Who’s ready for the Red Lips White Lies Tour, Round 2?
Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere are both poised to return to the CMT-bound Nashville in Season 5, TVLine has learned exclusively. Also expected back for the 22-episode season are co-stars Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella and Chris Carmack. A Lionsgate rep declined to comment for this story.
As we reported last week, Will Chase and Aubrey Peeples, who played Luke and Layla, respectively, will not be back (at least not as series regulars).
ABC cancelled Nashville in May, but the drama was revived by the cable network CMT soon after. CMT head of development Jayson Dinsmore recently said that “our expectation and our hope is that [the entire cast] will participate in this next cycle.”
News of Panettiere’s return comes after a rocky year for the actress, who left the series in the middle of Season 4 to undergo treatment for postpartum depression. She returned in January to shoot the final nine episodes, before resuming treatment shortly after production wrapped.
In the cancelled series’ ABC swan song on May 25, the fate of Panettiere’s Juliette was left literally up in the air as the plane carrying the starlet lost radio contact. As TVLine reported, an alternate ending showing Juliette alive, well and reunited with estranged hubby Avery (Jackson) at the airport was shot but ultimately discarded.
When the country-music drama debuts on CMT, it will do so under Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (thirtysomething), who replace Dee Johnson in the role of showrunner.