If ABC’s country music drama Nashville had become appointment viewing for you, we’ve got some bad news. The show has been cancelled and will not be coming back for Season 5.
News of the drama’s cancellation comes to us via Deadline, and has come as a bit of a shock to many in the industry. The show, currently wrapping up Season 4, had been expected to return for a fifth season. New showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, veterans of such shows as Thirtysomething, My So-Called Life and Once and Again, were already working with writers of the show on new storylines for the next season. Lionsgate TV, which produced the series along with ABC Studios, is expected to shop the show around to other networks in the hope that it will still be picked up.
Nashville followed the lives of several, fictitious, country music singers in the famous country music town in Tennessee. The show focused on legendary singer Rayna James (Connie Britton) as she adjusts to her fading fame and competition with a young superstar, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). In the course of the series, the show followed friends, foes and family members of the two leading characters, and offered up some awesome nighttime soap opera melodrama. Nashville has seen shocking accidental deaths, near career-ending car crashes, teen traumas, affairs, love children, divorces, prison sentences and a host of drug and alcohol related screw-ups, and that’s not even the half of it. The show was popular enough for music stars such as Wyclef Jean and Christina Aguilera to play characters on the show, while several actual country stars appeared in small parts as themselves.
The series, which was created by Academy Award winner Callie Khouri, premiered in 2012 to almost 9 million viewers, but the show had slowly been losing its audience over the past four seasons, with the Season 4 debut only gaining 4.9 million viewers. But, the show was still thought to be a major deal for the network as a full brand for ABC. Nashville has spawned high-selling soundtrack albums, TV music specials, and tours, with the last three episodes of this season already being set up for a VR digital extension.
While audiences were sucked in by the many plot twists, critics applauded the writing, casting and leading performances of Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. Both actresses have received award nominations for their work on the show, and over four seasons Nashville has racked up 30 nominations, winning two awards.
Well, Nashville thrived on insane heights of drama in its storytelling and a constantly evolving cast, and it was a lot of fun while it lasted. If the show doesn’t gain a reprieve from another network, you can’t say that it didn’t give the audience quite a ride while it could.