'Nashville' Is Coming To CMT, But Connie Britton Might Be Already Gone

Goodbye, Rayna?
The blues.
The blues.
Mark Levine via Getty Images

Ryan Murphy? It’s me, Connie Britton. I’m FREE.

Ahead of the Season 5 premiere of “Nashville” on its new network, CMT, reports have surfaced that Britton is planning her exit from the country soap. According to Entertainment Weekly, she will only appear in 10 out of the 22 episodes ordered, although negotiations between the actress, the network and her hair are ongoing.

When “Nashville” was resurrected by CMT after ABC’s unceremonious cancellation after four average-rated seasons in May, Britton and co-star Hayden Panettiere, along with most of the cast, agreed to return for a new season. However, the specifics of their contracts remained up in the air.

Now, we’re hearing that Panettiere will stay put for all 22 episodes of Season 5, possibly to compensate for the Britton-sized hole in the hearts of all who hold “Nashville” near and dear.

So what does it mean for Rayna James, Juliette Barnes and the rest of the Bluebird Cafe’s regular performers? Chances are the errant plane carrying Panettiere’s oft-in-peril character will land safely, so she can wreak some more havoc in the episodes to come.

“Nashville” premieres on CMT Thursday, Jan. 5, at 9/8c.

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