Nashville Season 5 is set for some big changes. Apart from leaving ABC and getting picked up by CMT, there are also some major changes to the cast. One of the show’s main stars, Connie Britton, will reportedly exit the show and will be making limited appearances during Season 5. Britton plays Rayna James, one of the main characters in the series, alongside Juliette Barnes played by Hayden Panettiere.
According to a report by Entertainment Weekly, Connie Britton has only signed on for 10 out of the 22 episodes set for Nashville Season 5. However, no details have been released about how her character would be written off the show. Hints about a deadly encounter with a “nefarious” app developer have been dropped, but nothing has been confirmed. Producers are believed to still be negotiating further appearances from the lead star.
Hayden Panettiere is fully onboard for all 22 episodes, as well as other cast members like Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella and Chris Carmack. However, TV Line reports that neither Will Chase nor Aubrey Peeples will be seen in Season 5. Their characters Luke and Layla will no longer be featured after having been dropped as series regulars.
Nashville Season 5 is scheduled to begin production next month. The premiere has been set for Jan. 5, 2017 over cable network CMT. The new episodes will be available for streaming on Hulu the day after the CMT cable TV premiere. After having been cancelled by ABC at the end of Season 4, the series has been given a new lease on life and has found a new home with CMT and streaming provider Hulu. The new season will also be run by a pair of new showrunners, namely, Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick.