The song isn’t necessarily over for Nashville.
ABC may have axed the series after four seasons on Thursday, but studio Lionsgate is actively seeking a new distributor for the musical drama.
“We’re looking for a new home. We never give up on a great show,” wrote Lionsgate television group chairman Kevin Beggs in an email to employees.
While it seems unlikely another major broadcaster such as NBC or CBS would rescue the series, which starred, Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, there are other options circulating. An obvious choice is Hulu, since the streaming service already has the rights to previous seasons of the show, and Lionsgate has a close relationship with the company as it produces other titles on the service like Casual. But another viable option – and on-brand for the country music themed series – is cable network CMT. Outlets such as DirecTV and Epix may also be in the mix.
The Nashville cancellation came as a shock to industry insiders on Thursday, who expected the perennial bubble drama to receive a fifth season. The network had lined up a new showrunner duo – Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (My So-Called Life) – to take over the writers’ room for a presumed fifth year.
The show’s stars took to Twitter to express their grief about the decision, with Aubrey Peeples writing, “I’m so thankful I was a part of a special show; I wish it was handled with more care. Thank you to every fan who kept us going.”
Thursday saw a slew of high-profile cancellations at ABC. The network axed long-running procedural Castle, franchise reboot The Muppets, Marvel’s Captain America spin-off Agent Carter, musical comedy Galavant, and freshman drama The Family.