Nashville (2012 TV series)
|Created by||Callie Khouri|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||94 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||60–64 minutes|
|Picture format||720p (HDTV)|
|Audio format||5.1 surround sound|
|Original release||October 10, 2012– present|
The series chronicles the lives of various fictitious country music singers in Nashville, Tennessee starring Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, a legendary country music superstar, whose stardom begins fading, and Hayden Panettiere as rising younger star Juliette Barnes.
The series premiered on ABC, on October 10, 2012, and had more than 8.93 million viewers. In May 2016, ABC cancelled the show. In June 2016, it was picked up by CMT for a fifth season. On December 1, 2016, it was announced that a preview of episode one will air on December 15, 2016, with the season starting on January 5, 2017. A live aftershow, NashChat, began airing live across social media platforms on Thursday, January 5th, and will air immediately after every new episode.
- 1 Production
- 2 Series synopsis
- 3 Cast and characters
- 4 Reception
- 5 Cancellation and move to CMT
- 6 Aftershow
- 7 Syndication
- 8 Home media
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Development and filming
The series was created by Callie Khouri, who won an Academy Award for Thelma & Louise. Khouri lived in Nashville from 1978 to 1982. In an interview for The New York Times she said "This is a place that can be mocked and made fun of, and sometimes it deserves it, like any place. But it also is an incredibly beautiful, cosmopolitan city, and I wanted to show that to the world. I want to represent it in a way that everybody who lives here would find completely realistic." Nashville was the first television series in Khouri's career, after working for two decades as a film writer and director creating strong female characters.
The production began in 2011. In October 2011, ABC bought the original concept from Khouri. Documentary filmmaker R. J. Cutler also joined the project as executive producer alongside Khouri. Nashville was produced by Lionsgate Television with ABC Studios. ABC ordered the pilot on January 27, 2012. The pilot episode was filmed in March 2012 and directed by series producer R. J. Cutler. The series was picked up by ABC on May 11, 2012, and premiered on the network on October 10, 2012 as part of its 2012–13 television season. Dee Johnson joined the series as executive producer and showrunner as of fourth episode, replacing Jim Parriott. On November 12, 2012, the series was picked up for a full season run, which was shortened by one episode by the producers (due to production difficulties) rather than the network.
A number of television critics characterized Nashville as "Dallas in Tennessee." The original concept was focused on the backdrop of the real country music world. ABC's promotional campaign for the series premiere was primarily focused on the rivalry between a young and ruthless country pop diva (Panettiere) and a past-her-peak superstar (Britton). Nashville was filmed on location and on soundstages in Nashville. The Bluebird Cafe, an important local performance arena, is a frequent setting; the show's art department, headed by production designer Jeff Knipp, precisely replicated its exterior and interior in a Nashville sound stage. After weeks of rumors that production would move elsewhere, it was announced that season two would also be filmed on location in Nashville. Nashville budget hovered in the neighborhood of $4 million per episode in season one.
British actor Sam Palladio was the first regular member to be cast, being announced on February 14, 2012. Australian actress and singer Clare Bowen was the next addition to the pilot, as Scarlett O'Connor, on February 17, 2012. On February 22, General Hospital cast member Jonathan Jackson joined the cast in the role of Avery Barkley. On February 23, Emmy Award winner Powers Boothe joined the cast as Lamar Wyatt, father of lead character. On February 29, it was announced that Hayden Panettiere had landed the role of Juliette Barnes, originally planned as the primary antagonist of the series. On March 1, 2012 Robert Wisdom was cast as Coleman Carlisle, one of the supporting regular characters. On March 5 Eric Close joined the ensemble cast as Teddy Conrad, Rayna's husband. On March 6, it was announced that Connie Britton would play leading role of Rayna Jaymes, 40-year-old fading country superstar. Britton also serves as an co-executive producer of the series. On March 13, 2012, Charles Esten joined the cast in the final regular role of Deacon Claybourne, Rayna's bandmate and former lover.
Britton stated that her character, Rayna was based on several country singers, including Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, and Bonnie Raitt. Panettiere denied that her character resembled Taylor Swift, and stated that Juliette was instead based on herself—a young woman in the entertainment industry—and Carrie Underwood.
Alongside the nine regular cast members during the first season, several actors were cast in recurring roles. Judith Hoag appeared in the series as Tandy Hampton, Rayna's sister. Sylvia Jefferies played the role of Jolene Barnes, Juliette's mother. On August 29, 2012, it was announced that Kimberly Williams-Paisley joined the cast as Margaret "Peggy" Kenter. J. D. Souther, Rya Kihlstedt, Tilky Montgomery Jones, Wyclef Jean, Susan Misner and Michiel Huisman also had major recurring roles during the first season.
For the second season, Chris Carmack, who recurred in six episodes of season one as Will Lexington, the rising country star struggling with the realization that he might be gay, as well as Lennon Stella and Maisy Stella as Rayna's daughters, were promoted to regulars. Aubrey Peeples and Chaley Rose joined the cast in major recurring roles as Layla Grant, a runner-up in a singing competition and a new singer in Nashville who is a new rival for Juliette, and Zoey, Scarlett's childhood best friend who moves to Nashville. Oliver Hudson was cast as Jeff Fordham, the new CEO of Edgehill. Christina Chang also joined the cast as Megan Vannoy, love interest for Deacon, and Will Chase as Luke Wheeler, love interest for Rayna and currently the biggest male country artist. Charlie Bewley also appeared in the multiple-episodes arc as Charles Wentworth, a married business man, who had an affair with Juliette.
For the third season, Will Chase and Oliver Hudson were promoted to regulars after recurring performances in season two. Tony Award winner Laura Benanti was cast in the recurring role of country star Sadie Stone. Singer Brette Taylor was cast as Pam York, Luke's new backup singer, and Alexa PenaVega for a multi-episode arc as Kiley, Gunnar's first love. Dancing with the Stars' Derek Hough also joined the cast for a multi-episode arc as Noah West. Grammy winner, Christina Aguilera joined the show later in season three as pop superstar Jade St. John for a multi-episode arc. on May 31, 2015 it was announced Eric Close would not be returning for the fourth season, his character was sent to prison. On July 22, 2015, it was announced that Aubrey Peeples was promoted to regular, and Oliver Hudson moved from regular to recurring. On October 13, 2015, it was announced that Panettiere was taking medical leave from the series for treatment for postpartum depression, which her character was also suffering from. In June 2016, it was announced that Aubrey Peeples and Will Chase would not continue on the series after its shift to CMT. They were the first two cast members to be cut as producers tried to bring down production costs.
Creative executive producer Callie Khouri's husband T-Bone Burnett was the show's executive music producer and composer for the first season. When departing the series, his manager cited commitments to other projects, although Burnett later stated that he was also upset with television executives' treatment of his wife. His assistant and the managing producer Buddy Miller took over for Burnett in season two.
On October 2, 2012, it was announced that Big Machine Records will release all covers and original songs from the series. Some songs are written by John Paul White of The Civil Wars, Hillary Lindsey, and Elvis Costello. On November 13, 2012, Big Machine announced the release of The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 1 Original Soundtrack on December 11, 2012.
The Music of Nashville: Season 1 Volume 2 was released on May 7, 2013. The Music of Nashville, Season 1: The Complete Collection, a four-disc set, was released in the UK on September 23, 2013. This set includes the songs that were digitally released as singles in North America but not in the UK. Despite the title, it omits three of Connie Britton's songs ("Already Gone," "American Beauty" and "Stompin' Grounds") as well as Sam Palladio and David Clayton Rogers' cover of "I'm A Lonesome Fugitive." The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 1 was released by Big Machine on December 10, 2013.
An album of the music performed on the TV concert special Nashville: On the Record by many of the cast and the songwriters was released to digital download on April 22, the day before the special aired on ABC. The following compilation albums have also been released to download:
- Clare Bowen As Scarlett O'Connor: Season One (April 29, 2014; featuring 13 tracks)
- Hayden Panettiere As Juliette Barnes: Season One (May 6, 2014; featuring 16 tracks, including two versions each of "Undermine" and "Consider Me")
- Hayden Panettiere As Juliette Barnes: Season Two (May 13, 2014; featuring 9 tracks)
- Clare Bowen As Scarlett O'Connor: Season Two (May 13, 2014; featuring 9 tracks)
- The Nashville Cast Featuring Lennon & Maisy Stella As Maddie & Daphne Conrad (November 20, 2015; featuring 11 tracks)
The Music of Nashville: Season 2, Volume 2 was released on May 6, 2014.
Christmas With Nashville, an album featuring seasonal music performed by most of the main cast, was released on November 4, 2014. Unlike the other albums, the music was not heard on the series (with the exception of "Baby, It's Cold Outside," performed by Britton and Will Chase).
The Music of Nashville: Season 3, Volume 1 was released on December 9, 2014.
Nashville: On the Record 2 aired on March 25, 2015, featuring most of the main cast plus Deana Carter and Reba McEntire. An album of the music performed (other than McEntire's) was released to digital download. One of the most intriguing features of this album was Charles Esten's songwriting debut with Deana Carter on "I Know How To Love You Now" which he performed live during the season three premiere.
The Music of Nashville: Season 3, Volume 2 was released on May 12, 2015.
Nashville: On the Record 3 (Live), featuring performances from many of the cast in concert, was released on December 16, 2015 to digital download.
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|1||21||October 10, 2012||May 22, 2013||ABC|
|2||22||September 25, 2013||May 14, 2014|
|3||22||September 24, 2014||May 13, 2015|
|4||21||September 23, 2015||May 25, 2016|
|5||22||January 5, 2017||TBA||CMT|
In the first episode, the series focuses on the rivalry of Rayna Jaymes and Juliette Barnes. Rayna Jaymes is the established "Queen of Country" music. However, her latest album is not selling well and her tour is playing to half empty venues. Her record label suggests that she open for Juliette Barnes, the young and sexy best selling singer of bubble gum country pop. However, Juliette, seeing Rayna as privileged, purposefully alienates her. Rayna, who dislikes Juliette's style of music, rejects a joint tour out of hand. The two women come into conflict as each tries to get guitarist Deacon Claybourne, Rayna's bandmate and former lover, to sign on to their tour. Rayna's life is further complicated when her estranged father, millionaire businessman Lamar Wyatt, convinces her husband, Teddy Conrad, to run for Mayor of Nashville.
For later episodes, the series follows the lives of country music musicians, focusing on three female leads: country superstar Rayna Jaymes, rising problematic star Juliette Barnes, and newcomer singer-songwriter Scarlett O'Connor.
Cast and characters
The show features an ensemble cast. For the first season, nine actors received the star billing: Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, a 40-year-old country music superstar singer whose stardom is beginning to fade; Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, a bubblegum country pop singer and former teen star sensation who is determined to replace Rayna as the top superstar of country music; Clare Bowen as Scarlett O'Connor, a poet and songwriter Deacon's niece, and musician partner with Gunnar. Works at the Bluebird Cafe which is where she is first noticed and performs; Eric Close as Theodore 'Teddy' Conrad, Rayna's husband who, after a business failure, is now living on his wife's income. He runs for mayor with help from his father-in-law and wins election, later divorcing Rayna; Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, songwriter, lead guitar player, Rayna's former lover and biological father of her oldest child.; Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, an aspiring musician with a bad-boy streak. He and Scarlett are in a relationship when the series begins, but soon separate; Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, a kind-hearted aspiring musician who dates Scarlett in season one, and dates Zoey in season two; Robert Wisdom as Coleman Carlisle, a one-time mayoral candidate, and later Deputy Mayor, close friend of Rayna, and serves as Deacon's sobriety sponsor; and Powers Boothe as Lamar Wyatt, Rayna's father and a wealthy, powerful and controlling patriarch and local politician who disapproves of his daughter's career as a country singer.
Powers Boothe and Robert Wisdom were reduced to recurring status, in the second season for creative reasons. After recurring basic in season one, three actors were promoted to the regular cast in the second season: Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, a rising country star struggling with the realization that he might be gay, as well as Scarlett and Gunnar's new neighbor; Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad, Rayna's older daughter, legal daughter to Teddy, and biological daughter to Deacon; and Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad, Rayna and Teddy's younger daughter. For the third season, two actors were upped to regulars: Will Chase as Luke Wheeler, the biggest male country artist and a love interest for Rayna; and Oliver Hudson as Jeff Fordham, the new label record executive who clashes with Rayna and Juliette, and eventually has sex with Juliette, thus making her cheat on Avery. For season four, Hudson was downgraded to recurring status and then killed off while Aubrey Peeples, introduced in season two as reality competition second-place winner (and later Will's wife) Layla Grant, was promoted to regular.
In addition to main cast, several actors appearing in Nashville in a supporting roles. The most notable are Judith Hoag as Tandy Hampton, Rayna's sister, the daughter and protégé of Lamar Wyatt, who plays referee to Rayna and Lamar; Sylvia Jefferies as Jolene Barnes (season 1 & 3), Juliette's overprotective and overbearing mother; a drug addict who later commits a murder-suicide; Chaley Rose as Zoey Dalton (seasons 2 & 3), Scarlett's childhood best friend who moves to Nashville, and starts dating Gunnar; Aubrey Peeples as Layla Grant (seasons 2–4), a runner-up in a singing competition and a new singer in Nashville who is a new rival for Juliette. She gets dropped from the label, after her single tanks, though she strikes up a romance with Will, and they eventually get engaged. She is a participant in a reality show featuring her and Will, and their impending nuptials; Laura Benanti as Sadie Stone (season 3), a country star who is a friend of Rayna's; Brette Taylor as Pam (seasons 3 & 4), as Luke's new backup singer; Derek Hough as Noah West (seasons 3 & 4), an actor who lands a role about a famous country singer; Kimberly Williams-Paisley as Margaret "Peggy" Kenter (seasons 1 & 2), Teddy's former co-worker at the credit union who helped him hide his embezzlement. They begin dating after Teddy and Rayna separate and marry after she lies to Teddy that she is pregnant. She is shot and killed while someone was attempting to kill Teddy; Michiel Huisman as Liam McGuinnis (seasons 1 & 2), Rayna's new music producer, who also has a brief fling with Rayna and Scarlett; Jay Hernandez as Dante Rivas (season 1), Jolene's sober companion and Juliette's lover, who, after attempting to blackmail Juliette, is killed by Jolene in a murder-suicide; Charlie Bewley as Charles Wentworth (season 2), a married confident business man, who owns many radio stations across the country, and has an affair with Juliette; Alexa PenaVega as Kiley (seasons 3 & 4), Gunnar's first love who is now a struggling single mother; Dana Wheeler-Nicholson as Beverly O'Connor (seasons 2–4), Scarlett's abusive mother who has a strained relationship with her brother, Deacon; Christina Chang as Megan Vannoy (season 2), Deacon's lawyer at the beginning of season two; Deacon and Megan were in a romantic relationship in season two until Deacon found out that she cheated on him with Teddy.
Also appearing in many episodes are several background characters, including Ed Amatrudo as Glenn Goodman (seasons 1–present), Juliette Barnes's protective manager and father-figure, often tasked with cleaning up the messes that Juliette leaves behind; David Alford as Bucky Dawes (seasons 1–present), Rayna's long-time seasoned and caring manager; Todd Truly as Marshall Evans (season 1; 11 episodes), former president and CEO of Edgehill Republic Records. In the beginning of season two he gets fired by the board of Edgehill Records and is replaced by Jeff Fordham; Kourtney Hansen as Emily (seasons 1–present), Juliette's assistant; J. Karen Thomas as Audrey Carlisle (season 1), Coleman's wife; and Derek Krantz as Brent McKinney (season 2), an openly gay marketing and public relations employee who works for Jeff's record company who once dated Will; Kyle Dean Massey as Kevin Bicks (season 3-present), an openly gay country music singer-songwriter. For the fifth season, folk-Americana singer Rhiannon Giddens and indie-pop singer Bridgit Mendler will join the cast as Hallie Jordan and Ashley Wilkenson.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||Premiered||Ended||TV season||Rank||Viewers
|18–49 rating||Date||Finale viewers
9:00 pm 
|Rotten Tomatoes||Rotten Tomatoes: Audience Score||Metacritic|
|1||92% (48 reviews)||88% (97 reviews)||85 (32 reviews)|
|2||100% (5 reviews)||82% (92 reviews)||N/A|
|3||100% (5 reviews)||91% (83 reviews)||N/A|
|4||86% (7 reviews)||96% (41 reviews)||N/A|
|5||86% (6 reviews)||50% (23 reviews)||84 (4 reviews)|
Nashville has received generally positive reviews. Metacritic gave the show a rating of 84 out of 100 or "universal acclaim" based on 32 reviews. As of October 2014, season one has a rating of 92% based on 48 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes while season two has a rating of 100% based on five reviews. Season three has a 100% based on five reviews.
Awards and nominations
In June 2012, Nashville was one of five honorees in the Most Exciting New Series category at the Critics' Choice Television Awards, voted by journalists who had seen the television pilots for the 2012–13 season. The pilot episode received critical acclaim, specifically praising Callie Khouri's writing, casting, and the performances of Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. At the 70th Golden Globe Awards, Britton was nominated for Best Actress and Panettiere was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, while the series was nominated for Favorite New TV Drama at the 39th People's Choice Awards and Best New Series at the 65th Writers Guild of America Awards; Britton was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards. At the 71st Golden Globe Awards, Panettiere received a second nomination for Best Supporting Actress. At the 6th Critics' Choice Television Awards, Panettiere was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and Jonathan Jackson was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Cancellation and move to CMT
On May 12, 2016 ABC cancelled the country music drama after a season of flagging ratings. The cancellation came as a surprise due to the fact that the network had named new show runners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick prior to the cancellation, and previous Network President Paul Lee had stated that "Nashville has a lot more story to tell" during the TCA winter press tour. Amidst the cancellation, Lionsgate TV was so confident in its efforts to find a new home for Nashville that the studio opted to forgo the happily-ever-after alternative series ending it had planned in order to give closure to fans, and go instead with a cliffhanger ending in the season 4 finale. Fans began to doubt the efforts of Lionsgate when actress and executive producer Connie Britton began to embark on what seemed to be a swan song of night time talk shows.
Over 174,000 signatures were received on a #BringBackNashville petition. The night of the season finale Lionsgate tweeted "#Nashies What a cliffhanger! But we won’t leave you hanging. There's more story to be told. #BringBackNashville." The producing partner had already been fielding offers from four or five networks. As the negotiations began to draw to a close, it was rumored that the announcement would be made during the high-profile CMT Music Awards. When no announcement was made, fans began to doubt the show's return. On June 10, 2016, CMT released a press statement stating that a deal had been made with CMT and Hulu. CMT would air a full season of 22 episodes, and Hulu would make them available the next day as well as carry the entirety of the shows backlog. The pick-up was assisted by $11 million in economic incentives: $8.5 million comes via the State of Tennessee Film Office, $1 million from the City of Nashville, $1 million from the Nashville Convention & Visitor Corp, and $500,000 from Ryman Hospitality. It was announced on June 29, 2016 that all cast members with the exception of Will Chase and Aubrey Peeples would return for season 5.
On January 4, 2017, CMT announced that there would be a Nashville aftershow entitled NashChat. Nashchat will air live across social media platforms immediately following every new episode. It will be interactive with the fans, and will feature a cast member appearing each week. The host of "Nashchat" is co-host of the morning radio show 'The Bobby Bones Show", Amy "Brown".
Hulu acquired the streaming rights to all seasons of the show for the United States for its subscription tiers. Later, AXS TV secured a deal for off-network cable rights for the series and currently airs repeats. During the transition from ABC to CMT Hulu acquired the exclusive streaming rights to Nashville's catalogue this was a part of a $30 million deal between Hulu and CMT. Episodes are also being aired after they first air on CMT on TVLand, and Nick at Nite. Reruns have also started to air on VH1 and MTV.
|Season||Episodes||DVD release date|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||21||September 17, 2013||July 15, 2013||April 23, 2014|
|2||22||September 23, 2014||July 7, 2014||April 15, 2015|
|3||22||September 1, 2015||October 12, 2015||December 9, 2015|
|4||21||February 21, 2017||TBD||November 30, 2016|
- "Happy Holidays, #Nashies! 🎁 As our gift to you, we're airing the first hour of the two-hour #NashvilleCMT premiere on December 15.". December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
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- Roots, Kimberly (June 22, 2016). "Nashville Shakeup: Two Series Regulars Exit Ahead of Move to CMT". TVLine.com. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- Gold, Adam. "T Bone Burnett Not Returning to Nashville, Buddy Miller to Take Over as Show's Music Producer". City Press. Retrieved August 13, 2013.
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Some people were making a drama about real musicians' lives, and some were making a soap opera, so there was that confusion. It was a knockdown, bloody, drag-out fight, every episode.
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