CMT‘s Executive Vice President of Development, Jayson Dinsmore is talking about the decision to renew, i.e. pick up the Nashville TV show for a fifth season, after it was cancelled by ABC. CMT credits Dinsmore’s leadership in making the “…ambitious move into scripted [programming,] by saving [the] fan-favorite series.”
Dinsmore says that every year, before ABC renewed (and ultimately cancelled) the Nashville TV series, speculation surfaced that CMT would pick it up, if ABC cancelled the Country Music drama, starring Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Clare Bowen, Charles Esten, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack, and real-life sisters Lennon Stella and Maisy Stella.
Check out the Patron Saint of #Nashies, Jayson Dinsmore, courtesy of CMT. Go ahead. Kiss his blessed face, then read on. Here is more from Deadline:
DEADLINE: Let’s start with Nashville. How did the deal came together and what was the reason behind the pickup decision?
DINSMORE: Every year there’s conjecture, would CMT pick it up if ABC canceled the show. Quite honestly, we looked at it and when it became available we jumped. It really is sort of the natural evolution of the channel. We wanted to move away from some of the lighter reality fare and we really wanted to create scripted projects that embraced music and that hopefully attract a broader audience. We were already headed down this path with two other scripted series and having Nashville come in as our third really completed the puzzle.
DEADLINE: Have you set a premiere date for Nashville yet?
DINSMORE: We have not. We just closed the deal so we’re very early in talks, but I have spoken with the [new] showrunners, Marshall (Herskovitz) and Ed (Zwick), and studio, Lionsgate. Everybody is very excited and we’re working together. We’ll premiere the show when it makes sense for everyone involved.
DEADLINE: Have you decided how you will air the series? Will you stick to the cable model of two uninterrupted shorter runs because it’s 22 episodes, or is it going to be close to the way the show aired on ABC?
DINSMORE: We haven’t really decided that. I can honestly tell you that I don’t believe we will do a broadcast pattern where they go up for two episodes and then down for two. I think if and when we settle on the schedule there will be a long run of episodes so that the audience doesn’t have to wait to come back and forth. I think audiences who are so loyal, much like the Nashville fan base, I think they will appreciate that we’ve given them a lot of episodes in a row.
DEADLINE: Do we know which Nashville actors are coming back?
DINSMORE: Again, it’s really early. We’ve seen some really great press. Connie [Britton] was in Texas last week and said some very nice things about the show. When we announced that we picked it up we had several of the cast members onstage with us at CMA’s Best last week. We had Chip [Esten]) and Claire [Bowen], so our expectation and our hope is that everyone will participate in this next cycle. Again, we’re just having those conversations now with the producers.
DEADLINE: On ABC, Nashville was a franchise with music specials, tours and other extensions. Are you planning to keep that and would the music quotient of the series increase now that it is on the country music-themed CMT?
DINSMORE: A lot of that falls on the shoulders of Lionsgate, the studio. What I can tell you is that we’re not going to impose ourselves on a show. The fan base has been very vocal about what they like and what they don’t like. We’re not going to turn this into the CMT version of Nashville. That being said, we have been looking at and thinking about additional ideas for shoulder programming to support the show. When you’re a cable channel you have unique opportunities that you don’t have at the broadcast level.
Wearing its best cowboy boots, CMT is also kicking around the idea of a Nashville companion series or “After-Show,” (think Game of Thrones-centric After the Thrones, Scream‘s Scream After Dark, Top Gear‘s Extra Gear, and the like). Don’t touch that dial. There is more to come on this front.
CMT’s newest scripted offerings include Still the King, starring Billy Ray Cyrus, which premiered Sunday, June 12 at 9:00pm ET/PT. Upcoming on CMT is period drama, Million Dollar Quartet (working title), inspired by the 1956 recording sessions featuring Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, and the Broadway musical of the same name.
What do you think? Do you want to kiss Dinsmore’s face for renewing the Nashville TV series, after ABC cancelled it? Let us know in the comments. We don’t kiss and tell. #NashvilleForever!