“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
The song isn’t necessarily over for Nashville.
ABC may have axed the series after four seasons on Thursday, but studio Lionsgate is actively seeking a new distributor for the musical drama.
“We’re looking for a new home. We never give up on a great show,” wrote Lionsgate television group chairman Kevin Beggs in an email to employees.
While it seems unlikely another major broadcaster such as NBC or CBS would rescue the series, which starred, Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, there are other options circulating. An obvious choice is Hulu, since the streaming service already has the rights to previous seasons of the show, and Lionsgate has a close relationship with the company as it produces other titles on the service like Casual. But another viable option – and on-brand for the country music themed series – is cable network CMT. Outlets such as DirecTV and Epix may also be in the mix.
Don’t turn the mic off just yet.
While Nashville was surprisingly canceled after four seasons by ABC on Thursday, its studio Lionsgate is actively looking for a new home for the country music drama, a source confirms to E! News.
“We’re looking for a new home, we never give up on a great show,” Lionsgate television group chairman Kevin Beggs wrote in an e-mail to employees, suggesting a move to a new network or an online distributor such as Hulu, which has an existing relationship with the studio.
Deadline first reported the news that Lionsgate was shopping Nashville around.
If Nashville were to find a new home, the city of Nashville would be pleased, as the Connie Britton-starrer has boosted the tourism industry since its debut in 2012.
After its cancellation, Nashville mayor Megan Barry tweeted, “The show has been an enormously successful promotional tool for our city, which is why the State of Tennessee and Metro Nashville were prepared to support production for a fifth season to be filmed here.”
Many fans were surprised by ABC’s decision, seeing as how two new showrunners, Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, were brought on for the fifth season.
Also canceled by ABC were The Muppets, Galavant and Agent Carter.
Nashville’s finale airs Wednesday, May 25 on ABC.
I am so freakin pissed.
Sad news for Nashville fans — ABC has canceled the country music drama after four seasons.
There had been positive signs for a Season 5 renewal for Nashville, co-produced by Lionsgate TV and ABC Studios. Lionsgate TV stepped in to hire Emmy-winning writer-producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick as new showrunners. They were already working with writers on breaking stories for next season.
Still, with Castle also on the bubble, coming off a highly rated episode on Monday, it was always a hard decision.
While not a strong ratings performer, the music drama has solid DVR bumps.Nashville also is a brand for ABC, with Nashville-themed TV music specials, soundtracks and tours. Just yesterday, ABC announced a high-profile VR digital extension for the show to go with the last three episodes of the season. Now they will be the music drama’s final installments, with the May 25 closer serving as series finale.
Due to overwhelming demand, the star of hit US television series NASHVILLE and Australian native, Clare Bowen has added second and final Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane dates to her debut East Coast tour this May.
Clare’s expanded tour will see her take in Melbourne’s Corner Hotel on Tuesday 24th May, along with All Ages shows at Sydney’s Metro Theatre on Saturday 28th May and Brisbane’s The Triffid on Tuesday 31st May.
All previously announced dates have now sold out. Tickets to Clare’s additional shows will go on sale at 12 noon AEST on Friday 22nd April.
Limited VIP Meet & Greet Packages will be available to purchase starting Friday 22nd April, exclusively at www.ClareBowenOfficial.com. All VIP Packages, which include a Q&A with Clare, an intimate acoustic performance, Meet & Greet with photo, and a signed item, can be purchased in addition to show tickets.
Clare Bowen has shot to stardom since her early roles in local programs Home and Away, All Saints, and The Cut, securing her breakout role in 2012 as enchanting singer-songwriter Scarlett O’Connor on the cult US television series NASHVILLE, which is now into its fourth season and screens on Foxtel’s SoHo in Australia.
On her forthcoming Australian tour, Clare will showcase a collection of original songs and NASHVILLE series covers, showing off her stunning vocals and supported by a full band. She is currently working with A-list producers on her debut solo album, due out later this year.
NASHVILLE airs Thursdays at 9:15pm, Express from the US, on Foxtel’s SoHo.
TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY 22ND APRIL, 12 NOON LOCAL TIME
Brought to you by Foxtel’s SoHo, Rob Potts Entertainment Edge & Chugg Entertainment
Tuesday 24th May – Corner Hotel (18+) – NEW SHOW
cornerhotel.com or 1300 724 867
Wednesday 25th May – Corner Hotel (18+) – SOLD OUT
cornerhotel.com or 1300 724 867
Thursday 26th May – Oxford Art Factory (18+) – SOLD OUT
moshtix.com.au or 1300 438 849
Friday 27th May – Anita’s Theatre (All Ages) – SOLD OUT
ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100
Saturday 28th May – Metro Theatre (All Ages) – NEW SHOW
ticketek.com.au or 132 849
Monday 30th May – The Triffid (18+) – SOLD OUT
thetriffid.com.au or 1300 762 545
Tuesday 31st May – The Triffid (All Ages) – NEW SHOW
thetriffid.com.au or 1300 762 545
For more information go to:
The cast of ABC’s Nashville will be presented CMT’s first-ever International Impact Award during the 2015 CMT Artists of the Year special airing live Wednesday (Dec. 2) at 8 p.m. ET/PT from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
The award will be presented by Kellie Pickler, star of in CMT’s hit series I Love Kellie Pickler.
Nashville cast members Connie Britton (Rayna), Clare Bowen (Scarlett), Chris Carmack (Will), Will Chase (Luke), Charles Esten (Deacon), Jonathan Jackson (Avery), Sam Palladio (Gunnar), Maisy Stella (Daphne), Lennon Stella (Maddie), and Audrey Peeples (Layla) are scheduled to accept the International Impact Award on behalf of the entire cast.
“Through their captivating characters, the cast of Nashville have become international ambassadors for our music; helping to spark Nashville’s red-hot renaissance,” CMT president Brian Philips said in announcing the honor. “With this award, we express our gratitude to a terrific group of stars for helping connect fans from around the world with our city.”
The sixth-annual CMT Artists of the Year special will feature once-in-a-lifetime performances, unexpected tributes and unforgettable toasts as the biggest stars of music, film and television gather to celebrate the five artists selected by CMT as the top artists of the year: Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt.
The artists collectively dominated the last 12 months, ruling CMT’s platforms and country radio, scoring chart-topping album and singles and selling out arenas across the nation. Additional performers, presenters and special guests will be announced at a later date.
They join an overgrowing prestigious list of past CMT Artists of the Year honorees that includes Jason Aldean (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), Kenny Chesney (2011, 2012), Eric Church (2012), Hunter Hayes (2013), Toby Keith (2012), Lady Antebellum (2010, 2011), Miranda Lambert (2012, 2014), Tim McGraw (2013), Brad Paisley (2011), Taylor Swift (2010, 2011), Carrie Underwood (2010, 2012), Keith Urban (2014) and the Zac Brown Band (2010).
Join the conversation on the official CMT Facebook page or follow @CMT on Twitter using the official hashtag, #CMTAOTY.