Nashville is returning to the air for it’s fifth season, but it’s first since joining with CMT after ABC canceled its run on the channel in May.


With new executive producers and showrunners in Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, the soapy country music show is expected to take a new turn. The first episode of the fifth season airs tonight, and there are a few things fans should remember about the first four seasons going in.

Firstly, no other characters know that Deacon (Charles Esten) and Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) slept together in the first season. There was great dramatic potential if Deacon’s so-called soul mate Rayna (Connie Britton) ever found out, but the original writers never took advantage of the situation. Perhaps this will finally come to a head. The only person to bring it up was Juliette’s mom’s companion Dante (Jay Hernandez).

Speaking of which, there was also the drama where, ironically, Dante slept with Juliette and blackmailed her for $10 million over it. Juliette’s mother Jolene (Sylvia Jefferies), then destroyed the tape and killed herself, as if the show didn’t have enough soap already.

Let’s not forget Juliette’s relationship with Avery (Jonathan Jackson), that was actually pretty good and strong in the first few seasons until things heated up, and the divorce and the postpartum depression left a bad taste in our mouths. At the end of season four, we saw Avery rushing to the airport to meet Juliette and tell her he still loved her, when he got word of a plane crashing 90 miles outside of Nashville. We can assume this was Juliette’s plane, but given that Panettiere is billed for season five, we can also assume she will survive and continue through a lot of working on the relationship with Avery.

Coming back to Rayna, who may or may not be Deacon’s soulmate, it is important to realize that she did have reasons to choose Luke (Will Chase) over Deacon, and it wasn’t just a classic nonsensical plotline. Rayna and Luke went through difficult times together as struggling artists and helped her through her issues with Deacon and his surging alcoholism.

In the same vein as that love triangle, let’s remember that Rayna’s ex-husband Teddy (Eric Close) slept with Deacon’s girlfriend to get over the fact that his new wife Peggy lied about being pregnancy,

Lastly, we mustn’t forget that Nashville started out as fairly realistic portrayal of women in the country music scene. This lasted a bit into the second season before it was taken over by soap opera tactics and plot devices. We’ll find out tonight at 9 pm how the new CMT producers will work with the show and what direction it might take.

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