The rumours were true: CMT is indeed bringing Nashville back from the dead. The cable network has picked up a full 22 episode fifth season of the former ABC drama, it was announced on Friday. Additionally, long-time SVOD partner Hulu has come on-board for season five and will stream new episodes the day after they air on CMT.
“CMT heard the fans. The wave of love and appreciation they have unleashed for ‘Nashville’ has been overwhelming,” said Brian Philips, President of CMT. “‘Nashville’ is a perfect addition to our evolving line-up of big music specials, documentaries, and original series. We see our fans and ourselves in this show and we will treasure it like no other network. Nashville belongs on CMT.”
Nashville is a co-production between Lionsgate Television (who distribute internationally) and ABC Studios. The entire cast – including Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere – are signed to long-term contracts and will be back for the new season. Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick are on-board as new executive producers/co-showrunners and will be at the helm when the fifth season starts filming in Nashville later this year.
As TVWise previously reported, Lionsgate Television had been bullish about finding a new home for Nashville, and had entertained approaches from multiple networks. CMT quickly emerged as a favorite, however, given the content the network airs. Hulu’s involvement, as well as tax incentives from the state of Tennessee and budgetary contributions from Ryman Hospitality are said to have been vital to making the economics work, especially as the show is moving from a broadcast network to cable.
“CMT and Hulu are the perfect combination for our iconic and beloved series ‘Nashville’ and we want to thank the incredible fans for their unwavering support—#Nashies, you helped make this possible,” said Kevin Beggs, Chairman of the Lionsgate Television Group. “We also want to extend our appreciation to the State of Tennessee, City of Nashville, and Ryman Hospitality for their unending support. They have been a key ingredient to the continued success of this show and we’re thrilled to extend our partnership for a fifth season.”
“‘Nashville’ has long been a fan favorite show on Hulu and we are so proud to continue to make new episodes available for fans to stream the day after they air”, added Craig Erwich, Senior Vice-President and Head of Content for Hulu. “We look forward to bringing even more episodes of this acclaimed series to its passionate and devoted audience.”