Sad news for Nashville fans — ABC has canceled the country music drama after four seasons. I hear Lionsgate TV, which co-produces the series with ABC Studios, will shop the series to other networks and digital platforms. Hulu is a logical choice because it already is the show’s SVOD home, but for now a move to the streaming platform is considered a long shot.
There had been positive signs for a Season 5 renewal of Nashville. Lionsgate TV stepped in to hire A-list producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick as new showrunners. The Emmy-winning duo already was working with writers on breaking stories for next season.
Still, with Castle also on the bubble, coming off a highly rated episode on Monday, it was always a hard decision. (UPDATE: Castle also has been canceled.) And one of Nashville‘s strongest supporters at ABC, former programming topper Paul Lee, is gone, abruptly departing the network in February.
While not a strong ratings performer, the music drama created by Callie Khouri has solid DVR bumps. Nashville, starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, also was a brand for ABC, with Nashville-themed TV music specials, soundtracks and tours. Just yesterday, ABC announced a high-profile VR digital extension for the show to go with the last three episodes of the season. Now they will be the music drama’s final installments, with the May 25 closer serving as series finale.