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Rachel Bilson and Kaitlin Doubleday Join The Cast Of CMT’s Nashville!

Courtesy/CMT

Following Thursday night’s mid-season finale of Nashville, CMT announced two new major casting acquistions for the back-half of their fifth season.

Coming on to the canvas will be Rachel Bilson, who has had plenty of soap experience on The O.C. and Hart of Dixie, and Kaitlin Doubleday, who was last seen as Rhonda on Empire! 

Nashville will also be a bit of a reunion for Bilson, who worked with Chris Carmack (Will Lexington) on The O.C.

In a statement to CMT.com, executive producer and showrunner, Marshall Herskovitz related: “We welcome Rachel and Kaitlin into our incredibly talented ensemble. We fondly anticipate the second half of the season filled with surprising twists and turns that make Nashville so beloved by the fans.”

Rachel Bilson was most recently seen as Dr. Zoe Hart in The CW’s series Hart of Dixie, a fish-out-of-water story about a New York City doctor adjusting to life in a small Southern town after she inherits a local medical practice. She became an integral part of pop culture due to her series regular role on the popular television show The O.C. for four seasons.

Kaitlin Doubleday gained worldwide recognition portraying Rhonda Lyon on the megahit Empire. At age 17, she made her film debut opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can. Other notable screen credits include the cult classic Waiting, opposite Ryan Reynolds and Anna Farris, and Accepted, opposite Jonah Hill and Justin Long.

In addition, following the mid-season finale, CMT released this promo of clips from upcoming episodes. Watch it after the jump! Then let us know if you think Bilson and Doubleday will be exciting additions to the cast! Comment below.

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rebecca1MolliesonniorsolitaJK Recent comment authors
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rebecca1
rebecca1

After my initial disappointment with the CMT version, I have to say (and have said on previous posts) that the show has really picked up in the last few episodes…it’s been excellent! (I still don’t like Juliette’s newfound gospel/church story, however). Loving all the characters who seem to be back as “themselves”…there is more of that core group togetherness vibe and the emotions have been very true to life.

I like both actresses they’re adding; curious to see where they fit in…though still miss Luke!

JK
JK

WELL SAID….I AM NOW ENJOYING THE SHOW MORE TOO..AGREE WITH YOU ON THE JULIETTE/CHURCH STORY… LOVING ALL THE CHARACTERS AND ANXIOUS TO SEE WHERE THESE TWO NEW GALS FIT IN…..BRING BACK LUKE!

rebecca1
rebecca1

Will Chase (Luke) has a role on the new show Time After Time. Not sure if he’s recurring but he’s the husband of what seems could be an ongoing character (need to catch up on the latest episode…good show!)

But, as said, getting rid of Will Chase (Luke) was a bad move. Great character!

Mollie
Mollie

I liked Rachel on The O.C. That said, she’s as one-note an actress as I’ve ever seen.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I’ve never seen her on anything other than The O.C. and I liked her so, while I’d STILL rather have Will Chase (Luke) back, I’m willing to give her a chance.

sonniorsolita
sonniorsolita

Boy, they really don’t like Will, do they? He’s never featured in any of the promos. And frankly, he should have one of the most interesting story lines.

rebecca1
rebecca1

He’s no longer on the show. His last appearance was just to wrap things up.

Breaking News

‘Empire’ Star Jussie Smollett Turns Himself In After Being Charged With Allegedly Filing False Police Report & Facing Criminal Charges

In major developments in the last several hours, Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon, Empire) turned himself in to Chicago police early Thursday morning, just hours after he was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack against himself late in January on the streets in Chicago.

In a press conference currently being conducted by the CPD supervisor, Eddie Johnson and Commander Edward Wodnick, they revealed that Smollett turned himself in quietly and without issue.   In addition, the Chicago PD are outlining the events and timeline that led to Smollett’s arrest.

Smollett turned himself in at the Central District police station in Chicago at 5 a.m., police reported.  Thursday morning, Smollett was scheduled to appear for a bail hearing Thursday at 1:30pm central time on a felony charge of a class 4 disorderly conduct, and with that charge Smollett could face up to 1.5 years in prison.

Jussie’s attorney’s released the following statement on Wednesday night after Smollett was charged by the Chicago PD: “Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”

Smollett reported that he has been attacked as he was walking home around.  He claimed two masked men shouted racist and homophobic slurs as they beat him, put a noose around his neck, and poured a chemical on to him.

Enter two brothers, Ola and Abel Osundairo, who Smollett knew, who were arrested last week, but later released as suspects. The two brothers told police they helped stage the attack with Smollett.  They were paid $3,500 to orchestrate the attack by Smollett.  In their press conference, the Chicago PD revealed that they have the check as evidence were Smollett paid the brothers that sum.

The brothers left for Nigeria hours after the attack, and were arrested days later when they returned to Chicago.   On Wednesday, they testified to a grand jury. Smollett was later charged with disorderly conduct.

What do you think now about the events and the arrest of Jussie Smollett?  Comment below! But first watch the Chicago PD police department.live feed of the press conference on Smollett’s arrest.

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Breaking News

Jussie Smollett Scenes Cut From ‘Empire’ In Light Of Attack Investigation

As of Tuesday, the production of Fox’s hit series, Empire has slashed Jussie Smollett’s upcoming scenes following reports that the suspicion is now on him for allegedly staging the “hate” attack he reported to the Chicago PD back on January 29th.

According to production sources viaTMZ: Jussie was supposed to have nine scenes and a big musical performance in the second-to-last episode of Season 5,  Now, five scenes and the musical number have been axed.  Smollett’s character is also no longer the focus of his remaining four scenes, which will now feature an ensemble of characters.

The actor/singer who portrays Jamal Lyon will be working Friday and possibly Thursday but won’t be rehearsing.

The Empire writers are said to have been scrambling over the last 24 hours to revise this season’s scripts.

All of this despite despite strongly expressed renewed support by Empire showrunner Brett Mahoney on February 17th.  The goal now is said to be to reduce Smollett’s role both in dramatic stints and musical performances.

Empire returns for the remainder of its fifth season on March 13.

Smollett claims he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack near his Chicago apartment, but things took a turn when he may have paid two friends to help stage the assault.

This case is said to be going before a Grand Jury as early as today.

What are your thoughts on the latest developments in the Smollett case and Empire reducing his appearances for the remainder of the season? Comment below.

 

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Breaking News

Chicago Police Believe That Jussie Smollett May Have Been “Active Participant” In His Own Attack

Saturday has brought with it some major twists and developments into the alleged assault on Empire star, Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon) through multiple reports.  Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the on-going investigation told CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollet paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him.

The men in question, who are brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, were originally arrested on Wednesday, but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited: “Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete.”  Reports also say that the two men are fully cooperating with law enforcement.

Of note is: that the brothers are of Nigerian descent and teach online body building classes. The Chicago Tribune reports that Smollett follows the brothers’ workout page on Instagram.   One brother reportedly appeared in an episode of Empire, but was not credited it for it.

Smollett’s attack happened in the early hours of January 29th on the streets of Chicago, when Smollett told authorities that two men were “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs.”  He also noted that one of the attackers put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

The sources told CNN there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at an Ace Hardware store in Chicago.

“The new direction of the investigation is now based on the premise that Mr. Smollett was an active participant in the incident,” a law enforcement source close to the situation told Deadline.

In a statement from Chicago PD late Saturday: “We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the Empire case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation. We’ve reached out to the ‘Empire’ cast member’s attorney to request a follow-up interview.”

In an update to this story: Jussie’s lawyers said in statement over the weekend that one of the brothers taken in to custody was Smollett’s personal trainer, and the actor finds it “impossible to believe that this person could have played a role in the crime against Jussie or would falsely claim Jussie’s complicity.”

So, what do you believe at this juncture?  Do you think Smollett would stage a hate crime on himself? Could the police just not have found the true culprits? Share your theories on this developing story.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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