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Connie Britton Confirms "She's In" For The Duration Of New Season Of Nashville! Official Two-Hour Premiere Tonight On CMT!

Courtesy/CMT

The official two-hour season premiere of Nashville is set to air tonight on January 5th oat 9ET/8CT on CMT!  And while Nashies are about to get their fix of the music city drama,  there was one big open question looming over this season.  Would series star Connie Britton (Rayna) being bowing out after the first 11 episodes or so of the 22 installment fifth season?

The answer came during Wednesday’s episode of The Ellen Show, when DeGeneres was interviewing Britton previewing tonight’s premiere.  When asked about the rumors that she was exiting the show early this seaon, Britton kiboshed it, stating: . “I’m in. I’m for the duration, and we’re about to start a new season.”

Connie went on to add:  “It’s an exciting new season because we have new showrunners, so we have new writers and the stories I think it’s going to get us to back to what Nashville is about and what the stories and characters are, and what that town is and what the music is.”

Excited to hear Britton will star in the new full-season of Nashville? Ready for the two-hour premiere (part one was already seen by some during a special sneak preview on CMT that aired in December).  Comment below!

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sonniorsolita
sonniorsolita

Yes! Yes! Yes! Great news. Really looking forward to the new season.

davlestev1
davlestev1

They must have paid her what she was asking. New writers compelled me…indeed…not buying that load!!

PennySoap
PennySoap

Yes! Can’t wait to watch tonight!

rebecca1
rebecca1

Thrilled that she’s staying but not thrilled with the new adaptation so far…much preferred the ABC version. Hoping it’ll get better; the writers (from their other shows) are great so my expectations were high.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

The show was much better written–cohesive and compelling storytelling. I am much encouraged–and delighted to see the new producers. Characters presented in a more positive and upbeat manner. Sounds promising. I will watch this season.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Nancy…I just saw your comment regarding the “new” Nashville! “Characters presented in a more positive and upbeat manner”…what!!!??? LOL. It’s been nothing but gloom and doom in the first two episodes. Juliette is in a deep depression, Scarlett is depressed over Gunner, Gunner is frustrated about it, Rayna is soul searching and lost, Deacon doesn’t have confidence in himself, Maddie was once again pissed at her sister, Will is once again conflicted..there was not ONE character who was upbeat! I have no idea what you were watching…

I’m still a great supporter of the show and thrilled it’s back and Connie is staying for the season..but it’s not been “upbeat” in any sense of the word.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes, you read correctly rebecca,1, the show is upbeat because it leaves much room for HOPE. Deacon and Rayna love each other–he flew all that way because he was worried. Juliette is ALIVE (OMG–if that’s not hopeful, I don’t know what is??!!!!)–and she is SEARCHING for some meaning as to why she is alive–and the story indicates that she WILL find it. Scarlett may have initially been depressed BUT she went home and talked it through with Gunner–isn’t that HOPEFUL? Maddie apologized for treating her sister badly–and is writing with her–isn’t that HOPEFUL? Aren’t we all conflicted? That what drama (and life) is all about? And the story arc looks hopeful to me. Will has been through a lot and possibly come through with some acquired wisdom–isn’t that what we ALL strive for? And isn’t that HOPEFUL?
I guess we all see what we wish to see–and I see hope–and, as I said, more compelling–and, yes, upbeat OUTCOMES.
What show were YOU watching, you asked me. Guess I’ll just ask you the same.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

And, aren’t you excited about the new producers–the same on that produced a wonderfully successful show (s)?
Well, in an interview the congenial actor that plays Deacon says in HE’S excited (and he sounded VERY UPBEAT and HOPEFUL. That counts for a lot in my book.
And Hayden P. (who plays Juliette sounded very positive and UPBEAT about the show on Harry Connick’s show AND Good Morning, America.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Well first let me say I find Harry’s show totally boring. Watched it twice and that was it for me.

Second…drama is not the same as upbeat. Upbeat is happy, fun, playful, cheerful…The show, at this point, is none of these. We already knew all these couples loved/love each other. Nothing new there. We already knew Juliette would be alive. The story opened and everything/everyone was dark. Rayna was depressed and had to find herself, Juliette was understandably shaken and depressed, too. Maddie, even though the ABC show ended with her coming back to her family and embracing them all (including her sister) was suddenly morose and nasty to her sister, again, for the majority of the episode. Gunner and Scarlett, again when we last left off on ABC, were back in love…suddenly…she was doubting him again. We barely saw Avery other than him wheeling Juliette around. Now, yes, this can all be good drama. But…in ONE episode? That’s how they chose to premiere the new version? I found it “heavy”. No happiness to be found.

Second episode was bit better but I found the gushy too-much repetitive talk between Rayna and Deacon boring and sappy. Will? Nothing’s changed with him. He was lusting and missing his boyfriend on ABC…now that he got him back he’s tempted and conflicted over his attraction for the designer. When we left them on ABC they were happy and getting back together and suddenly Will’s back to internal conflict.

I don’t enjou seeing Juliette having some sort of religious revelation. LOL..just not the sort of story I enjoy. I want the show that I loved on the ABC version…friendship, community, joy of music, collaboration…loved seeing Avery, Scarlett and Gunner making music together, loved seeing Will in the house interacting with them, loved Rayna and her manager, Avery in the bar he worked at…just “the scene.” I MISS Will! I loved his character. And, as I said in my post…the entire Nashville scene was very inviting. Sense of community; everyone knew each other, interacted…a very tight knit microcosm.

I also said, yes, I love the writers. I know they’ve done some very good work and I anticipated loving their version. I’m not giving up. I’m “hoping” that the show will get back to the characters, including the town, “Nashville” that held its allure for me. I find it, so far, too much soapy melodrama…and the characters not as I remember them.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Oh, and of course Charles Esten (Deacon) is going to say positive things about the show. He’s on it! LOL…they go on talk shows to promote their shows. Part of the job…

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

Well, it seems that Connie Britton lied to us, see her quote above. Its Feb.24th and Rayna is gone and so am I! I was thrilled that they renewed for another season, but without Rayna’s character, it will not be the same. I felt she was the star , and all the other characters revolved around hers. Juliette is getting a little better, but still the same pain in the ass. Scarlet is a little two timing twit, throwing her disloyalty in Gunnar’s face and Maddie is , well I don’t have enough words to describe her or her behavior towards her mother, sister and Deacon, the dad she desperately wanted to know and be with. The only ones I will miss are Johnathon Jackson and Charles Eaten.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I agree with a lot of what you said Viotlett…but the show is actually picking up again. Perhaps give it another chance? I, too, am very disappointed that Connie left the show…and REALLY bad timing considering they’re just trying to get off the ground of CMT. If you read my comment above I was beyond disenchanted with the show. For some reason I’m sticking with it, for now. I’ll see how it goes.

I still miss Luke (though Will Chase/the actor, is currently on a new show Time After Time…just saw him so that was nice, but, LOL, not Luke) and I HATE the gospel/church story and Juliette’s new “angel.” Nice character but I just don’t see her fitting into the show.

What I HATED was Scarlett telling Gunnar a few weeks ago that she “didn’t feel anything for him” which was out-of-character and out-of-the-blue. Silly, and I expected more from these two excellent writers.

Still and all, the last two weeks episodes were compelling. If they can cut the whole gospel story and bring Juliette back to herself…I think the show can carry on without Rayna. (not liking it…but still doable.)

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

Rebecca, thanks for your reply, but I really liked what you had to say in your previous comment you made, before answering mine. There was not one thing I couldn’t agree with. I’ve read the spoilers, and really don’t want to see the younger sister’s dad, who has been in prison and his former sister-in-law try taking the girls away from Deacon, who the girls love and want to be with. I just can’t stay interested in Juliette, who is still acting entitled , etc, etc, and Jonathan putting up with her crap treating him like another one of her gophers. I will give it a little time, and try again, based on your reply to me. It was encouraging, thanks!

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hey Violet, I still stand by my previous comments but I’ve added to them! 😉

I actually like Teddy (little sister Daphne’s dad). First, I like the actor. Second…I feel he got the short end of the stick. He was always a good guy, he loved Rayna, he loved his daughters, he raised Maddie as his own and loved her soooo much! I actually felt bad when Maddie left him in the dust for Deacon! Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Deacon! Cant’ say enough positive about this great-looking guy/character. And, I’m glad the truth came out and he and Maddie have a close relationship. But, it shouldn’t have been to the exclusion of Teddy. He and Maddie were close; had a great father/daughter relationship before she found out. Seemed odd to me that she would turn cold to him. She could have loved both dads; had a relationship with both. As for Rayna, Teddy agreed to marry her knowing Rayna loved Deacon more. He agreed to raise her daughter as his own. So, again, I felt bad for him when she left him. In his despair, he sort of took a wrong turn.

I don’t hate Rayna’s sister but she was never too gripping a character.

If you haven’t watched the episode yet…Rayna’s funeral…do so with an open heart and mind toward Teddy… 🙂 (Yeah, I know it’s a show but I can’t help it; I’m a softie!) If you do decide to watch it and you feel so inclined, get back to me here. I’d be curious to know what you think.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

Rebecca, thanks so much for this reply, trying to help me see the other side of Teddy. I did like him a lot in the beginning, and I have to say, everything you say is true. I guess I could only see Deacon’s side, not only losing Rayna, but now having to face maybe losing the girls, as well. I have not been able to watch the funeral yet, but I will try and bring myself to do it. Maybe , once I get that under my belt, I’ll be able to continue watching. With all the Soaps I watch, I should be able to watch this, but somehow it was so disheartening and unexpected. I was totally shocked by Rayna’s death. I guess I’m a bigger softey , than I thought. Thanks again Rebecca, it’s been so nice and helpful “talking” with you.

rebecca1
rebecca1

You’re welcome, Violet! Thanks for being open. I can almost guarantee you’ll like the next two episodes; the funeral and last night’s episode. Very touching, heartwarming, gripping. More like the show we loved and I think the writing was excellent, as was the acting.

Lemme know!

Breaking News

NASHVILLE’s Chris Carmack Joins New Season Of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

From country western singing sensation to the new orthopedic surgeon dubbed “Ortho God” at Grey Sloan Memorial, Chris Carmack is joining the cast of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.

On Nashville ,which concluded its six season run, Carmack played Will Lexington, but on Grey’s Anatomy he will recur as a new orthopedic surgeon who will cross paths with some of the series main characters. More details of the character are being kept under-wraps including his name.

‘Grey’s’ 15th season kicks-off on September 27th at 8PMEST with a two-hour episode.

Upon the reveal of the casting news, Carmack took to his Twitter account to share his response to a tweet from Shondaland, who welcomed him to the show with: “Thank you! Can’t wait to scrub in!

Then, the official ABC Grey’a Anatomy twitter account welcomed him to the show, in which Carmack responded: “Honored to be a part of this! Thank you!”

EW.com and Hollywood Reporter first broke the casting news

So, glad to hear Chris will be back on primetime in a new role? Comment below,

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Nashville

NASHVILLE Series Finale Goes Out On A High Note In An Emotional Farewell

After six seasons (four on ABC and two on CMT), Nashville ended its run with a sentimental, heart-tugging wrap-up in its final episode last night.  Like any great soap opera, it’s all about those wonderfully rich characters that the audience has come to fall in love with; whether they be the good guys, the bad, or somewhere in between.  What was touching about the finale is that many characters lives ended on a happy note, or came full-circle.

Through creator Callie Khouri’s vision for six seasons, we came to love and care about Deacon, Avery, Juliette, Will and so many others, and of course, Rayna James.  And on the final installment, Connie Britton did make one final appearance as the late Rayna with her longtime music city scene partner, Charles Esten, that so many Nashies were hoping for before the final curtain came down.

So here’s what happened and where it all ended up, as we now imagine what these characters lives will be like, unless as now rumored, Khouri puts together a Nashville 2.0 spinoff.

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

Maddie (Lennon Stella) and Twig (Dylan Arnold) are in the recording studio.  He wants to be her everything.  She feels pressured.  In a conversation with Scarlett (Claire Bowen), she reveals she is just trying to get over her bust up with Jonah and doesn’t know if she can be in a relationship right now.  Later at this advice from Scarlett: “The only thing you need to do is honor what you’re feeling at the moment,” Maddie sits down with Twig and breaks the news over coffee!  “You need someone who can put you at the center of their universe,” says Maddie.  “What if I said I would take you as you are?” Twig replies.  To which Maddie lowers the boom, “I would say you deserve so much more.” Twig is devastated.  Maddie is emancipated.

Then we come to Maddie’s sister, Daphne (Maisy Stella).  It’s the finals of Nashville’s Next Country Star.  Daphne has got her work cut out for her, because of sexy frontrunner Jenny Lee.  Brad (Jeff Nordling) has set Daphne up to lose by giving her a song that is far from her comfort song to perform.  She flips it on him when it is time for her to go live. Daphne does her rendition of the tune with her guitar, stripped-down and soulful.  The crowd goes wild.   However in the end, Jenny Lee is named the winner.  Backstage, Daphne cries in Deacon’s (Charles Esten) arms, but then … Ilse (Daphne’s coach on Nashville’s Next Country Star) is making goo-goo eyes at Deacon, and asks him if he would like to write with her when he comes home from his tour?  Scarlett, Daphne, and Maddie look on and notice the spark. Could this be Deacon’s true new love interest?

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Avery (Jonathan Jackson) play pool and in a nice touch which harkens back to six-years-ago on the series. Gunnar says, “You were a total tool,” recalling that Avery was a snotty, bad dude when he first came to town.  Will (Chris Carmack) and Gunnar want to get The Last Highways together, if they can just convince Avery to put the past behind him and move forward.  Apparently, all is well, and they put the band back up on its feet.

Now, we come to the #MeToo socially relevant topic of the day, part of the last episode, where we finally learn Alannah’s (Rainee Blake) plan to nail Brad as the womanizing, power abuser, egotistical bastard he is, and how he uses his company and his status in the biz to lure woman to do “favors” for him.  In her hotel room after her performance, Brad calls and says there is a par-tay going down in his room with lots of people and to join them.  She heads over to find him alone and lascivious.  When he tries to plant a wet lip-lock on her, she slaps him.  He fires back: “The man helps the woman and the woman helps the man,” and that Alannah violated their “implicit contract.”  And that means of course, she will never work again in this town.

A few days later, Brad gets the shock of his life when in walks to his office at Shiny New Records, Deacon, Alannah and Zach (Cameron Scoggins)! The trio announces their plans to purchase his company for $15 million dollars. He laughs them off, but our smart gal, Alannah recorded the whole incident in the hotel room and has his voice on tape, which she happily plays it back for him. Then, to add an exclamation point on the proceedings, getting off the elevator are countless women who have all been harassed by Brad including his on-again off-again wife, Jessie (Kaitlin Doubleday), who adds, “And I want full custody of Jake (their son), too!”

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

How do we wrap up the other greatest and tortured love story of Nashville, with two of our favorite actors, who got their starts on the soaps, and who made Javery a couple to root for through the good and the bad?  Of course, we are talking about Jonathan Jackson and Hayden Panettiere.  Now together in one piece, and grounded from her experiences with the cult, and with a new lease on life, Juliette has sold her house for a farm 30 minutes outside of Nashville.  Avery knows there is something he is not telling her.  Avery finds Juliette’s savior and bestie. Hallie (Rhiannon Giddens) at the recording studio and when prompted she tells him that Juliette is pregnant with his kid, again!  Next scene, Avery confronts Juliette.  She admits it’s true, and she was going to tell him but did not want to trap him, because she loves him and wants to be with him, but only if he wants her too and, “Not because you feel like you need to save me or that you’re worried about me. But because you’re worried about yourself without me.”   Duly-noted by Avery, but he exits.

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

And then we get to the crescendo of the finale, as Juliette sings on her keyboard alongside her stilettos, the moving boxes, et al.  While the emotion of the song plays out, the show intercuts the action and brings us to a flash-forward in time.  This was done effectively on the series finale of One Life to Live and Guiding Light, among others soaps, that have to say their goodbyes.  In Nashville time it’s a “few months later” and we see how everyone’s life is shaping up:  Daphne has signed her first record contract!  Will is hand in hand with a boyfriend and it’s Zach.  Jessie has full custody of her son and they are eating popcorn and watching a scary movie together.  Maddie moved into her own place.  Alannah’s career is taking off opening for The Lumineers.  The Last Highways hold an album release party, with … of course, screaming fangurls!

Then it’s time to grab the hankies … we see Juliette with baby bump hanging out on her farm with Cadence on the swing set, and walking towards her is Avery with a large suitcase. He begins with, “Juliette, I need you.  And I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” He adds, “And if you would ….” she cuts him off.  “Yes,” she says. They embrace and kiss as Cadence yells, “Daddy!”  And there you have it … Javery is together at last!

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

The show’s last season largely centered around Deacon.  And in the last installment, it is Rayna who comes to him when he must make the decision whether to embrace his father who is longing to make peace with his son, or hold on to old grudges.  As Deacon’s career has taken off again as he is now headlining his own tour, Gideon (Ronny Cox) has come to see his son perform and comes backstage to see him, which takes Deacon aback.   He goes to his dressing room where in a ghost/ flashback experience, he recalls Rayna on their wedding night. “Is this real?” he whispers,  Deacon is worried that after all the mistakes and regrets that kept them apart for so long, and caused them so much pain, that things can’t work themselves out.  But the wise Rayna says. “Sometimes somebody gets into your bloodstream. It doesn’t matter how much we’ve failed each other.  We must choose each other.  And I choose you exactly the way you are. And I’m going to love you forever… and ever and ever.”

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

Deacon is in tears, but it’s time to hit the stage.  Now, feeling reassured that he should give his father a chance (thanks to Rayna from the great beyond), he realized that forgiving his father would not make him weak or less than, but would strengthen his family.  Deacon tells the audience he wants to bring someone special up on-stage with him, his dad, Gideon Claybourne.  From the audience, Gideon is shocked and honored.  Gideon straps on a guitar and Deacon begins to play and then whispers to his dad, “Do you know this song?” To which Gideon, replied, “Son, I know all your songs.” Hankies!

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

And then came the final note after six years of songs, and so much drama.  As Deacon and Gideon begin to perform the song, “A Life That’s Good”, all the characters begin to walk out on stage and join them singing in unison, but we soon realize the show has broken the fourth wall, and now we are watching the true swan song with the cast past and present, the crew, the executive producers, Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, and at the center of it all, Callie Khouri who says, “I want to thank the city of Nashville.”  She adds “The beautiful people of Nashville. The incredible cast and crew — the family that we’ve made.  And may we all have a life that’s good.  And that’s a wrap.”  What a touching and honest way to say goodbye.

So, how would you grade the series finale of Nashville? What did you think of how things were left for your favorite characters? What was your favorite moment in the last episode? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. But first check out the heartfelt thanks from the cast of Nashville in the video below, followed by three of the heart-tugging scenes from the finale.

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Breaking News

TONIGHT: ‘Nashville’ Series Finale: How Will It End For Your Favorite Characters?

Get the hankies and that box of tissue ready! After six seasons, it’s time to say goodbye with one last look at the lives of the characters of Nashville, as it airs its final episode tonight on CMT. (9EST/8CST)

The Nashies have been an incredible fan base that helped rally the show from its cancellation on ABC to finding its last home on CMT for the final two seasons.  But tonight, the series come to its conclusion with the airing of its last installment entitled: “Beyond the Sunset”.

In story, Deacon (Charles Esten) can’t forgive Gideon (Ronny Cox) and gets an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream. Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) makes a decision about her future. Daphne (Maisy Stella) prepares for the final round of Nashville’s Next. Alannah (Rainee Blake) confronts Brad (Jeff Nordling), Avery (Jonathan Jackson), Gunnar (Sam Palladio), and Will (Chris Carmack) discuss the future.

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT

But how will it truly end for Deacon?  Will he find some happiness?  According to a recent chat with TVLine, EP Marshall Herskovitz revealed: “I remember talking about this with Chip (Esten) before the season started, and I remember Chip saying to me, ‘Whatever you do, just put me in the worst position possible.”

They tease: “Before the end of the hour, Deacon is caught up in reflecting on his life, which longtime viewers know hasn’t always been as good as his hit song suggests.”

Then, there is another major question: Will Avery and Juliette patch things up once and for all and make a go of their relationship?  Stay tuned!

Let us know how you things will be left for your favorite music city characters by the end of the episode via the comment section below.

 

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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