Nashville is the saga of two rival female country music stars, played by Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) and Panettiere (Heroes). Britton's character, Rayna James, is a country legend past her prime, who is denigrated to opening for Panettiere's character, the up-and-coming Juliette Barnes.
The ladies do their own singing on the show. Panettiere recorded an album when she was younger, but this marked new territory for the 22-year-old.
"It's not something that either one of us has done in combination before with acting," said Hayden.
Co-stars Clare Bowen (Home and Away) and Sam Palladio (Episodes) on the other hand felt right at home with the musical components of the project.