Nashville lives on!
CMT is officially reviving the country music drama, bringing it back from the dead for a fifth season, the cable network announced Friday. In partnership with CMT, Hulu and ABC, the new season will air on CMT and the episodes will be available to stream on Hulu the day after they air.
While the premiere date has not been announced, ET has learned that season five will include 22 new episodes. It also remains unclear who from the ensemble cast, led by Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, will be returning.
The news of Nashville’s return comes less than one month after ABC canceled the series. A few days later, Lionsgate TV tweeted that there have been “numerous talks with interested networks” about keeping the show alive.
Longtime viewers will have a lot to look forward to now that CMT has saved Nashville from extinction. The show wrapped up its run on ABC with a May 25 “series finale” that ended on a major cliffhanger, when it appeared one of its main characters, Juliette Barnes (Panettiere), may have perished in a fatal plane crash.
Following the “series finale,” Lionsgate TV reassured fans that there was more to come from Nashville, writing, “What a cliffhanger! But we won’t leave you hanging. There’s more story to be told. #BringBackNashville.”
Days after Nashville was axed by ABC, ET caught up with Britton at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City, where she admitted she wasn’t “necessarily surprised” about the cancellation.
“I try to really put a silver lining on it and just say, ‘Hey, we got four years out of it and I really, really value the experience,” the 49-year-old actress said, keeping hope alive that the show could continue on: “You never know.”
The news of Nashville’s cancellation came on the same day Panettiere revealed she was still struggling with postpartum depression and would be taking time to “reflect holistically” on her well-being.
“She probably just needed more help,” a source told ET. “And her heart wasn’t in it to focus on the show.”
For more on Panettiere’s struggle with postpartum depression and the support she’s gotten since she’s made it public, watch ET’s exclusive interview with the actress below.