Things are changing down in Nashville.
The ABC drama is changing show runners for its potential fifth season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Writing partners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick are set to take over the show. It would be the first time the two produced a television series they didn’t create.
Herskovitz and Zwick aren’t just any old writing partners though. The two have created some of the most iconic dramas. Their first notable venture was creating Thirtysomething, the ensemble drama that followed the lives of seven Philidelphia friends as they deal with aging through their- you guessed it- 30’s. The critical darling ran for four seasons and won multiple Golden Globes and Emmys, including Outstanding Drama Series.
The duo’s next creation was shorter lived but, thanks to the power of DVD’s and Netflix, is as fondly remembered: My So Called Life. While Thirtysomething dealt with the existential drama of going well into your adult years, My So Called Life just as adeptly portrayed the existential drama of being in high school. Bonus: It introduced the world to Clare Danes and Jared Leto.
On top of all of this, Herskovitz and Zwick have had a smattering of other notable projects (Once and Again fans, unite!) They’ll be replacing current showrunner Dee Johnson, who’s had an illustrious career of her own. Before Nashville, Johnson executive produced everything from your aunt’s favorite Army Wives and Rizzolli & Isles to your snobby friend’s favorite Boss and Southland (somewhere in the middle of the Johnson production spectrum also lies The Good Wife).
While Johnson has led successful projects, an arc to the more realistic human drama might do the increasingly soapy (STOP ALMOST BREAKING RAYNA AND DEACON UP) Nashville some good its fifth season.
This is all assuming there even is a fifth season. The show, one of the few ABC programs not produced in- house (instead by Lionsgate), has yet to be renewed.
“It’s always so hard to know what’s going to be the future. Those things are so completely out of our hands, so I always just wait to hear,” Connie Britton (who plays star Rayna James) told The Hollywood Reporter. “There are so many factors that play into it that I really have nothing to do with, so I defer to the powers that be on that.”
In what world is Connie Britton not “the powers that be”? A broken one.