Connie Britton & Hayden Panettiere to return to ‘Nashville’ when it moves to CMT

PaleyFest Nashville

Good news for you Nashville fans out there, when the show returns after being rescued from cancellation by ABC, stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere will reprise their characters for the show’s fifth season. I, personally, am giddy with excitement.

The show got picked up by CMT (and will also be available on Hulu for my fellow “cord cutters”) after a successful “bring back this TV show” social media campaign. Side note: could we try this with The Muppets? According to TV Line, Connie is set to return as country music queen Rayna James and Hayden will be back as her sometime rival, sometime mentee Juliette Barnes. Highlight for a mild spoiler: This likely means that Juliette didn’t die in a plane crash, as was hinted during the show’s 4th season finale and now, she, Avery and baby Cadence can have a happy reunion.

Will Chase, who played Luke Wheeler, won’t be returning, which is sad, but his character wasn’t really doing much. I do think Luke got a raw deal as far as his relationship with Rayna, but now who is going to champion Will Lexington’s music career? It’s also been reported that Aubrey Peeples, who played Layla, is also not returning. No big loss there, her character was awful. Let’s just hope she doesn’t go on to make a sequel to that horrendous Jem movie.

My second favorite actor after Jon Hamm, Charles Esten (DEACON!), Sam Palladio (Gunnar), Jonathan Jackson (Avery), Clare Bowen (Scarlett), Lennon Stella (Maddie), Maisy Stella (a/k/a eternally sad Daphne), and Chris Carmack (Will Lexington, stone cold hottie) are also rumored to return. It’s not Nashville without Deacon. Rayna and Deacon were on slightly shaky ground when the last season ended, I hope they can use the new season to reconcile. Dayna 4-eva.

Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere

PaleyFest Nashville

Photo credit:, Getty Images

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

15 Responses to “Connie Britton & Hayden Panettiere to return to ‘Nashville’ when it moves to CMT”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Esmom says:

    I don’t watch the show but know plenty of people who do, so yay. The cast seems sweet and tight knit, nice to see.

  2. Aulty says:

    I want Sam and Clare back – they are my favourites and they make great music! And Chris and his cute BF. Shame about Luke.
    I also wonder what they’re gonna do with Rayna and Deacon – surely no more back and forth for those 2? Rayna’s storyline with the label and Maddie wasn’t that exciting.

  3. Alex says:

    I like the show but I would like it more if I actually liked the main couple. Since I don’t it’s not my favorite. But the writing is decent and the music is killer so I guess I’ll be tuning into CMT

  4. tracking says:

    As much as I love Connie Britton, I wasn’t able to get into this show. Mr. tracking loves it, so I’m happy for him and for all of you!

  5. Lucy2 says:

    So glad the show will return! I’m not sorry to see Luke wheeler go, he was kind of annoying, but I’m a little bummed that Layla I won’t be there anymore. Mostly I just like the music that they had her do.

    • JustCrimmles says:

      Yeah, Luke was kind of meh, but Layla was a speeding train of crazy, and I kind of liked that.

  6. Skins says:

    Great News! I can live without Luke or Layla.

  7. Tate says:

    I just watched the season finale yesterday. Glad that we won’t be left hanging!!

  8. tealily says:

    I liked Luke’s character, but as you say, he wasn’t doing much. I suppose Layla had run her course too, but I think she could have still been interesting.

  9. Mamunia says:

    Thanks for the great news!!

  10. AntsOffTheScent says:

    Yay, I’ll miss Luke a little bit, but Layla not at all. Now if they could get Maddie’s story back from the teen-angsty brink and we never have to hear her ‘wild one’ song ever again, I’m all good. Juliette is one of my favorite tv characters and I’m so happy she’s coming back as Hayden does such a great job on this show! Yay Nashville.

    • JustCrimmles says:

      Yes! That song was a whispered assault on my eardrums and will not be missed!

  11. Zooey says:

    Yay!! I am SO happy about this!!

  12. LouLou says:

    I love this show as my favorite guilty pleasure. However, I hope they drop that crazy story line where Deacon’s sponsor (and business partner) and his daughter (Cash) both went off the rails. Cash seemed like almost horror movie psychotic and obsessed with Maddie at the end of last season. Also, I am glad Scarlett is acting less like Nell or some other confused woodland creature so much. Maybe she finally found a happy medium.

  13. Bettyrose says:

    This is a huge spoiler, right? Juliette Barnes was possibly dead in the cliffhanger, so unless she’s coming back Obiwan style, she’s most likely not dead. Also, do planes in 2016 disappear over land?