Like no other show on TV, Nashville takes a licking and keeps on ticking. CMT saved the drama last June, picking it up for Season 5 a month after ABC had canceled it. And now, despite the departure of star Connie Britton in February, CMT has renewed the drama for another year.
Viacom’s country music-themed network has officially renewed Nashville for a sixth season to air in 2018. The network also announced that the second half of Season 5, which picks up 10 weeks after the events depicted in the midseason finale, will premiere on Thursday, June 1, six days before the CMT Music Awards.
Hulu will continue to stream episodes the day after they premiere on CMT.
Along with the news of the show’s renewal, CMT released a teaser for the second half of Season 5, featuring showrunner Marshall Herskovitz and new footage.
When the network originally picked up the show for a 22-episode fifth season—Season 6 will consist of 16 episodes—it was a huge swing for CMT, which was hoping to attract some of the 4.2 million viewers who watched Nashville in live-plus-same-day ratings last season on ABC.
“It was really a natural evolution of the channel,” CMT president Brian Philips told Adweek in 2016. “As we moved away from some of our lighter reality fare, we wanted to create scripted [shows] that embraced music, that attracted a broader audience.”
So far, Nashville has averaged 2.1 million viewers on CMT in live-plus-7 ratings, making it the most-watched show in CMT history. The drama fueled total day ratings increases of 19 percent in one year among 18- to 49-year-olds and 25 percent among 18- to 49-year-old women.
But the show’s future was somewhat in doubt after the February departure of original star Britton, whose character, Rayna James, died from injuries she suffered in a car crash. At the time, Britton said her exit had nothing to do with the show’s move from ABC to CMT and insisted it continue without her.
Nashville’s other stars—including Hayden Panettiere, Clare Bowen, Charles Esten and Jonathan Jackson—are expected to continue with the show next season.