Nashville is confirmed to return for Season 6, but will the upcoming season of the CMT show be its last following Connie Britton’s shocking departure and Rayna Jaymes subsequent death?
CMT announced this week that Nashville will return to screens for the remainder of Season 5 on June 1 with another season to follow in early 2018, but it’s now been speculated that the Hayden Panettiere lead show could bow out after Season 6.
Nashville’s upcoming sixth season will be cut in half according to TV Guide, as the site is reporting that rather than airing a full 22- or 23-episode season Nashville’s sixth season will instead only consist of 16 episodes. This could be a sign the country music drama could once again be on its way out after being canceled by ABC and picked up by CMT last year.
Nashville has also slipped in the ratings game, according to Variety, as the site noted that a number of fans didn’t follow the show when it made the move to CMT from ABC last year.
The site noted that Nashville’s Season 5 ratings on CMT “paled in comparison” to the numbers the show brought in when it first began airing on ABC back in 2012, but noted that the steep drop the country music drama’s numbers were still “solid for a cable channel.”
Nashville was also the most watched show in CMT’s network history when the ratings for the first half of Season 5 were taken into consideration, meaning there’s still a chance the network could continue on with Nashville with more episodes beyond 2018 despite the recent cancellation speculation.
But while Nashville’s ratings for CMT appear to be steady for the network, that hasn’t stopped fans from claiming that there’s a good chance Season 6 will be its last following the shocking death of Connie Britton’s character Rayna Jaymes earlier this year, which left some fans of the series seriously angry and upset.
“I’m not surprised Nashville got renewed for another season. I never thought they would get cancelled yet. Season 6 will be the last [in my opinion],” Nashville fan @T4881 tweeted out following the renewal news. “This renewal came before the weight of the loss of Connie/Rayna was felt on the show. It’s only been like 2 episodes [without] her,” they then added of Rayna’s shocking death.
Other fans also speculated that Nashville will more than likely be canceled again and won’t air beyond Season 6 after it returns for more episodes without Connie after it was confirmed that Britton decided to leave the show, and it wasn’t the producers’ decision to kill off Rayna.
“How is Nashville even a thing after the death of Rayna Jaymes?” Twitter user @SlayinWithBells tweeted, while @HargitaySlay added, “there’s no Nashville without Rayna Jaymes wtf are people thinking lmao.”
Speculation of a second Nashville cancellation comes shortly after Connie’s former co-star Hayden Panettiere admitted that she was “terrified” to continue on with the series without Connie after Rayna’s heart-breaking death back in February.
“I was terrified because she’s always been there from the beginning, and we’ve always been such a team and such a support for one another,” Hayden told Access Hollywood earlier this year when asked about how she reacted to Connie leaving the show and Rayna’s shocking death.
“I felt like, ‘Oh, my gosh! We’re all going to have to carry this show without her,'” Panettiere continued at the time, adding before it was announced that Nashville will return for Season 6 that starring on the show without Connie is “a really overwhelming idea” for her.
But despite the speculation that Nashville could once again be facing cancellation following Connie’s departure, TV Guide reported that CMT so far has “no official comment on whether the truncated season will be the show’s last.”
Do you think Nashville could be canceled again making Season 6 its final round of episodes?
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]