It has been quite a tumultuous past few months for the cast and crew of ABC’s “Nashville,” the show that was shockingly canceled by its network back in May, only to be picked up by CMT in June. Not everyone is on board for the move, however, as Will Chase, who plays Rayna Jaymes’ love interest Luke Wheeler, and Aubrey Peeples (who plays Layla Grant), were both let go before the show moved to CMT.
Back in May, Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how they pushed for the cliffhanger ending of Season 4, saying that the ending that ultimately hit the airwaves was the one they were rooting for in the beginning, despite filming a happier ending. He added that they would not have pushed for such a cliffhanger ending if they had known that there was no chance at all for “Nashville” season 5 to hit the airwaves.
“In our estimation, to go with a quickly assembled too-easy wrap-up is more of a disservice to the fans who have invested four years in this great cast and these great stories. And there’s more stories to tell,” Beggs promised. Whatever stories that may be, it seems that production, which is now headed by new showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, is keeping tight-lipped about what is to unfold in “Nashville” season 5.
What’s for sure, however, is that CMT has ordered 22 episodes for “Nashville” season 5, which will see the return of series regulars Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella, and Chris Carmack.
Meanwhile, the cast of “Nashville” season 5 recently made an appearance in the live-streaming web series, “Skyville Live.” In fact, the cast reminded audiences of the strength of their bond through a glorious performance of The Beatles’ classic, “With a Little Help from My Friends,” a seemingly appropriate song following the tumultuous events of the past months. Head over to Rolling Stone to watch the performance.
“Nashville” season 5 is set to make its debut on CMT this fall.
When the fate of the television show Nashville was being decided, Clare Bowen had other events on her mind, like playing a sold out tour in her home country of Australia.
“We didn’t know what the Australian market was like over there we said so let’s just put out like three shows and we’ll see what happens,” Bowen shares with Sounds Like Nashville. “They sold out very quickly which was a bit of a shock. So we put some more shows on.”
The initial reason for the trip isn’t as good news as a sold out tour, though. Bowen took the trip in the first place to visit her brother, Timothy, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
“My brother was diagnosed with cancer around Christmas time. So the initial reason for going back was to give him as much of my bone marrow as I could,” she continues. And not too long after, Timothy was getting better. So much better, he even jumped on stage with his sister. “Timothy was actually well enough to open for us and he did so great.”
While on her sold out trek, the 32-year-old singer/actress took a trip down memory lane. She stopped at an old bar where she served drinks, waiting for her big break. But this time around, she was on the other side of that bar top.
“I actually got to play in one of the places where I used to work behind the bar,” the singer and actress admits. “I have the deepest and utmost respect for everybody in hospitality and service jobs. While I was playing, I was like ‘I cleaned up wet feathers right there after the Bacardi festival. It was really wonderful.”
Bowen is currently in the studio working on her upcoming debut album. During a stream of the online-series Skyville Live, she shared one of the songs that will be featured on the project, titled “I’m Still Here.” The humbling track was written about her ill brother and is an anthem of hope for those who need it most.
New Material From Esten and Bowen on the Way
Wednesday’s (July 13) Skyville Live salute to Music City featured dynamic performances by Chris Carmack, Mark Collie, Lennon & Maisy, J.D. Souther and Pam Tillis plus new music announcements from Clare Bowen and Charles Esten.
Backed by an all-star band that included Canadian bluesman Colin Linden, each act onstage entertained with two songs and shared special music memories that will forever tie them to Music City, U.S.A.
Esten and Collie kicked off the night with their duet “Spin the Wheel.” Then Esten delivered the live performance premiere of his new single “Through the Blue,” a song he wrote with Kendell Marvel and Tim James as a reminder that life’s dark times never hang around long. Starting Friday (July 15) with “Through the Blue,” Esten revealed he will release a new single every Friday via iTunes in a new initiative called #EverySingleFriday. The new songs are from a catalog of material he’s written since joining Nashville four seasons ago.
Next, Bowen revealed she’s been splitting time between the road and the studio and has a full length album in the works. Going barefoot and dressed like an angel in a white tea length dress, she performed her love song “I’m Still Here,” which was inspired by her fiancé Brandon Young. Bowen co-wrote the song with John Paul White, who co-wrote one of Nashville’s earlier hits “If I Didn’t Know Better.”
Souther dedicated his portion of the show to Linda Ronstadt with “Faithless Love” and the late Glenn Frey with the Eagles classic “Heartache Tonight.” Ronstadt originally recorded “Faithless Love” for her 1974 album Heart Like a Wheel (Glen Campbell also recorded a version for his 1984 album Letter to Home).
Souther’s story behind writing “Heartache Tonight,” made those watching at home wish they were at the show. At the time Souther and Frey started the classic rock anthem, they were walking around Souther’s pool while on a break from writing another song. Souther had the melody and Frey started clapping. Then Don Henley joined in and then Frey got Bob Seger on the phone to finish the song. And, voilà, a co-write between four rock legends was born.
Looking a little taller and even more beautiful, Lennon & Maisy entertained with a two-song set that included their airy Charli XCX cover, “Boom Clap” and their version of “Lean On” by Major Lazer and DJ Snake featuring MØ.
Then Carmack took the stage with the lead single from his Pieces of You EP, “Being Alone,” and proceeded to blow the roof off the place with a naughty blues number called “Sweet Little Angel.”
Tillis introduced the band and sang a powerful version of “Maybe It Was Memphis.”
Collie rocked the stage with Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and shared details on an upcoming documentary about his time bringing live music to inmates as an essential part of their rehabilitation. Before leaving the stage, Collie shared a powerful message in light of the recent tragedies in Dallas and Orlando, Florida.
“Love your neighbor,” he told the crowd. “Hug your brothers and sisters. And thank a cop for keeping you safe.”
An inspirational performance of “On the Day I Die” closed his portion of the show. Then Souther returned to the stage to sing “I’ll Be Here at Closing Time,” a song he wrote about an attractive waitress with an alluring walk he noticed once while writing music at a restaurant.
The night wrapped with the entire lineup singing the Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help from My Friends.”
I’ve added some lovely new HQ photos of Clare from her performance yesterday and the promotional images she did for it. She looked amazing and sparkly as always! Big thanks to my friends AliKat and Samantha for these lovely photos.
I’ve added screencaps of Clare from the Skyville Live Stream Nashville Concert Clare did last night with a big portion of the Nashville cast and other special guests. It was a great show. Clare performed a song called I’m Still Here that will be on her album for the first time. What a treat!
They’re Back! Skyville Hosts the Stars of Nashville
We’re livestreaming the concert tonight at 8/7C.
Rated Red’s Paxton Elrod sits down with the stars of Nashville—including Charles Esten, Clare Bowen and Chris Carmack—to talk about tonight’s special reunion at Skyville Live. “The Magic of Music City” should tide you over until the hit show’s fifth season debuts on CMT.
Two stars of the recently renewed ABC show “Nashville” will make a stop at the American Music Theatre in October.
Charles Esten, known for his role as Deacon Claybourne, and Clare Bowen, who plays Scarlett O’Connor, will perform at American Music Theatre 8 p.m. Oct. 15.
Tickets go on sale to the public 10 a.m. July 9. The members-only presale is July 5. All tickets are $59.
Clare Bowen has had a busy year; she’s just finished a UK tour with some of her Nashville co-stars, she got engaged to musician Brandon Robert Young, she found out the TV show she worked on was cancelled (and then saved!), cut her hair mega short (for a good reason) and she’s experienced heartache in her personal life after her brother was diagnosed with cancer.
We chatted to Clare after her London gig and talked Nashville, songwriting, wedding dresses and her dream country star cameo.
When Nashville was cancelled by ABC, how did you find out?
It was interesting, we were actually in a studio and Brandon [Clare’s fiancé] was putting in a vocal while my phone started blowing up. I just scrolled down to Twitter and that’s how I found out. Then he came out of the studio and was like ‘How you doing baby?’ and I just said ‘the show got cancelled’. We actually found out via social media and that was my birthday so that was pretty funny. Everyone was like ‘oh that’s horrible’ but you can’t take those things personally. I mean ABC gave us four years of a show that, without the Opry we would not be here and It would not be what it was. It’s all completely original music written into storylines and not just spontaneously bursting into song like musical theatre and Glee. It’s all about the music industry and the life that goes on backstage.
Were you happy when the show got picked up by another network?
I had a gut feeling about it… I was like ‘I don’t know how we’re coming back but I know we’re coming back’. The show has such a following that I suspect there will be a Nashville riot.
Do you think all of the cast members will return to the show?
I don’t know, someone put me on the spot the other day and asked if I was coming back and I said ‘well if the integrity of Nashville as a city has been preserved with the upmost care then I’m in’ and thankfully we have people like Steve Buchanan of the Opry and Buddy Miller… We have all these wonderful people who we couldn’t do without. I think everyone will be in with a pleasant surprise. It’ll be a whole new writing team.
What would you like to see happen to your character?
“She’s gone from this little quiet introverted creature – she’s still introverted – she’s learnt to cope better though. There are little 12-year-old girls who run up to me in the mall and say ‘we love Scarlet!’ … she’s the character I’ve played who is the closest to me and I’ve played characters who have killed everyone off… but we look pretty much the same. One of her growing points is that she doesn’t let men treat her as doormat anymore. It’s nice to be able to look those little 12-year-old girls in the eye and say, ‘don’t settle for less’.
When you’re on stage, are you Scarlet or Clare?
When I walk on stage I’m always Clare. I was lucky enough to get to write Scarlet’s back story in the beginning. For the tour I got to collaborate with a Nashville based bridal designer called Olia Zavozina. She and I together designed my entire line. I used to work in the wedding industry, I designed dresses for a living… I’ve had every funny job under the sun, from puppeteering to mustering cattle!
So will you design your own wedding dress when you marry Brandon?
“Yes, definitely and Olia will make it with me”
Your little brother, who lives back home in Australia, has been diagnosed with stage four lymphoma, does music help you get through the tough times dealing with that?
I feel like music is really the universal language, even if you don’t understand the words to something there are melodies that make you feel a certain way. I have always been an advocate for kindness…. It’s interesting today with social media, people will say things and there’s no accountability. So it’s nice with music to say something as an actual human being… just being able to be out there and be real with people and tell stories that are real. Probably the most important thing is to be able to make people feel welcome and let them know that they’re not alone.
You made headlines last year when you cut your long hair to show a poorly little girl that she could still be a princess with short hair. Did the public support blow you away?
It was not a decision that I made lightly. It took a year for the network to say yes, because they had to write it in. But the support of my family and Brandon and my team in Nashville who said go ahead and do it was amazing. I’d wanted to do it for a while. The thing that was the inspiration in the end was this video of a little girl who’s Dad called her a princess and she said ‘No Daddy, I’m not a princess, I’m not pretty and I don’t have long hair.’ I thought this kid is like four years old, where the hell did she get this from? How does a four-year-old child decide that she’s not enough. So I thought if any time is good it’s now.
So I had two of my best friends hack it off with a pair of childrens scissors and my friend Luke O’Connor in LA did the rest of the cut for me. It was lovely, I was overwhelmed by the response. But the best part was on social media, for a while I didn’t know what to say… the best thing for me was that they were directing love and gratitude… sharing photos of their own struggles. Then the kindness of the fans who had also been through this kind of stuff. All these people bonded together and showed compassion to each other. That was the best part for me.
Lastly, is there anyone you would love to perform with on Nashville?
Dolly Parton! She’s so lovely, I met her recently and I was just really inspired by the way she treats people. When she does her meet and greets she makes you feel like you are the only person that she wants to be talking to in the whole world. She’s just so full of love. You can’t really pick on Dolly!
The Nashville Is Back Auction will feature screen used prop and wardrobe items from the series.
“Nashville” stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O’Connor, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Will Chase as Luke Wheeler, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad, Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad and Aubrey Peeples as Layla Grant. Dee Johnson (“Boss,” “The Good Wife”), “The War Room,” “A Perfect Candidate”), Callie Khouri (“Thelma & Louise”) and Steve Buchanan are executive producers of “”Nashville”.” The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment.
Thanks to Nashville fans who started a #BringBackNashville campaign after ABC canceled the show, CMT stepped in to save the beloved country music series and give fans a fifth season. Now, the show is saying thank you by auctioning off memorabilia from the first four seasons.
The “moving sale” begins on June 21 and will feature 270 items from the show. The weekly auctions will take place on nashvilletvauctions.com, where each item will be offered for seven days through July 26. The items will vary from props to costumes, including one of Rayna’s rejected wedding dress options.
I’ve added a bunch of missing photos to the gallery from Clare’s recent events and from her Australian tour last month. Enjoy!
• 2016 Pandora Country Event
• Live Performance: 06/07/16 – Pandora Country Event (Stills)
• Live Performance: 06/10/16 – CMA Festival Day 2 (Stills)
• Live Performance: 05/28/16 – Clare Bowen Oz Tour: Sydney (Stills) – Thanks to Mouza
• Live Performance: 05/26/16 – Clare Bowen Oz Tour: Sydney (Stills)
• 2016 – 06/07: Pandora Country Event – Clare Interviews Stars: Caps