While recent years have seen a slight trend of shows going from cancelled on one network to renewed on another, it's still not a common occurrence in the least, and most TV series that get the ax do not get put back together again. But by the grace of a steel guitar and a lit-up jukebox, Nashville has become one of those rare shows that gets a second chance to return to its adoring audience, as CMT has officially ordered up Season 5, with a Hulu deal that should appease those who can't watch live.
Thankfully, Nashville fans no longer have to sit in wait, dreading a future where Juliette's fate is forever up in the air (until the showrunner makes up a resolution). CMT has been rumored to be behind a pitch to take over the show for at least one more season, and we can start cheering now that the network has made it official. There's no better place for Nashville on TV than a network that was built by country music. I mean, if The Nashville Network was still around, that would have obviously been a safer bet, but this isn't a show where time travel gets used.
After ABC cut the power on Nashville's amps, everyone behind the show sought out a new home for it, which was part of the reason why the cliffhanger ending was used in the first place. Hulu seemed like a good spot, since it had a deal with ABC for the earlier seasons, but that didn't happen. They're a part of this new deal, though, as the streaming service will have each Season 5 episode up the day after it airs.
The announcement is admittedly a bare bones one, which is a good sign that there will be a lot of haggling happening behind the scenes. While CMT is a perfect home for Nashville from a thematic point of view, the channel obviously doesn't have the kind of funding that ABC does, so Season 5 will undoubtedly see some major cuts across the board. So It's unlikely we'll get to see the same number of episodes that broadcast series usually get.
It probably also means fewer characters and possibly smaller plotlines for those that stick around. And we obviously have no idea if the show will explain away the absence of certain people, or if we'll all just have to adjust to the new version without any expository title cards before the season premiere. Maybe CMT will release a set of videos where characters from the show sing the stories about those exiting. Work it.
Sadly, the lack of information about Season 5 of Nashville also extends to a window when we might see the show debut on CMT. It could be early 2017. It could be late 2017 or even 2018. Nobody wants to consider that option, though.