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The Men Of NASHVILLE: Who's Your Fave … Jonathan Jackson, Charles Esten, or Eric Close?

Courtesy/ABC7

Courtesy/ABC7

ABC’s hit new show Nashville is striking a chord with audiences and while the women take front and center stage with series stars, Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, plenty of the men are getting the attention and fans think the cast is red hot!

ABC 7 in Washington D.C. caught up with Jonathan Jackson, Charles Esten, and Eric Close, and filed this story and video!  Starting with Jonathan Jackson whose Avery Barkley delivers a healthy dose of drama each week. Cast as a rocker struggling to find a place to hang his hat on the country scene, Jackson says the show resonates with people outside of the Nashville norm.  “My character, ‘Avery Barkley’ in particular, he doesn’t really do traditional country music,” said Jackson. “And he’s doing avant-garde indie rock because that stuff is happening in Nashville.”

Jackson is part of an all-star cast that includes Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne) as the former band member and lover of country queen bee, “Rayna James”.  It’s not just his acting chops on display, but his pipes as well. Every actor sings each note of Nashville poetry. “When the words are as good as these songs it’s the easiest thing to do,” explained Esten. “When you have a song that great, and when the scenes are this great, it’s the easiest thing to do.”

Esten joined co-star Eric Close (Teddy Conrad) at the CMA’s. And as Close’s character is in full campaign mode for Mayor of Nashville, ABC7 just had to ask if he has any political aspirations himself.  “I’m kind of enjoying all the attention so we’ll see,” said Close. “I gotta say this guy could be the mayor of Nashville. He’s the friendliest guy in the world.”

After the jump, watch the Men of Nashville, and then let us know who is you favorite guy?  Nashville airs Wednesdays nights at 10pm on ABC.

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MaggieCamicaliesu0000EJ/JS fan Recent comment authors
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IBelieveinLove
IBelieveinLove

Well this is easy, although I love all three without any question Jonathan Jackson is my favorite! All three are very good actors but JJ has such phenomenal acting skills and singing chops which is one of the reasons he’s my favorite! Nashville really lucked out on this cast including Connie and Hayden! My hope is they realize what a gift they have and don’t become predictable, they need to mixed it up and the characters that you think wouldn’t never do the unthinkable actually in the end do it. Keep it fun.

abby
abby

while i have always been a JJ fan from his days on GH, i’m actually really really liking Charles Esten and the character he plays…he’s a bit of a hunk lol

doodleynoodle
doodleynoodle

My favorite is Charles Esten. I’m so invested in this character and his story. I can’t wait to see what happens with him.

While I love Jonathan Jackson, I’m not loving Avery.

Teddy who? Give me more Powers Boothe…I’ve always loved his work and he’s great as Rayna’s dad even if he is mean as a rattlesnake.

Suzie
Suzie

Well, I’m a wee bit biased as a long time GH fan, Jonathan Jackson hands down. Just loving this show and thrilled for Jonathan that he brought his guitar and voice along for this acting audition. Great quality show. Kudos to T. Bone Burnett and co.

K Jones
K Jones

There were two reasons I chose to check out Nashville. The first is that it is my hometown and I wanted to see how it would be portrayed, which turns out to be quite accurately. It’s not perfect but there’s no where else I would rather be. The second, and the reason I keep coming back, is JONATHON JACKSON. Love his acting, love his music. Loved him on General Hospital as the young Lucky Spencer. Loved him as Lucky the second time around (hated the writing at the time though). Can’t wait to see more of this struggling not quite bad boy AVERY. His rendition of KISS this week was more than I hoped for. I enjoy al the men on Nashville, but I will keep watching to see what AVERY is up to next.

S
S

Sam Palladio, who you did not include in your article! He’s the hottest.

Iakovos
Iakovos

I “heart” Charles Esten. (A LOT!) 🙂

Mary
Mary

Charles Esten no contest

SZima
SZima

I’m partial to Eric Close…out of those three. He’s the one I’m more familiar with.
Jonathan Jackson is a good actor, but not to my liking in the looks department.
Charles Esten I’ve never seen before, but he is good looking and he’s a good actor also.

EJ/JS fan
EJ/JS fan

Definitely Charles Esten! Love Deacon!! Second would be Eric Close and JJ third

su0000
su0000

Love the hot sexy- Charles Esten !

calie
calie

Charles Esten, then Gunner and whoever plays him and then JJ.

Cami
Cami

My favorite Nashville man is definitely Charles Esten. I’d watch the show for him and his songs alone. Unfortunately I can rarely watch it live because I work late at DISH on Wednesdays, but I catch it on my DVR. I have the DISH Hopper, which is set to auto-record Nashville and the other big four prime time network shows using Primetime Anytime, so I can always watch the show even though I work when it airs. Having the show recorded also makes it easy for me to re-watch my favorite parts, or re-listen to Esten’s songs. Sideshow was a particular favorite of mine.

Maggie
Maggie

DEFINITELY JONATHAN JACKSON….he was so good on GH, it’s good to see him utilizing his immense acting talent to combine his music with acting…I really wish he would come back to GH, but I am happy the show is successful…maybe he can stop in again some time…I would go so far as to say, he was the BEST actor on GH.

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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