In May, The Hollywood Reporter reported that ABC had picked up the pilot of the music industry drama series Nashville. Largely filmed in Nashville, the primetime show stars Hayden Panettiere as breakout country star Juliette Barnes and Connie Britton as Rayna James, 40-year-old superstar and mother of two who is forced to tour with Juliette Barnes to save her career.
The premiere episode of Nashville opened with scenes filmed on location at the Grand Ole Opry with cameos from Little Jimmy Dickens, Eric Paslay and the Del McCoury Band. The show has since showcased places rich in country music history such as the Bluebird Café and the Ryman Auditorium.
The series centers around original music performed by the show’s cast, including “Telescope” by Hayden Panettiere, which was released to country radio. “The music is as much a part of the narrative as the dialogue,” creator Callie Khouri, whose husband, renowned producer T-Bone Burnett, is the series’ musical director, told TV Guide.
Nashville also includes music from country stars such as Eli Young Band, Edens Edge, Greg Bates and more in nearly every episode. Big Machine Records partnered with ABC Music Studios to release music from the series and recently released the show’s soundtrack.
In addition to showcasing country music and exposing Nashville to a wider demographic, the filming of Nashville has been a boost for tourism and local businesses. Picked up for a full season, one day of production involves around 250 crew members, most from the Nashville area, according to The Tennessean.
Several Nashville stars have made their Grand Ole Opry debuts since the show’s premiere. Charles Esten, who portrays Deacon Claybourne, made his debut on November 10. Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen, who play Gunnar Scott and Scarlett O’Connor, made their debut together on November 17; and on December 15, Lennon and Maisy Stella, real-life sisters who play the daughters of Connie Britton’s Rayna James character, also debuted.
Currently on winter hiatus, the show returns with new episodes January 9 at 10p|9c.