Nashville Showrunner Speaks: Interviews with EP Marshall Herskovitz

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Plus One Interview with Nashville Creator and Episode Director Callie Khouri

Spoilers for Nashville Episode 5×09 and Future Episodes!

Here’s the collection of showrunner interviews I promised in the Connie Britton post. Usually the Nashville showrunners refuse to give away any information about future storylines, but they are being amazingly forthcoming today. There are all kinds of interesting tidbits to be found in these interviews. I’ll comment more on those when I review the first half of the season and speculate about the next half.

EW- Nashville producer explains that Rayna shock (and what’s next)

I know you don’t like to discuss future storylines, but do you want to tease to the flashbacks of Rayna that will happen this season?
I can say there will be a few flashbacks. That goes to the heart of the fact that when somebody dies they’re still so present in your life. Our inner lives are as rich and full as our outer lives, and in our inner lives the person is still there.

How does the show move forward without its star?
Shows always move forward. Grey’s Anatomy moved forward. Thirtysomething moved forward after Gary died. This is such a rich cast and such a rich group of characters there’s so many great stories to tell. We’re already deep into the writing and producing of the second half the season and there are so many great stories. And by the way, some are about the loss of Rayna and the price people pay. But the show of Nashville is a world, it’s not about one person. As great as Connie is and Rayna was, it was never just one person. What people will find as they process their feelings — and maybe fans will be angry at us or at her for this happening — but they’ll find the fabric of the show more than holds. It’s still this vibrant passionate creative world of people who live their lives in a way that has a fire beneath it. That’s always been the heart of Nashville. It’s always amazed me since I came on board that you can do a show about creativity, about what it means to be an artist. It’s about the creative process and turn their feelings into art, and then the show shares that art with the audience — which is also communal. It’s actually not a problem at all to continue. We’ll miss her, the characters miss her, and she’s missed in the stories, but the show is completely intact.

Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
I think the best episode we’ve done this year is the one that follows her funeral. I would put that episode against any I’ve done in my entire career. It’s an astonishing symphonic beautiful tribute to this woman and human connection and grief. That’s one I hope nobody misses. It really goes to the heart of what it means for people to be truly connected to each other.

More interviews under the cut, including discussion of the upcoming time jump and custody battle, and their mandate for a new direction for the show in season 5.

Continue reading “Nashville Showrunner Speaks: Interviews with EP Marshall Herskovitz”

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Nashville: Connie Britton’s Exit Interviews and Farewell Instagram Message [Video]

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SPOILERS!

As predicted by myself and many others for months, Rayna James passed away on Nashville this week in a tear-filled episode. It was one of the series best episodes to date and a fitting goodbye for Connie Britton, who said in this interview with TVLine that she chose to leave Nashville. She also addressed her statement to Ellen DeGeneres in January when she told Ellen that she would be on Nashville “for the duration,” and whether Rayna might be seen again in Nashville.

TVLINE | Some fans are going to be especially shocked by Rayna’s death after you assured them last month on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that you would be sticking around for “the duration.”
The duration of Rayna’s character. [Laughs] To be completely honest, I was taken off guard. I had no idea that Ellen was going to bring up [the exit rumors]. I was really [put] on the spot and I had to protect the story. My commitment has always been to the show. But I’m not a good liar! [Laughs] So, “I’m in it for the duration,” in my mind [means] I’m in it for the duration of… what I perceived to be this character. But of course, I understand why it was construed in the way it was. That was a very difficult moment for me.

TVLINE | Is this week’s episode the last we see if her?
I do pop back in in after Episode 9. And Nashville‘s always going to be important to me, so I’m totally open to whatever as time goes on. But it is really hard to say goodbye to this character.

More interviews and Connie’s Instagram message under the cut. Several sites will be posting interviews with the Nashville showrunners later today (Friday), which I’ll also collect and post.

Update: The showrunner interviews are HERE. Herskovitz was unusually open about upcoming storylines and the future direction of the show.

Continue reading “Nashville: Connie Britton’s Exit Interviews and Farewell Instagram Message [Video]”

Nashville Season 5 Episode 8: Stand Beside Me Recap

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It’s morning at the James-Claybourne residence and Daphne is making breakfast for everyone. “No sign of fire anywhere?” Rayna notes, showing us where Daphne inherited her snark talent from.

The security team is back, because Rayna’s stalker, Hockney, has bailed himself out of jail. Everyone will have a bodyguard from now on. Maddie gets upset because this will interfere with her date at Clay’s bar gig on Saturday. Someone needs to make Maddie a scrapbook of people killed and seriously injured by their stalkers, starting with the ones who were attacked in crowded public places. Maybe John Lennon could be on the first page.

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The Future of Nashville: Will Rayna Survive and What Does That Mean Going Forward?

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This is a meta post following Nashville episode 5×08 Stand Beside Me. Spoilers ahead, including for future episodes.

The rumors have been swirling for months that Connie Britton would be leaving Nashville midseason this year, roughly around episode 10. They began last summer, but then Connie seemed to put the rumors to rest by going on Ellen DeGeneres’ show in early January and saying that she was on Nashville for the “duration”. The duration of what, she didn’t specify. The video of Connie’s appearance on Ellen is at the bottom of the post.

Continue reading “The Future of Nashville: Will Rayna Survive and What Does That Mean Going Forward?”

CMT’s Sun Records: New Videos

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With less than one week left before Sun Records starts its 10 episode run on CMT, the network has released two more promo videos: a new trailer, and an All About the Style video to add to their behind the scenes collection. The first episode of Sun Records will airs on Thursday, February 23rd, at 10:00 PM ET/9:00 PM ET, right after Nashville. I’ll update this post if any more videos are released before the premiere.

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Sun Records on CMT: New Extended Preview and Behind the Scenes Videos

Sun Records, CMT’s new 10 episode series on the beginning of Rock and Roll, starts in a little under two weeks, on February 23rd. The series follows music pioneers Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike Turner, and more from the Memphis music scene of the 1950s. Episodes will air weekly after Nashville at 10:00 ET/9:00 CT.

Under the cut, we’ve collected CMT’s recently released promo videos: Extended Preview, Meet the Characters, All About the Music, The Story featuring Chad Michael Murray, Roland Joffe: Director Profile, and Filming in Memphis.

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Nashville Season 5 Episode 7: Hurricane Recap

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Rayna spends this week spreading her agitation around, as dredging up her past increases her anxiety levels. Deacon is her rock and target. Scarlett and Gunnar aren’t as solid in their relationship, so Scarlett’s insecurities and issues are enough to drive a deeper wedge between them. She, as always, finds a way to blame this on Gunnar. Maddie and Daphne continue to repair their bond and raise themselves.

The episode begins with Deacon writing on his own. Rayna arrives home and asks what the song is about. Deacon tells her it’s about their first kiss, coming off stage at the Exit Inn. Rayna tells him that no, their first kiss was in his car after a party. He was with Samantha Beasley/Beeswax after the Exit Inn show. Rayna is admirably calm and keeps her sense of humor. Deacon realizes that he was, indeed, writing about the wrong kiss. Let’s keep that song in reserve as a deep cut.

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Nashville Season 5 Episode 6: A Little Bit Stronger Recap

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I have not been adequately keeping up with Nashville casting news. Until this episode, I had no idea that Rhiannon Giddens, who plays Hallie, is a Grammy winner, and that the group she played with in the episode, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is her real life music group. I also totally missed it when CMT announced in September that they’d hired an out transgender actress for the first time. Nashville is becoming much more diverse lately. It makes Scarlett’s extremely triggery storyline a little easier to take.

Deacon and Rayna are spooked by the stalker who approached her at Highway 65 last week. Personally, I find Zach’s attitude about Scarlett and Damien way creepier, but I am not a celebrity. Last week’s guy seemed totally harmless, like he just wants to share the love. Anyway, Rayna and Deacon have hired a professional security firm with former soldiers who mean serious business. Do not take a wrong turn down Rayna’s street if you know what’s good for you.

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Nashville Season 5 Episode 4: Leap of Faith Recap

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This week, Juliette rushes her recovery while people push her to take pain pills, Rayna finds a new investor, and Will and Kevin’s relationship falls apart. The leaps of faith are subtle. Avery gives Juliette another chance. Juliette learns to trust her physical therapist, Avery, and God. Rayna takes a chance with a new co-owner/investor of Highway 65 who wants to have input on how the company is run.

Juliette is having a physical therapy session on her bed. She’s having difficulty stretching as far as she could because she didn’t take a pain pill before her session. Avery and the physical therapist are frustrated with her. Juliette is frustrated with her slow progress. She brings up a device that she saw online that would allow her to try walking now. The therapist tells her that she’s not ready for it. Juliette doesn’t want to take no for an answer.

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Nashville Season 5 Episode 3: Let’s Put It Back Together Again Recap

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Juliette is sitting at the kitchen table and listening to demos because Glenn wants her to consider recording again. She can’t perform in the way that would do her usual style of songs justice, so she’s not feeling motivated. This is a great time for artistic growth, Juliette!

Avery is multitasking, managing to both hover over Juliette and get ready to go to the studio. He’s working on producing the young Youtube sensation we heard about last week. Juliette has had enough of his mother-henning, and practically shoves him out of the house. As soon as he’s gone, she switches to researching Hallie Jordan, the woman who saved her from the plane crash.

Maddie is starting an internship working the front desk at the studio. She has entitled attitude to spare. Ashley Willerman, the Youtube artist, shows up and announces that she’s hungover and needs coffee. She’s pleasant, polite, and grateful when Maddie agrees to go. Maddie has already declared that Ashley’s Youtube videos are stupid, though not to Ashley’s face.

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