The country-music cable network confirmed the pick-up, which was first reported Tuesday, in a joint statement with Lionsgate and ABC Studios (which produce the series) and Hulu (which will continue to stream it the day after it airs).
Star Charles Esten and some of his castmates, along with CMT host Cody Alan, are expected to celebrate the news at a concert in Music City later today.
“CMT heard the fans. The wave of love and appreciation they have unleashed for Nashville has been overwhelming,” Brian Philips, president of the network, said in a statement. “Nashville is a perfect addition to our evolving line-up of big music specials, documentaries and original series. We see our fans and ourselves in this show, and we will treasure it like no other network. Nashville belongs on CMT.”
Season 5 of the country-music drama will take place under the leadership of new showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (thirtysomething) who have replaced Dee Johnson in the role. Their likely first order of business? Resolving the Season 4 finale’s cliffhanger ending, which found divorced parents Avery and Juliette on the verge of reconciliation… just before her private jet went missing. (A happier ending was shot, but Lionsgate and ABC Studios convinced the network to use the more ambiguous outcome, in hopes of making the drama more attractive to potential buyers.)
Kevin Beggs, chairman of Lionsgate Television Group, credited the show’s fans with the pick-up. “#Nashies, you helped make this possible,” he said via statement.
Added Patrick Moran, executive vice president, ABC Studios: “We always had faith that we would find a way to bring ‘Nashville’ back to its devoted fans, and we’re very proud to be in partnership with CMT and Hulu to extend the life of this series.”
Will you follow Nashville to its new home? Sound off in the comments!