AXS TV Signs Up For ‘Nashville’ Seasons 1-3

Image: Lionsgate

AXS TV has snagged a multi-year licensing deal with Disney-ABC Television Group for off-network cable rights to the first three seasons of ABC’s music drama Nashville.

It’s by far the most notable deal for the channel, in line the deal brokered last summer to air the X Factor mothership show,  The X Factor UK one day after it airs in that country. AXS TV also has acquired off-network rights to such shows as Larry The Cable Guy and Gene Simmons Family Jewels, but this is the channel’s first foray into off-network drama series during the series’ broadcast run.

The series, produced by Lionsgate Television, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment, will kick off on AXS TV at an as yet undisclosed date this fall, while ABC will unveil Nashville’s Season 4 on September 23.

Nashville originally premiered on ABC on October 10, 2012; its most recent round of episodes, Season 3 drew an average of nearly 8 million viewers a week. Last month ABC announced at its Upfront Week presentation it would return Nashville on Wednesdays at 10 PM, with the second installment of crime thriller Secrets And Lies, with Juliette Lewis returning as the lead, filling the gap between Nashville’s fall and spring installments.

The series has spawned six Music of Nashville soundtracks which have, collectively, sold nearly 1 million units and over 4 million tracks to date, as well as a Christmas album and two Nashville: On The Record albums and TV specials.  ABC unveils Season 4 on September 23.

Nashville follows the lives of a group of recording artists in the cutthroat music industry. Connie Britton stars as the Country Queen Rayna Jaymes, who competes for popularity with the next generation of stars lighting up the charts, most notably talented/troubled Juliette Barnes, played by Hayden Panettiere. The series also has attracted a wide array of celebrity guest appearances, including Christina Aguilera, Florida Georgia Line, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan, Wyclef Jean, Robin Roberts, Katie Couric, and Conan O’Brien.

Nashville is the perfect complement to our growing lineup of music-inspired series,” AXS TV CEO Mark Cuban said in today’s announcement. “With its talented cast, dramatic storylines and powerful performances from industry icons and rising stars, we are confident that Nashville will connect with our viewers, while attracting a new audience of those who may have missed out on watching from the beginning of the series.”

AXS TV is a partnership among Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency, and CBS, distributed in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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