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Nashville’s Season 5 CMT Premiere Date Announced — But It Might Mark the Exit of a Major Character

Welcome back to the Bluebird! Nashville fans can finally rejoice, with CMT announcing the country music drama’s season 5 premiere date on Wednesday, August 24.

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The Emmy-nominated series, starring Connie Britton (Rayna Jaymes) and Hayden Panettiere (Juliette Barnes), will launch on the cable channel on Thursday, January 5, with a two-hour premiere. (Episodes will stream on Hulu the day after airing on CMT.) The batch of 22 new episodes marks the debut of showrunners Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, best known for creating the seminal 1980s series thirtysomething.

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A perennial “bubble” show during its four-season ABC run, Nashville got the axe from the network earlier this year before signing off in May. When the season 4 finale aired, the show had not yet been picked up by another outlet, and fans were up in arms because the final episode ended with a cliffhanger involving Juliette’s plane going missing.

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After the finale aired, Lionsgate TV exec Kevin Beggs admitted that the show had also filmed a happy ending for the episode but opted to air the open-ended one in order to encourage another network to pick it up. The strategy worked, as CMT officially announced in June that it was reviving the show.

Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton on Nashville.
Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton on ‘Nashville.’

Stars Britton and Panettiere are both returning for season 5, although Entertainment Weekly reports that Britton is only signed on for around 10 episodes, with her character expected to get written out of the series at some point in the season.

Also returning are series mainstays Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne), Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott), Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley), Clare Bowen (Scarlett O’Connor), Lennon Stella (Maddie Conrad), Maisy Stella (Daphne Conrad) and Chris Carmack (Will Lexington).

Tell Us: Are you planning to watch Nashville’s new run?

Nashville launches on CMT Thursday, January 5, at 9 p.m. ET. 

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