CMT's Nashville Scales Back on 'Soap Opera Elements'

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Jonathan Jackson

Jonathan Jackson

When Nashville premiered on ABC back in 2012, soap opera fans quickly fell in love with the country music drama. Daytime soap alums Jonathan Jackson and Hayden Panettiere appearing as series regular characters Avery Barkley and Juliette Barnes certainly didn't hurt matters.

The series found a new home on CMT, after ABC cancelled it following four eventful season. Don't expect Nashville to be the same ole' soap now that it's on basic cable. In fact, it looks like series lead Connie Britton (Rayna James) may finally win her long, hard fight to make Nashville less melodramatic.

New showrunners Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick shared their perspective with the New York Post:

“We made it clear to [the studio] Lionsgate that we were much more interested in the dramatic elements than the soap opera elements,” Herskovitz tells The Post. “Not that we would entirely get rid of those, but the balance would move toward the drama of their inner lives. It seemed like that’s what the fans wanted … after four years. We saw on Twitter and Facebook that people were frustrated with the intensifying level of incident on the show.”

Britton echoed Herskovitz and Zwick's sentiments in a recent New York Times article

Said Britton of the show's transformation:

It was complete rebooting and, quite honestly, it was necessary. I did feel to some degree that the show had gone in a direction where we were losing a lot of what the subject matter can provide — everything from story to replicating this really rich town of Nashville. When you get soapier and soapier, your characters suffer because they start to show up just to deliver plot, and you lose sight of who they are. So I think the show is going to move forward in a more languid way that I’m hopeful will really bring these characters back to life.

Will you be sad to see Nashville lose some of its suds, or do you think the show will benefit from being more grounded? Watch the first hour of Nashville's January 5 two-hour CMT premiere here