ABC cancels ‘Nashville’ after four seasons

The drama on ABC’s Nashville will end after four seasons. Deadline reports that the alphabet network has canceled the show on Thursday, May 12th, ahead of its annual Upfronts presentation in New York next week.

Co-produced by Lionsgate TV, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment, the Callie Khouri country music drama hasn’t had the best ratings, but has gained a loyal following. This season, the show has averaged a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 with a solid DVR ratings bump, bringing the total viewers to 6.7 million in Nielsen’s “live plus 7” estimates. Due to the show’s inconsistent ratings, it has been on the bubble of renewal since its first season aired during the 2012-2013 TV season.

Deadline states that Lionsgate TV had hired veteran producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick as new showrunners who were already working on storylines for a fifth season. Lionsgate is interested in keeping the show on the air and hitting that crucial one hundred episode mark for syndication. The studio is reportedly shopping it to other networks in hopes of finding it a new home. It would be a perfect fit for CMT, Country Music Television, as it would keep more music-focused programming on the fledging network.

Nashville has become a franchise for ABC with soundtracks, tours and various music specials during the show’s run. It was just yesterday (May 11th) that the network announced a high-profile virtual reality digital extension for the show that sounded positive for a fifth season renewal.

The show’s fourth season finale will now act as its series finale on Wednesday, May 25th. Since many of the show’s finale episodes have been left unresolved, it’s interesting to see how producers will handle the final episode.

The show was filmed on location in Nashville with a dedicated sound stage built for production. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry tells The Tennessean that the show’s cancellation will be a big loss to the city and state of Tennessee.

Nashville debuted on ABC in 2012

“We are incredibly disappointed to hear the news that ABC has not renewed the show Nashville for another season,” Barry says in a written statement. “The show has been an enormously successful promotional tool for our city, which is why the state of Tennessee and Metro Nashville were prepared to support production for a fifth season the be filmed here.

“This is a loss for ABC and for the millions of fans across the world who have grown to love this show. We have enjoyed hosting the cast and crew of the show over the last four years and look forward to future opportunities for film and television production here in Nashville.”

The show has had a flurry of high profile guest stars including Kesha and Derek Hough who appeared on last night’s (May 11th) episode, Vince Gill, Pam Tillis, Brad Paisley, Kelly Clarkson, Zac Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Sara Evans, Luke Bryan and more. Christina Aguilera had a four episode arc in season three as pop star Jade St. James who tried transitioning into country music. Elton John will make a guest appearance on next week’s show (May 18th) playing himself. Nineties country singer Mark Collie has played Frankie Gray as a recurring character this season.

Nashville stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O’Connor, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Audrey Peeples as Layla Grant, Will Chase as Luke Wheeler, Charles Esten as Deacon Clayborne, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad and Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.