in the set!!!

  46. Mike C Holt says:

    It is going to be on CMT USA or both Canada?

    • A fan of TV says:

      If it’s on CMT in the States I believe it will air near concurrently on CMT Canada, unless of course CTC, their Canadian distributor, decides to maintain their own broadcast rights (and if they can legally) the way that City TV still aired season 4 of The Mindy Project.

  47. Amy says:

    Best news ever~but only if same cast of core characters will be there and they have the funds to keep the integrity of the show, shooting on location in Nashville, since that also made the show great. ie. I want it to still “be Nashville” not a facsimile. But that said, not meaning to be Debbie Downer ~ cuz I’m thrilled to hear this and that there’s hope for Nashville again!

  48. Brenda says:

    Thank you CMT for caring about the fans of Nashville.

  49. Pat says:

    Please bring back Nashville. It’s a great family show showing problems in today’s world. I love this show.