‘Nashville’ Strikes Season 5 Deal With CMT
Nashville fans are getting exactly what they've been hoping for. After a huge fan outcry and a very aggressive campaign online, the show has reached a deal to continue with a new season.
Variety reported Tuesday (June 7) that CMT was near striking a deal with Lionsgate, ABC Studios, and Opry Entertainment, who produce Nashville, to carry the show into Season 5 and hopefully beyond. Additionally, Entertainment Weekly reported that the deal includes a Hulu component. Hulu currently carries the show's previous seasons. Variety points out that while the show's ratings were too soft for a mainstream network like ABC, they'd constitute strong ratings for CMT.
CMT's Cody Alan confirmed the news Friday afternoon (June 10):
Nashville's Tennessean newspaper reports that Nashville and CMT reached the deal after weeks of negotiations, citing sources close to the talks. The entire cast is expected to return to the show under the direction of a new creative team. The show will broadcast on CMT and stream on Hulu. According to EW, Season 5 will include a full 22 episodes.
State and local incentives were crucial to the deal coming together, according to the Tennessean. State and local government, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. and Ryman Hospitality will help to offset the cost of the show's production as in years past. The state has budgeted $8 million, while Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has proposed a $1.375 million fund for film incentives. That number has not been finalized, and neither CMT nor Nashville's producers have publicly confirmed the deal.
ABC shocked fans when the network abruptly pulled the show on May 12, despite some early signs that a fifth season renewal would come through. The Season 4 finale on May 25 wound up being the series finale, and though it gave closure to many of the story lines, it ended on a cliffhanger after Juliette Barnes' plane disappeared. Many fans expressed their disappointment at that ending, which Lionsgate TV head Kevin Beggs said was a deliberate move on the part of producers who were trying to save the show by taking it to another network.
Nashville fans joined in a concerted effort to help bring the show to another network, starting a petition and using the hashtag #BringBackNashville in an online campaign that arguably brought more attention to the show than it has ever had during its run. Though the deal with CMT is not yet confirmed, it now seems likely that the so-called "Nashies" have succeeded, and country fans will be able to get their weekly Nashville fix in the fall.
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