The CMT debut of Nashville now has an official premiere date. Contrary to headlines about the former ABC drama returning in December (what network debuts anything in December?), it turns out the basic cable network is rolling out the show’s fifth season on Jan. 5.
In the meantime, we’re hearing Rayna Jaymes is likely to take her final curtain call in season 5. Star Connie Britton has only signed on for about 10 episodes of the new season. One source close to the show insists, however, that they still remain hopeful they’ll get her on board for more and that the deal is not yet final. We’re hearing costar Hayden Panettiere is fully on board.
Nashville has been ordered for a full 22 episodes from studio Lionsgate by the cable network along with streaming service Hulu. New episodes will premiere on CMT and then be available on Hulu the next day. The new season begins production next month.
TV Guide previously reported that season 5 will have Rayna crossing paths with a wealthy app developer who wants to introduce her music to a new generation, but that he also “has other, more nefarious plans for her.”
After its cancellation by ABC back in May, Nashville was picked up by CMT to be continued under new showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (Thirtysomething). Actors Will Chase and Aubrey Peeples were previously reported as leaving ahead of season 5. Last week, Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Chase has joined the upcoming ABC drama Time After Time as a series regular.