After getting canceled by ABC, Nashville was saved and given second life by CMT. Now the musical drama will air its fifth season with an big change that will not only be reflected in the general atmosphere, but in the characters as well. Fans may agree that one character in need of some sprucing up is Will Lexington. Will's storylines revolve prominently around his sexuality, giving attention to little else in his life. One producer of Nashville is promising that Will will get the same treatment as all the other characters, and that he is more than just a gay man.
We're very sensitive to the fact that Will is a human being first, a musician second. He's not defined by his sexuality, just like no one else is defined by their sexuality.
Nashville Marshall Herskovitz executive producer told TVLine that making Will Lexington a more fully realized character is a top priority in the fifth season of the musical drama. Herskotiz teased that Will has a "great storyline" in Season 5, but understandably kept details to a minimum. Based on his comments, we can at least infer that any upcoming arcs for Will won't have to do too much with romance.
Longtime fans of Nashville will be deeply familiar with the story of Will. Played by Chris Carmack, Will Lexington is, like most characters on the show, a country musician. But he's also a gay man, which seems to be what most of his storylines focus on. In early seasons, he was in the closet and in a sham marriage, running around with various guys before finally coming out to his friends. He's had various romances, most notably falling in love with a songwriter. Will eventually came out to the world in a press conference, and then had to fight to find a label willing to represent an openly gay country singer.
Obviously, there's nothing wrong with having storylines focused on sexuality, but the problem in this case is that those are the ONLY storylines Will has. Most of everything he does is related to his sexuality, and it seems to be something the producers have taken notice of as well. While it makes sense to have his identity be a focus -- especially for a man coming out of the closet -- it doesn't necessarily make for a three-dimensional character when that's the only thing the character gets to do. Season 5 will help to give Will some of that extra depth.
Nashville will return for Season 5 on Thursday, January 5, 2017, at 9 p.m. EST on CMT. To learn about when more of your favorite shows are returning to the air, make sure to check out CinemaBlend's midseason TV premiere schedule.