By LIZ MINIET
Never underestimate what a passionate and VOCAL fan base can accomplish.
Where would Rayna (Connie Britton), Deacon (Charles Esten), Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) and all their loved ones be without #Nashies (the nickname for fans of the TV show “Nashville,” which ABC canceled last month)?
Well, we can tell you where those characters will be: on CMT for a fifth season of “Nashville.”
After ABC’s decision, Lionsgate TV, one of the show’s producers, made it known that it was looking for another network or platform to pick up the show, and fans enthusiastically came along for the ride. After weeks of an online push with campaigns that included #BringBackNashville and #NashRewind, as well as a change.org petition that drew more than 170,000 supporters, the efforts paid off. “Nashville” will start a new life on CMT (with next-day streaming on Hulu) in a deal announced Friday.
“The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment. Production will commence in Nashville with Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (the creators of ‘Thirtysomething’) at the helm. The deal, negotiated by Lionsgate Television Group president Sandra Stern on behalf of Lionsgate and ABC Studios, Sarah Levy of Viacom Kids and Family Group on behalf of CMT, and Hulu executives, is an orchestrated initiative to ensure that ‘Nashville’ fans will continue to have the same level of access to their favorite show.”
“CMT heard the fans. The wave of love and appreciation they have unleashed for Nashville has been overwhelming,” CMT president Brian Philips said. “’Nashville’ is a perfect addition to our evolving lineup of big music specials, documentaries and original series. We see our fans and ourselves in this show and we will treasure it like no other network. ‘Nashville’ belongs on CMT.”
Lionsgate TV also noted #Nashies’ role.
Clare Bowen (Scarlett) and Jonathan Jackson (Avery) said thanks to the fans, too.
With an article late Thursday night by The Tennessean reporting the deal, fans were able to start celebrating hours before the official announcement.
Plus, at least one of the show’s stars, Ed Amatrudo (who plays Glenn, Juliette’s manager, on the show), confirmed to fans on Twitter that the news was true.
Fans had hoped for an announcement during the CMT Awards on Wednesday night, but that didn’t happen.
That’s OK, though, because fans got their wish (and even changed Twitter account names to reflect that).