After six seasons — four on ABC and two on CMT — and more than 120 episodes. Nashville is coming to an end. The upcoming 16-episode sixth season of the country music drama, which debuts Jan. 4, will be its last. It will air in two parts, with the finale set for next summer.
Nashville, created by Callie Khouri, survived a cancellation by ABC and the departure of its original co-lead Connie Britton. The series has done well at CMT, with the Season 5 premiere (and CMT debut) delivering the network its most-watched original telecast ever. The soapy drama also has been successful in drawing new audiences to CMT. It ranks as the network’s highest-rated and most-watched show ever, averaging 2.1M weekly viewers (L+7).
But, as a high-end scripted drama, Nashville became an outlier at CMT, which shifted its programming strategy in the Viacom restructuring earlier this year, focusing on unscripted fare, which is significantly cheaper than scripted. Nashville, produced by Lionsgate TV, Opry Entertainment and ABC Studios, is the only scripted series on CMT. One of its biggest champions, CMT head of development Jayson Dinsmore who orchestrated the pickup after the cancellation by ABC, recently left the network. CMT is already prepping an unscripted Nashville successor with the upcoming docu-series Music City.