Spoilers if you're weeks behind on Nashville.
The February 23 episode of Nashville ended on one hell of a gut punch, as longtime fans watched series lead Rayna (Connie Britton) die from injuries sustained in a car accident. That leaves the show with a massive gap to fill when it comes back later this year, and Nashville has already taken steps to escape a post-Rayna world. Harts of Dixie vet Rachel Bilson will be joining the musical drama but she won't be alone, as former Empire star Kaitlin Doubleday will also be packing her suitcase and flying down to Nashville.
Rachel Bilson and Kaitlin Doubleday will be trying to help fans ease out of their Rayna-induced depression, and though TVLine reports the two actresses will be joining the show once it returns later this year, the return date has not yet been disclosed. The details behind these two new characters are being kept under wraps for the time being, but clues were shared on social media. Bilson posted the following to her Instagram account, implying her character will be working at a particular studio in some capacity.
Bilson will be heading from one southern-based show to the next. The actress was most recently the lead on Hart of Dixie, a fish-out-of-water CW drama in which she played a New York doctor forced to relocate to Alabama. She's also prominently known for her role on The O.C. as Summer Roberts. Some of her other work includes guest spots on shows like How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, That 70's Show and ,most recently, Drunk History.
Kaitlin Doubleday is no stranger to musical-ish shows, but could she be doing some live performances of her own? The actress took to her own Instagram with a post showing a picture of the famed venue The Bluebird Cafe, saying it would be a "change of pace." That could be the title of her first single!
Doubleday is coming in hot after her run on FOX's Empire. Much like with Rayna, her character, Rhonda Lyon, was also killed off in a car-related incident. (She fell off a roof ONTO the car, but the car still played pretty heavily into it). Empire was Doubleday's most high-profile role on TV, but she's also starred in several movies, such as Waiting, Accepted, and Catch Me If You Can.
Hopefully, the inclusion of these two new characters will help Nashville move forward. After being canceled by ABC and picked up by CMT for the fifth season, the show has become the network's highest-rated original series, but who knows how that will be impacted after the death of a main character going into a hiatus? The death of Rayna is definitely a bump in the road, but viewers can see how it all turns out when Nashville returns later this year. In the meantime, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what's coming.