Nashville may have ended its run on ABC this week, but it might still have a second chance at life elsewhere.
After a round of brutal cancellations, ABC pulled the plug on Nashville with two episodes left in the season. Like Nashville, Castle was also cancelled right before the season finale, but the creators were prepared with two endings: one for a season finale and one for a series finale.
But the cancellation came as a shock for Nashville which has enjoyed moderate viewership and high acclaim. Even with the impending end for the series, there was no hasty effort to try and change the finale and, effectively, end the series. Instead of giving Nashville a rushed ending, the creators decided to end the season as planned: with a cliff-hanger.
Series creator Callie Khouri told Deadline that she, Lionsgate, and the co-showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick are proceeding as planned with the intention of giving Nashville a fifth season. “We are so grateful for our extremely loyal following. We have stories left to tell and songs left to sing.”
Since the cancellation of Nashville, fans have been starting social media-driven campaigns to bring back the series. Fans started a #BringBackNashville campaign on Twitter and even a change.org petition.
— Lionsgate TV (@LionsgateTV) May 26, 2016
The executives in charge of Nashville have heard the pleas of the upset fans and are determined to give viewers the ending they deserve. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs said they decided to keep the cliff-hanger ending for this season of Nashville because they are confident the series will find a new life elsewhere. “There’s a little short-term pain but ultimately long-term gain because we intend and are quite focused and are in substantive and serious conversations with multiple buyers about continuing the show on another platform. If we didn’t feel that was going to happen, we might have gone a different way.”
Beggs added, “Our job as a studio with the creative team is to give Ed and Marshall maximum flexibility — not limitation. This is the ending that was intended. I think it’s more of a disservice to try to hastily put something together that’s not satisfying.”
This seems like a gutsy move for the studio, but maybe there is something they haven’t told us yet. Nobody from Liongate has opened up about what networks or streaming services might be willing to pick up Nashville, but it does seem like, one way or another, the show will go on.