“Nashville,” the country music soap that launched with enormous promise on ABC four years ago before being canceled last month, has received a new life. It was picked up Friday by cable channel CMT for a fifth season.
Details, including casting and launch date, were not announced.
“CMT heard the fans. The wave of love and appreciation they have unleashed for ‘Nashville’ has been overwhelming,” said Brian Philips, president of CMT (formerly known as Country Music Television), in a statement. “ ‘Nashville’ is a perfect addition to our evolving lineup of big music specials, documentaries and original series. We see our fans and ourselves in this show and we will treasure it like no other network. ‘Nashville’ belongs on CMT.”
It also belongs on Hulu, which announced that the series will continue to stream the day after the original airing on CMT. That represents a hugely important part of this complicated puzzle, because most “Nashville” fans presumably watch the series on Hulu or ABC.com.
The fourth season ended with a cliffhanger — puzzling to fans who had just learned that ABC had canceled the show. (The airplane of Juliette — Hayden Panettiere — was in trouble.) Nevertheless, producer Lionsgate was perhaps playing a bit of brinksmanship too: If enough fans were unhappy about the nonclosure, then maybe that would send a signal to another network that a deep measure of passion remained. It did. Lionsgate was already pitching the series to others, and CMT was considered an obvious call.
Among cast members, only Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne) is considered a sure bet to return. Neither ABC nor Lionsgate would comment on whether Connie Britton (Rayna Jaymes) or Panettiere would.
Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (creators of “thirtysomething”) will produce the new season.