ABC cancels Nashville in surprise move

Hayden Panettiere Connie Britton Nashville canceled

ABC surprised fans and industry experts when it announced earlier today that their country music based drama Nashville has been canceled after four seasons.

Although Nashville has never been a ratings bonanza for the network, the show had developed a devoted fan base that delivered huge DVR viewing bumps every week. The TV ratings experts at TV By The Numbers gave the show a 70% chance of being renewed in their most recent renew/cancel standings posted on Tuesday.

In addition to the ratings seeming to indicate a renewal, moves made by the network also pointed towards more drama with a drawl. From Deadline:

There had been positive signs for a Season 5 renewal for Nashville, co-produced by Lionsgate TV and ABC Studios. Lionsgate TV stepped in to hire Emmy-winning writer=producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick as new showrunners. They were already working with writers on breaking stories for next season.


At about the same time that the Nashville cancellation announcement was made, show star Hayden Panettierre shared a message on Twitter indicating that she is still struggling with postpartum depression, a struggle she opened up about earlier this year. Here is the message she posted:

The postpartum depression I have been experiencing has impacted every aspect of my life. Rather than stay stuck due to unhealthy coping mechanisms I have chosen to take time to reflect holistically on my health and life. Wish me luck!


It is unclear at this time if Hayden’s postpartum depression issues, and her need to “take time to reflect,” played a role in ABC’s decision. Either way, we are saddened by the cancellation of Nashville, and we wish all the best for Hayden!

As a tribute I’d like to offer up Willie Nelson covering Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times” along with a “good times” photo of Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton together:

Nashville actresses Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton together laughing

UPDATE – Although ABC has bailed on Nashville, Lionsgate still has hopes and is reportedly shopping around. “We’re looking for a new home. We never give up on a great show,” Lionsgate television group chairman Kevin Beggs wrote in an email to employees.

Some cast and crew reactions from social media:

It's hard to put into words the love for my cast mates, crew, production team, songwriters and the city that has been my home for the last 4 years. When I first moved to the city I remember seeing the #ibelieveinnashville murals dotted around the city, created by my now great friend @adriensaporiti of @dcxvindustries. It was at first a strange sight, but I grew to understand it over time. Nashville IS a mythical place where magical things happen, from music, to healthcare, to art and many many other things along the way. It's a very sad day that our beloved Tv show will no longer remain on our screens. But I BELIEVE IN NASHVILLE, It has changed my life forever, I BELIEVE IN NASHVILLE the city and its people, I BELIEVE IN NASHVILLE and I hope you guys do to. All my love Gunnar

A photo posted by Sam Palladio (@sampalladio) on

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