Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere and More Return to Nashville

NASHVILLE - ABC's "Nashville" stars Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O'Connor, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad, Eric Close as Teddy Conrad, Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad, Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne and Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)

Good news for Nashville fans. Stars Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere and seven other cast members have signed new deals to return for the musical drama’s fifth season, according to sources.

Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella and Chris Carmack will also be returning as season regulars. All have signed on for 22 new episodes, set to air on CMT, after four seasons on ABC.

Will Chase and Audrey Peeples will not be returning for the 5th season.

The news comes on the heels of CMT officially picking up a fifth season, in a deal that includes next day streaming on Hulu.

With season 4 ending in a major cliffhanger that left Hayden Panettiere’s character’s life on the line, there were questions whether the actress would return or not. Earlier in the season, Panettiere missed several episodes after seeking treatment for postpartum depression.

While the cast remains essentially the same, Nashville will return in the fall with two new showrunners, Executive producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (My So-Called Life, thirtysomething) replacing longtime showrunner Dee Johnson.

Via The Hollywood Reporter

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Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!