There were some major cast changes to the series during its move with both Will Chase and Aubrey Peeples departing the series.
Marshall Herskovitz, the new man in charge of the drama, spoke about the cast changes and the impact they had on the new season. He said the following, according to The Hollywood Reporter:
“We didn’t make the cast smaller because we added people. What we felt was that – first of all, I’m a huge admirer of Will Chase’s and Aubrey Peeples’; I think they’re wonderful. Their characters, for me, had sort of reached an endpoint. I didn’t know how to write them anymore. I didn’t know what else to say for their characters. And we just brought back Will Chase and we will try and bring back Aubrey Peeples, it’s not like they just disappeared from the face of the Earth. But in terms of regulars and with ongoing stories, we just didn’t know how to serve those characters anymore and we did want to make room for new characters and we’ve added three or even more new characters. So in many ways, it’s a bigger cast now but there were certain names we wanted, we wanted different voices in the show, we wanted more diversity in the show, we wanted to serve certain aspects of the storylines. For instance, we wanted to give Maddie a boyfriend, we wanted to tell stories about Highway 65 and that entailed creating a new character whom we love named Zach Wells. And also, we discovered Rhiannon Giddens, who plays Hallie Jordon, an incredible singer who just got nominated for two Grammys. She’s essentially never acted before. It turned out she was just an incredible natural. She made the transition seamlessly.
We’ve actually expanded the cast is the truth, but we’ve done it in such a way so that the characters are in relationship to other characters so that when I tell a Juliette story, I can involve Hallie or when I tell a Maddie story, then I can involve her new boyfriend. So it’s trying to integrate all these characters together in ways that you can tell their stories together.”
Herskovitz also spoke about the cancellation of the series by ABC, and he spoke about that event candidly. He said the following:
“I actually prefer being at CMT and I don’t mean in any way to disparage ABC, we had a long relationship with ABC, but, look, ABC canceled it. (Laughs.) We were on board before they canceled it, we were there when they canceled it. I wasn’t real happy about that. (Laughs.) They didn’t believe in the show anymore. So if they didn’t believe in the show anymore, I don’t want to be where I’m not wanted. Our plans were the same and I think ABC would have been supportive of what we were doing, if they were supportive of the show but they weren’t. So if it didn’t fit in with their strategy then so be it. I’d rather be where I’m wanted. CMT has been an incredible partner for us.”
Are you excited to see more of Nashville? Will you watch season five on CMT? Tell us what you think.