On Tuesday, Lionsgate TV revealed that the hit TV show is going to become a full-fledged live musical in New York City. And the production team has enlisted some legendary talent to help realize this adaptation -- 10-time Tony Award-winning producer Scott Delman, who will serve as Lead Producer.
The show, which starred Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, centered around a number of fictional musicians in the titular Tennessee city’s bustling music scene. Juliette Barnes (Panettiere) is an up-and-comer while Rayna Jaymes (Britton) is a superstar whose career has begun to decline. It explores their relationships and struggles, both personal and professional, all set to country music.
The series enjoyed a 4-season run on ABC before its cancellation in 2016. That’s when CMT announced that they and Hulu had struck a deal to continue the show. That partnership yielded two more seasons before the program ended in 2018.
“Nashville, with its complex, relatable characters and sweeping emotional gestures, has all of the narrative elements that I look for in great theatrical source material,” Delman said in a statement. “From that rich DNA, we will be building an original story with entirely original music, written by major Nashville and Broadway songwriters.”
And this looks to be the beginning of a new initiative for Lionsgate, who shared that they intend to turn some of their other TV and film properties into live events as well.
“Nashville represents a unique opportunity to collaborate with Tony Award-winning producer Scott Delman to bring one of our most beloved properties to the stage in our first-ever Broadway production,” Jenefer Brown, Lionsgate SVP, Global Live & Location Based Entertainment, stated. “It kicks off an exciting slate of iconic Lionsgate properties that we will be bringing to a variety of platforms, transforming them into events that will expand the viewing experience for their fans and take our already successful live entertainment business to the next level.”
After the series finale aired in July of 2018, ET spoke with Britton about getting to return to the series for the final episode after (spoiler alert!) she died in a tragic car wreck halfway through the show’s fifth season.
In the scene, her character’s widower Deacon (Charles Esten) is about to go on stage when he imagines a cathartic conversation with her character, Rayna. But that wasn’t her only appearance in the episode. She also joined the cast on the Ryman stage at the very end for a star-studded performance.
"Rayna got to do the impossible. She got to come back from the dead," the 51-year-old actress said at the time. "I got to do the most wonderful [thing], which was to go back to my Nashville family and celebrate all the hard work and love and care that went into that show. Being on the Ryman stage, reunited with six years of cast and crew, is a moment I’ll cherish and never forget. I am grateful.”