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.”
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.
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.
“Nashville” will return for a fifth season that will be broadcast on CMT and streamed on Hulu thanks to a unique deal that was reached on Thursday after weeks of negotiations, according to sources familiar with the talks.
The show was canceled by ABC after a four-season run, but fans of the show banded together and launched a social media campaign to save the country music-focused drama. Lionsgate began pitching the show to other networks and ultimately found a home on the Nashville-based CMT.
Crucial to the deal is the incentive package that will see the state, Metro, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. and Ryman Hospitality chip in funds to offset the cost of the show’s production. The state put $8 million in its budget and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has proposed a $1.375 million fund for film incentives, though the final amount for “Nashville” has not been announced.
The state and Metro have justified incentives for “Nashville” by arguing the show brings tourists to the city and pumps millions of dollars into the local economy, in addition to bringing production jobs.
The entire cast is expected to return for the show, which will be under the direction of a new creative team.
“Nashville” was conceived by Ryman Hospitality and developed by Lionsgate. The show’s ratings were inconsistent in its fourth season, but a loyal fan base has remained. And “Nashville” has additional revenue streams than the typical television show because of its music licensing component.
In fact the show’s stars have been on a tour in recent weeks. Some observers have said that no scripted show has licensed more original music than “Nashville.”
The show has also taken local film production to another level, providing steady employment for hundreds of workers behind the scenes. The local payroll was in the neighborhood of $21.2 million for season two, according to the most recent numbers released by the show’s representatives.
Season 1: $14.4 million
Season 2: $13.25 million
Season 3: $8 million
Season 4: $10 million
New hope for Nashville.
Cable network CMT is near a deal with the former ABC drama’s producers — Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment have — to continue to series into a fifth season. There is also a Hulu component to the deal as well, we’re told.
The move means that fans who agonized over last week’s unexpected season 4 cliffhanger would get some resolution. In the finale, Juliette Barnes’ (Hayden Panettiere) plane went missing while her child’s father (Jonathan Jackson) waited for her return.
Though it’s not uncommon for canceled broadcast shows to hunt for another buyer, it’s actually pretty rare that one actually pulls off switch — especially among dramas. In recent years, comedies like Fox’s The Mindy Project (Hulu) and NBC’s Community (Yahoo) have managed to find post-broadcast homes among streaming companies. Going from a major to basic cable is trickier as budgets for cable networks tend to be rather lower than broadcast and it can be difficult to make the math work for all parties involved.
Fans have beat the drum for the show’s survival, organizing a virtual viewing party of the Nashville pilot last week under the hashtag #NashRewind. Star Charles “Chip”
With the potential pickup, all bubble shows from last season would either been axed or saved — with CBS’ fellow limbo drama Limitless having run out of options last week.
Country music drama Nashville tonight wrapped its four-season run on ABC with a finale that ended with a cliffhanger. It was an intentional move by the show’s creator Callie Khouri and lead studio Lionsgate TV as I hear that an alternative, series finale ending, also had been filmed. That is because the studio is optimistic that it would find another home for the show.
Neither Oscar winner Khouri not Lionsgate are ready to close the book on Nashville, they told Deadline exclusively.
“Nashville fans are the absolute best, and support for the #BringBackNashville campaign has been amazing,” Khouri said. “We are so grateful for our extremely loyal following. We have stories left to tell and songs left to sing.”
The #BringBackNashville social media campaign has been growing, with a change.org petition garnering more than 100,000 signatures to date. In a tweet at the conclusion of tonight’s finale, Lionsgate TV assured fans that there will be more Nashville.
The studio already has Season 5 mapped out, as it had funded a writers room led by new showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, who were to succeed departing original showrunner Dee Johnson.
“Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment couldn’t have asked for better partners on Nashville than ABC, as together we created a drama that has captivated viewers worldwide and turned #Nashies into a potent group of superfans,” Lionsgate Television Chairman Kevin Beggs told Deadline. “We want to thank creator Callie Khouri and showrunner Dee Johnson for their inspiration and guidance through tonight’s exciting season finale, and know that more of the Nashville story is waiting to be told.”
It’s a movement. No, not a reference to the current presidential campaigns, but it is a campaign to #BringBackNashville.
Nashville producer Lionsgate TV, which has been shopping the show to other networks since ABC cancelled the series last week, says response by fans (aka “Nashies”) to bring the show back has been overwhelming. The hashtag has been trending since the penultimate episode aired last night. Nashville cast members Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen and even the show’s creator Callie Khouri have joined in.
The social media buzz also has been great for Lionsgate’s twitter feed. The studio says it has
added more than 1,500 followers since announcing it was shopping the show. We hear Lionsgate is actively having conversations with interested networks, so stay tuned.
Before she became Scarlett O’Connor in TV show Nashville, Aussie actress Clare Bowen had a decidely unglamorous job.
While working in Sydney’s Metro Theatre, Bowen, who now stars in the hit TV show, came close to giving up on her acting and singing dreams completely. “I’d been working four service jobs and auditioning during the day and I was so tired and worn down, and just heartbroken at everything,” she told AAP.
Bowen contemplated packing it all in to go work with horses in the countryside, but her brother, Tim, wasn’t so supportive of her plan to give up. Realising his sister was losing sight of her goals, he took action. On the back of a sandwich wrapper, he wrote a list of all the things she had hoped to achieve. Bowen framed the list and was pleasantly surprised when she looked at it recently.
“I have ticked off everything on that list except for writing a childrens’ book, so I’m eternally grateful to him for kicking my arse back into gear and making me believe in myself, and that’s how I got to Nashville,” she said.
Into the fourth season of the hit TV show, Bowen enjoys success as both an actress and a singer in the series. She’s just wrapped a north American tour with the show’s cast and will be coming back home to Australia for her first ever headline tour later this month.
The homecoming seems particularly poignant as Tim, who has written music used in the show, was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma. Bowen remains positive and has offered her help in an incredibly self-sacrificing way. “He’s on his last round of chemo and I’m going back there soon so they can run all my bloods to make sure that I’m a good match for stem cells and whatever they need,” she said. “I said I’d give him whatever they need if I can. I can’t wait to get back there and help him heal.”
The actress admits it can be hard being so far from home during a time like this but she’s been fully integrated into the Nashville community, that’s thriving thanks to the show’s popularity. Tourism has never been higher in the Tennessee capital. The shy actress has embraced it, moving from her farm on the outskirts of town to a recently purchased loft apartment in the heart of the city with her musician fiance, Brandon Robert Young.
“It’s really nice to be a part of something that has done a lot of good. Nashvillians are constantly telling us that the show has done a really good thing for the city so that’s the most important part, I couldn’t be a part of something that isn’t positive in that way,” she said. There’s a sense that for Bowen, being settled somewhere is particularly important.
At four-years-old, she was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer, end stage nephroblastoma, and had to undergo experimental treatment as her only hope of survival.
“I did some of my growing up in the city but it was highly unconventional mostly being in hospital,” she said. It was her own childhood experiences that prompted her to cut off her beautiful long blonde locks last year, surprising her fans when she revealed her new pixie haircut.
The move was Bowen’s attempt to shift the emphasis away from outer beauty and towards inner strength, something this actress has in spades. “You can be pretty, you can be Aphrodite, but if you’re mean on the inside then it doesn’t count for anything,” she said.
Clare Bowen Austrlaian tour dates:
May 24 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
May 25 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne SOLD OUT
May 26 – May Oxford Art Factory, Sydney SOLD OUT
May 27 – Anita’s Theatre, Thirroul SOLD OUT
May 28 – Metro Theatre, Sydney
May 30 – The Triffid, Brisbane SOLD OUT
May 31 – The Triffid, Brisbane