According to reports, cable network CMT is near a deal with the producers of Nashville (Lionsgate, ABC Studios, and Opry Entertainment) to pick up the series for a fifth season. The search for a new home began immediately after ABC cancelled the musical drama. There is also a Hulu streaming component to the deal.
The season 4 finale ended with a cliffhanger–Juliette Barnes’ (Hayden Panettiere) plane went missing while her child’s father (Jonathan Jackson) waited for her return. Obviously, the producers banking on a return of the series. Of course, Nashville’s return to a cable channel will likely mean budget cuts. It’s not yet clear if both Panettiere and star Connie Britton will be back for the CMT version. However, Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs has said in the past that the actors are “essential” to the show’s continuation. Both are apparently still under contract.
Nashville’s cancellation came as a surprise, after the studio hired and announced new showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (Thirtysomething). They will likely remain for the cable version, but no deal has yet been finalized.