When ABC canceled Nashville, CMT jumped in as a savior to the series, and has been the home for the show ever since. In that time following, the show has gone through some pretty big changes with Connie Britton exiting the show, and Rachel Bilson joining the cast to fill the void she left. Now, it looks like the curtain is finally closing on the series, as CMT announced today Nashville would be ending after Season 6.
Fortunately, the Nashville team seems ok with getting the boot this time around. Per TVLine, executive producer Marshall Herskovitz thanked fans for their support that led to CMT taking interest in the drama in the first place, and said that this final Season 6 will be a compilation of all the things that made the show great to them from the beginning:
...We want to return the favor with a final season that celebrates all the joys and passions, twists and turns --- and amazing music! --- that made Nashville such an exciting journey for the last six years.
When we first reported Nashville would be returning for Season 6 months ago, it was said that the series would return for 16 episodes at some point in the 2018 season. That's shorter than the usual 21-22 episode count and, at the time, was thought to be a consequence of a reduced budget in the series. Given the series' renewal came still fairly early in Season 5, it was assumed that CMT was eager to bring the show back for another season. Now that we know Season 6 will be the final season, one has to wonder if that was always the plan, or if something changed. Regardless, Season 6 now has an official airdate of Thursday, January 4th, so fans better get ready to say their goodbyes here in the near future.
Fans of Rachel Bilson's Alyssa Green already missed their chance to say goodbye, as it's also being reported Bilson will not return for the show's final season. While it was always known that Bilson's contract on Nashville was only for one season, the actress recently accepted a leading role in a new ABC series that officially pulled her away from the show. No other departures have been announced ahead of Season 6, so it appears that everyone fans expect to be back will be around for the final season.
As mentioned earlier, Nashville will return for its final Season 6 on January 4th on CMT. The series will survive just long enough to miss out on our 2017 cancellation list, but it appears as though it'll be one of the first entries for 2018. For less on cancelled shows, and more on what shows to watch throughout the rest of 2017, be sure to visit our fall premiere guide for dates and times for the hottest remaining shows of the year. For a look ahead at what's coming to television in the new year, head on over to our midseason premiere guide.