2

Nashville” fans have demonstrated their complete passion and loyalty to the drama that so deftly melds music and melodrama against the city where careers are tenuous, tortured, and made in the music industry. When ABC rather carelessly and curtly cut “Nashville” from its roster at the close of Season four, without any regard to bringing the lives of the characters or the love cultivated in the hearts of fans to any kind of closure, a roar of support filled social media.

Petitions began, on Change.org, to bring the drama back, and cast members never gave up hope or neglected moving support from fans. Within months, Lionsgate production and CMT came to an agreement, and “Nashville” had a new home and a new team under the watch of veteran TV writers and producers Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskowitz.

However, the show will still be kept under the watchful eye of creator Callie Khouri and undergirded by the same musicians and songwriters [VIDEO] who collaborated on the music. The authenticity of “Nashville” resonated because of the genuine musical artistry of the cast, who never had to pretend to sing and play.

Season five on CMT slowed down the roller coaster pace of the stories, bringing some of the most satisfying storylines and songs to come to the series. There was a lyrical quality that echoed in the dialogue between characters, and a focus on deeper emotional evolution over a revolving door with characters coming in and out of town.

Many were jolted by heartbreak with the death of Rayna Jaymes’ character, portrayed by Connie Britton, in Season five, only months after marrying Deacon Claybourne, embodied by Charles Esten.

That fate was sealed by Britton’s desire to pursue other acting ventures more than by any storyline. The eighth episode, “Sometimes You Just Can't Win,” airing as Season six’s midseason finale, back in February, was a genuine cliffhanger. Avery (Jonathan Jackson) had come to the point of being done with Juliette (Hayden Panettiere), who was still under the mind control of Darius [VIDEO] (Josh Stamberg) and his disturbing flock. Will (Chris Carmack) collapsed on stage from steroid overdose just before closing credits rolled.

Parting with any favorite characters and cast who come to life in bedrooms and living rooms is never easy, but this time around, “Nashville” promises to give fans everything they love in the final episodes, and bring the characters’ lives to a pleasing closure.

Captive no more

CMT has been posting some recent and reflective video pieces with the “Nashville” favorites, looking back on all that created the chemistry [VIDEO] on stage and off. “Intense” is the word promised through the final episodes for the series, which begin on June 7.

Charles Esten asserts that “’Nashville’ put a hook into you, and it held on,” speaking of the drama’s appeal. The ride of Season six is sure to be more than any rod and reel can handle.

No one knows the power of a woman done wrong, and when Juliette comes to her senses about being held captive by Darius, a May 15 YouTube preview proves that she's determined to do whatever it takes to bring the manipulative guru down.

Father and son settle scores

Deacon Claybourne’s mistreatment by his father has been the root of most of the character’s battles with the bottle and struggles in being able to accept love and forgiveness. The weeks to come show Deacon tracking down his dad, and their coming to terms doesn’t appear to come easily, but certainly gives faithful fans something on which to hang hope.

Deacon and Jessie (Kaitlin Doubleday) find their blossoming love in danger as her ex-husband, Brad (Jeffrey Nordling), encourages Deacon's younger daughter, Daphne, to forge her own career in Country Music, driving a wedge within the relationship, and between the older and younger sisters.

Love seems to get tangled to the point of breaking amid the triangle with Avery, Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Allanah (Rainee Blake). Scenes also depict Scarlett (Clare Bowen) finding new love, Sean (Jake Etheridge), who suffers from PTSD, precariously holding a pistol.

“It's about music and family,” echoes leading man, Esten, at the close of the clip, with a proclamation of “what it is to be alive” from Chris Carmack. “Nashville” seems ready to serve up its last eight episodes with extra helpings of heart, heartache, and paying homage to its namesake home. Viewers are thankful for the country banquet (and occasionally, flying dishes), the beautiful music, and all the memories still to come.