It was a bittersweet day for fans of the ABC-turned-CMT show Nashville yesterday as it was announced that the show had its season five premiere date and the news that one of its stars may not be on the show for much longer. According to Entertainment Weekly, CMT has announced that Nashville will premiere on Thursday, Jan. 5. It was also announced that Connie Britton (Rayna James) is only slated to appear in 10 episodes of the show, even though the show has a full 22 episode pick-up from the network.
However, deals are still being worked out between Britton and the network and there’s hope that Britton will appear in more than just 10 episodes of the show.
While the end of Rayna James could potentially be happening on the show, fans can rest easy that Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) is set to appear in all of the episodes of the upcoming fifth season.
Earlier in August, TV Guide reported that Rayna was going to meet a fan of her music who is an app developer and wants to get her music streaming as a way to generate buzz among younger music fans. But he also has other plans up his sleeve that may not be in Rayna’s best interest.
Is that how Rayna will be written off the show? Only time will tell.
When Nashville returns in January, there’s going to be more changes to the show besides the switch in networks. Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick will serve as the new showrunners for the show. Nashville will be without two of its supporting cast members in regular roles. Will Chase and Aubrey Peeples have departed the show but will most likely appear in the first few episodes as a way to wrap up any lingering storylines from the end of the fourth season.
Britton is well-known for her role as Tami Taylor on the critically loved NBC show Friday Night Lights, which was canceled in 2011. She also appeared in the first season of American Horror Story as Vivien Harmon and recently appeared in Ryan Murphy’s newest anthology series for FX, American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, where she portrayed Faye Resnick for two episodes.
Season five of Nashville starts production next month. The show will premiere on Thursday, Jan. 5 on CMT and Hulu has obtained day-after streaming rights for the show.