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‘Nashville’ Likely for Fifth Season, Exec Says

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Frederick M. Brown,Getty Images

The future looks bright for fans of television’s most countrified hour-long drama. A top executive from ABC says Nashville is likely to be renewed for a fifth season.

Networks don’t usually comment on whether a show will be renewed until May, but according to Entertainment Weekly, ABC president Paul Lee all but told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday (Jan. 10) that the show will continue.

“We don’t have any plans to finish Nashville,” Lee says. “We have an incredibly passionate audience. The Nashville audience grows by a large amount in our delay viewings. No, at this point, no plans for Nashville other than to keep it going.”

The Tennessean reports that Nashville has an unusual number of DVR viewers who watch the show within 7 days after it first airs, and that demographic has been key in keeping the show growing its viewership. Currently in its fourth season, the show — which cut some key characters and added others this year in order to move the focus off of a subplot about Nashville’s local politics and exclusively onto the music business — finished the fall part of its season with an episode that scored a 125 percent increase with adults ages 18-49, which was the largest seven-day jump of any mainstream network show that aired that week.

Nashville also stays competitive by bringing in additional revenue via streaming and downloading of original tracks from each episode, as well as sales of various soundtracks. State and local government in Nashville and Tennessee generally step in with financial support to help defray the cost of location shooting in Music City, since the show has provided enormous tourism revenue for its namesake city.

“If you consider the unique ingredients of our show, we will find new fans,” Executive Producer Steve Buchanan tells the Tennessean. “More and more people will discover the show, be told about the show in years to come. There’s a long life cycle for a television property like Nashville.”

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