'Nashville' Scores Renewal for Season 6 on CMT

CMT renews the country music drama for a sixth season, though the episode count is cut down to 16 from current fifth season's 22 episodes.

AceShowbiz - CMT announces that "Nashville" has been renewed for a season 6. The upcoming season 6's episode reportedly will be trimmed to 16 as opposed to current season 5 which consists of 22 episodes.

" 'Nashville' is our biggest hit and we're thrilled its fans have now become consistent CMT viewers," CMT president Brian Philips says in a statement. "As fans ourselves, we couldn't be happier with our hometown show's creative resurgence! We can't wait for you to see what comes next."

Season 6 reportedly will premiere on the network in early 2018. [SPOILER ALERT!] Some find the news quite a surprise, considering that the show killed off its main character Rayna Jaymes, played by Connie Britton. Despite the heavy opposition from the fans regarding the death, it seems like CMT is confident enough to move forward without the leading lady.

Along with the renewal news, CMT also announces that Jeffrey Nording ("Big Little Lies") will recur in the second half of season 5 of the country music drama. Nording will join previously announced cast additions Rachel Bilson and Kaitlin Doubleday.

Nording will portray Brad Maitland, an extremely successful, charming, egotistical, narcissistic owner of the most successful record label in Nashville. Nording's other TV credits include "Desperate Housewives" and "24".

Season 6 marks the second season of the series airing on CMT. "Nashville" previously aired on ABC, before the network cancelled the series after four seasons. For the current season 5, CMT collaborates with Hulu. Meanwhile, Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment produce the series.

Starring Hayden Panettiere, Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, Maisy Stella and Lennon Stella, "Nashville" returns on Thursday, June 1 at 9 P.M. on CMT.

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