Does the Show ‘Nashville’ Die with Rayna James?

At the end of last season, fans of the TV show “Nashville” were shocked when one of the main characters Rayna James, played by Connie Britton, died. Fans debated the fate of the show, but CMT has announced “Nashville” will return for a new season with 16 episodes premiering early next year. In addition, the network revealed a midseason premiere date of Thursday, June 1 at 8p.  Charles Esten (Deacon) first announced the renewal on Facebook Live on behalf of the entire cast.

The devoted “Nashie” fan base has generated record-breaking numbers for CMT. “Nashville” ranks as the network’s highest-rated and most-watched show in the network’s history, averaging 2.1 million weekly viewers. Over the course of the first-half of the season, the series notched nearly 16 million total viewers on CMT alone, and nearly 23 million on CMT and Nick at Nite.

Rachel Bilson (“The OC,” “Hart of Dixie”) and Kaitlin Doubleday (“Empire”) will join the series in the second half of season five. In addition, fresh off the success of “Big Little Lies,” Jeff Nordling will recur in the role of Brad Maitland, an extremely successful, charming, egotistical, narcissistic owner of the most successful record label in Nashville.

The midseason premiere picks up 10 weeks after the events that unfolded in the midseason finale. Deacon helps Daphne with a school project, but Daphne feels unmotivated. Juliette gives Maddie unsolicited advice about a song. Scarlett and Gunnar receive news about the baby. See a sneak peek below.

“Nashville” stars Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O’Connor, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad and Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad. In addition, this season features Joseph David-Jones as Clay, Rhiannon Giddens as Hallie Jordan and Cameron Scoggins as Zach Welles in recurring roles.

The series is executive produced by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (the creators of “Thirtysomething”), Steve Buchanan and Callie Khour.

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