When ABC decided to cancel Nashville after four seasons, I was a bit distraught. The season four finale did wrap up most of the dangling threads and everyone pretty much had their happy ending, except for Juliette Barnes, of course, whose cliffhanger involved her jet going missing. A part of me thinks I could have gone on just fine if that was the end of Nashville. Over the years, the country music drama weaved in and out of being a soapy mess. The series, at its best, focused on the music and the trails and tribulations of making it in the music industry. At its worst, it focused on completely unrelated dramatic twists including Juliette going haywire with postpartum depression and, most recently, Rayna James’ eldest daughter emancipating herself from the family. Soap operas can have fun with drama like this, but when it starts to completely deviate from the soul of the series, that’s when viewers (like me, at least) begin to lose interest.
And yet, that feeling of being distraught wouldn’t budge and the reason is simple, really. A Nashville fan from the beginning, I wadded through the creative ups and downs, knowing I’d eventually reach the series’ natural conclusion. Though most characters did get their happy ending, it was clear that the season finale was not constructed to serve as a series finale. Its various relationships are important to the plot, including Rayna and Deacon and Scarlet and Gunnar finally embracing their inevitable soul mate statuses with each other. But here’s the thing: Nashville can’t end without celebrating the music that makes it so special. I went into this show with a public disregard of country music; simply wasn’t a fan. Nashville managed to convert me, so much so that I went to see the actors perform music from the show live at one of Nashville‘s popular tour stops. The show couldn’t just end without a proper goodbye, and that includes unforgettable music performances that hopefully harken back to season 1’s gems including but not limited to those touching duets by Scarlet and Gunnar.
This brings us to the exciting news at hand: CMT has picked up Nashville for a fifth season, and studio Lionsgate TV intends to produce additional seasons of the show “for years to come.” The renewal also includes a deal with Hulu; the streaming service will air new episodes of Nashville the day after they air on cable. Season 5 will be led by new showrunners, Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, and the plan is to pump out a full 22-episode season (as opposed to the 10-13 most cable networks do these days). Nashville lives on, and for someone who has invested four seasons of time with these characters and their stories, this is music to my ears.
Jump after the break to get the scoop on Orphan Black and Curb Your Enthusiasm. READ MORE TV items: ‘Nashville’ picked up by CMT, ‘Orphan Black’ renewed for final season & ‘Curb’ returns