Big Changes Happening in “Nashville”

Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere was made a fixture of ABC’s hit show, Nashville (photo from HitFix)

If you’re a fan of ABC’s hit show “Nashville,” you’re going to see some big changes in Season 5.

This show follows the lives of fictitious country singers trying to make it in (you guessed it) Nashville. In the very first episode of the first season, the show covers the rivalry between Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). The former is the “Queen of Country Music,” but her most recent album is not doing so well and her concerts are half empty. That’s when her label suggests that she open for Barnes, the young whipper-snapper who’s a best-selling country pop singer.  

From there, you’ll have to watch to see what happens. 

As the seasons have progressed, the show mainly focuses on Jaymes, Barnes, and newbie Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen).

Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere with fellow stars Connie Britton and Charles Esten (photo from B104 WBWN-FM)

And now that the show is airing on CMT, the people in charge want to change the format so that there’s more time for music.

“First thing we mandated was shorter scripts, so there’s time for the music to play out,” says Marshall Herskovitz, co-showrunner. He says he wants to get into “the depth and the complexity of the relationships instead of just feeling you needed to have incident piling on incident.” 

This show has become known for very dramatic stories and events, mostly with a lot at stake. So this change should be interesting to watch. Fortunately, a lot of the actors are totally on board with this shift.

“Honestly, I think it feels better,” says Lennon Stella, who plays Jaymes’ daughter.

“It kind of feels, in some ways, like a new show,” says Jonathan Jackson, who plays Avery Barkley.

“To tell you the truth, I’m happier to be on CMT,” Herskovitz says.

“Nashville” Season 5 is scheduled to premiere on its new network January 5, 2017. Most of the cast members will come back. However, rumors are floating around that Britton may be leaving halfway through the season.

Hayden Panettiere

Let’s go back, just for old-time’s sake, to Remember The Titans. Do you remember Panettiere in that classic movie as coach Yoast’s feisty and passionate daughter? She played a little girl who was surprisingly knowledgeable about football and even gave the coaches tips and suggestions.

Here she is in one of the signature scenes of the movie (she comes in right about at the 1:50-minute mark):

This wasn’t even her big break either. She was in several movies that you might not have realized. She was in “A Bug’s Life” as Dot and “Dinosaur” as Suri before “Remeber The Titans” even came out. When she was older, she was a regular character in “Heroes,” which ran for four seasons on NBC.

She even makes a cameo in Jason Aldean’s “1994” music video. Check it out below!

Jason Aldean – “1994”

So, it seems, Panettiere was cut out for this type of work. She’s been doing this since childhood and it doesn’t look like she’ll be stopping anytime soon.