Broadway producer Scott Delman has acquired live theatrical rights to Nashville, the country music-themed series that spanned six seasons on ABC, CMT and Hulu, and will team with Lionsgate to develop a musical adaptation with an all-new score.
Delman, president of Blue Spruce Productions and a producer or co-producer of Book of Mormon, Hello, Dolly!, Fun Home, Mean Girls, among many others, will serve as lead producer of the planned Nashville musical. He acquired the theatrical rights from Lionsgate and ABC Studios, co-producers and distributors of the TV series.
The announcement was made today by Lionsgate and Delman. Additional details including production dates and creative team will be announced later.
Though various Lionsgate films and series have been adapted for concert-style stage productions (La La Land in Concert, The Hunger Games in Concert, Dirty Dancing–The Classic Story on Stage, Now You See Me Live), the Nashville project would mark the studio’s first Broadway production. In it’s announcement today, the studio indicated other stage productions based on Lionsgate film and TV properties could follow.
Delman, whose Broadway credits have garnered 10 Tony Awards, said in a statement, “Nashville, with its complex, relatable characters and sweeping emotional gestures, has all of the narrative elements that I look for in great theatrical source material. From that rich DNA, we will be building an original story with entirely original music, written by major Nashville and Broadway songwriters.”
The producer said the show would “deliver Broadway’s first score of true contemporary country music – a genre that has exploded with mainstream audiences in recent years. Lionsgate has a treasure-trove of sterling IP, and I’m honored to be a part of this new phase of their live entertainment division.”
Jenefer Brown, Lionsgate SVP, Global Live & Location Based Entertainment, said in a statement that the Nashville project “kicks off an exciting slate of iconic Lionsgate properties that we will be bringing to a variety of platforms, transforming them into events that will expand the viewing experience for their fans and take our already successful live entertainment business to the next level.”
Created by Callie Khouri, Nashville debuted on ABC in 2012 with a cast that included Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Eric Close and Charles Esten. Though the series, set in the title city and tracking the personal and professional ups and downs of stars and non-stars of the country music firmament, developed a fiercely loyal fanbase, slipping ratings prompted the network to cancel the series after four seasons.
In 2016, Lionsgate announced that Nashville would move to the country-focused CMT, with streaming rights going to Hulu. The series continued for another two seasons.
Numerous Nashville soundtrack and compilation CDs and digital downloads were released from 2012 through last year, and several national and international concert tours from 2014 to 2016 featured stars of the show including Esten, Clare Bowen, Chris Carmack, Will Chase, Jonathan Jackson and Aubrey Peeples.