Bridgit Mendler Joins ‘Nashville’ for Upcoming Season 5
There's another new face coming to Nashville. Bridgit Mendler has joined the cast of the country music drama for its upcoming fifth season.
Mendler will play Ashley Wilkenson, CMT reports, "a young and beautiful YouTube sensation who is about to record her first album." The character is "self-assured, stubborn and extremely talented, but behind her tough exterior is a well of vulnerability."
Mendler's resume includes Wizards of Waverly Place and Good Luck Charlie on the Disney Channel, as well as a star turn on NBC's Undateable. The 23-year-old is also a singer; she released her debut album, Hello, My Name Is … in 2012, and reportedly plans to release a follow-up in 2016.
Nashville's fifth season is slated to premiere on CMT in January 2017. The network picked up the popular show after ABC abruptly canceled it in May, as part of a new deal that also offers first-run streaming via Hulu. Though most of the main cast remains intact, there will be other changes to Nashville, including new writers and showrunners.
Series regulars Will Chase and Aubrey Peebles will not return for Season 5, and several additional characters have been added, including transgender actor Jen Richards, whose casting marks the first transgender actor on the network. Carolina Chocolate Drops founder Rhiannon Giddens is also joining the show, and CMT has put out a casting call for a new character named Clay, a 21-to-26-year-old African American male who wants to become a big player in Music City.
Nashville's Season 5 will premiere with a two-hour episode on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 9PM ET.
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