When I heard the synopsis for ABC’s new show, “Nashville”, coming to the network this Fall, I thought it sounded like a cross between Robert Altman’s movie of the same name and the Gwyneth Paltrow opus, Country Strong. Turns out I was right, in a good way.
Chart-topping Rayna James (Connie Britton) is a country legend who's had a career any singer would envy, though lately her popularity is starting to wane. Fans still line up to get her autograph, but she's not packing the arenas like she used to. Rayna's record label thinks a concert tour, opening for up-and-comer Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), the young and sexy future of country music, is just what Rayna needs. But scheming Juliette can't wait to steal Rayna's spotlight. Sharing a stage with that disrespectful, untalented, little vixen is the last thing Rayna wants to do, which sets up a power struggle for popularity. Could the undiscovered songwriting talent of Scarlett O'Connor (Clare Bowen) be the key to helping Rayna resurrect her career?
Complicating matters, Rayna's wealthy but estranged father, Lamar Hampton (Powers Boothe), is a powerful force in business, Tennessee politics, and the lives of his two grown daughters. His drive for power results in a scheme to back Rayna's handsome husband, Teddy, in a run for Mayor of Nashville, against Rayna's wishes.
We love Connie Britton, from "Friday Night Lights" and "American Horror Story". Hayden Panettiere I’m not sold on, but she looks like a good fit in the trailer. The terrific cast includes Eric Close as Rayna’s husband Teddy, Powers Booth, and Charles Esten (who used to be known as “Chip” when he was a regular on “Whose Line is it Anyway”). The show is being given the 10pm Wednesday time slot vacated by "Revenge" (which is moving to 9pm Sunday after "Once Upon A Time"). Created by Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise), Nashville looks like the kind of multigenerational saga that ABC does well. I’m definitely going to give this one a shot.