CMT Renewed Nashville — But There's A Catch

Photo: Mark Levine/CMT.
Nashville fans, rejoice. CMT has picked up the country music drama for a sixth season.
Entertainment Weekly reports that the next CMT season will include 16 episodes. That's shorter than the show's 21- and 22-episode seasons, but for those who don't want to see the show cancelled, it's way better than nothing.
CMT President Brian Philips told EW that Nashville is the "highest-rated and most-watched show in the network's history," so its renewal shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
There's still, of course, the open question of how the show will go on without Rayna (Connie Britton).
At its start, Nashville was about the competing musical styles of traditional country, embodied by Rayna, and the contemporary country voices of players like Juliette (Hayden Panettiere), Scarlett (Clare Bowen), and Gunnar (Sam Palladio). But with Rayna gone, as well as her peers like Luke (Will Chase) and Sadie (Laura Benanti), it seems like the focus of the next season might shift to the show's younger characters.
Deacon (Charles Esten) is still around, but a preview clip from CMT makes it look like he's more interested in running Highway 65 and investing in Maddie's (Lennon Stella) pursuits than in making his own music. Plenty of the music put forth by the younger artists, especially Will (Chris Carmack), is great, but if that dichotomy is lost after Britton's departure, it would be a bit of a shame. Then again, there are still plenty of storylines to tie up, music aside. (Juliette's still recovering from the plane crash, and Scarlett is pregnant, for starters.)
I can't get too far ahead of myself, though — the rest of season 5 has yet to air on CMT in June. Rachel Bilson and Kaitlin Doubleday will join the show when it returns, which will give the show some fresh blood, too.
Check out CMT's "what comes next" Nashville video below.

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