Chase will play Luke, a country music star who just might capture Rayna’s hurting heart on the ABC drama, TVLine has confirmed.
The Tony nominee left a starring role in the forthcoming musical theater adaptation of Little Miss Sunshine to take the Nashville gig, according to Broadway.com, which first reported the casting.
Nashville showrunner Dee Johnson recently hinted to TVLine that “Rayna does get involved with… a musical star of equal or greater stature, which proves interesting.”
At the moment, ABC isn’t releasing any information about how long Luke will be in Ms. Jaymes’ orbit — or how/whether he’ll compete with Oliver Hudson’s businessman, who also may squire a post-Deacon Rayna.
Smash fans will remember Broadway vet Chase as Michael Swift, Julia’s lover who — for a time — played Bombshell‘s Joe DiMaggio. Bottom line: The guys got the pipes for the Nashville gig.
Chase’s other TV credits include The Good Wife, Necessary Roughness, White Collar and Rescue Me.
Nashville‘s second season bows Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c.
The English thesp is joining the ABC drama in the recurring role of Trey, a confident, charming and self-deprecating businessman and potential love interest for Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette.
Bewley, who debuts in Season 2′s third episode, recurred on last season’s The Vampire Diaries as vamp hunter Galen Vaughn.
Also heading to Nashville this fall: Rules of Engagement‘s Oliver Hudson and relative newcomer Chaley Rose.
Nashville returns on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10/9c.
ABC entertainment president Paul Lee conceded to reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Beverly Hills that Revenge “stumbled a bit” in its mythology-heavy second season, adding that new showrunner Sunil Nayar (who replaced series creator Mike Kelley) will “bring to us a slightly less complicated” storyline in Season 3. “The first episode back is a fantastic episode starting with a magnificent hook.”
Other highlights from Lee’s exec session:
NASHVILLE | Lee defended Nashville‘s super-soapy Season 1 car crash climax, calling the twist a “sweet cliffhanger… There’s an impending doom that leads you toward the car crash that is very Nashville.” In Season 2, Connie Britton’s Rayna will “really drive plot,” Lee added. “That particular rivalry with Connie and Hayden['s characters] is coming to a head. We’ve only seen a couple of outlines and a script, but we’re really happy with it.”
ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND | On the decision to launch the Once spin-off in the fall as opposed to at midseason as a bridge between the first and second half of Once Season 3, “We just fell in love with it. We were looking to build a real block on Thursday of empowered women… This is Alice like you’ve never seen Alice before. She’s a truly kickass Alice.”
DANCING WITH THE STARS | On Maksim Chmerkovskiy returning for the next cycle, “Maks is part of the family; he may well be back [next season].” As for how the competition series will manage with no more results show, Lee would only say that Monday’s two-hour telecasts would “build to a climax at the end” and still involve some combo of judge and viewer votes.
HAPPY ENDINGS | Lee called the beloved comedy’s untimely cancellation “very upsetting,” but noted that the show failed to “attract an audience on its own” after it moved out of the post-Modern Family slot. “We never found in the places that we put it [that] we could [bring] an audience to it. We couldn’t find its sea legs away from a strong lead-in, so that’s how we ended up on that decision.”
GREY’S ANATOMY | The long-running medical soap is not heading into its final season, Lee maintained. “[Shonda Rhimes] is planning a number of [season's] out… We would like to see it on the network for many years to come.” Lee declined to comment on the future of original castmembers like Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey (whose contract expire in May), saying, “If I commented on who is coming in and out, I think Shonda would yell at me.”
CASTLE | When asked about Nathan Fillion’s recent unauthorized “day off” from Castle in the midst of a contract squabble with ABC, Lee deflected, “Nathan and Stana [Katic] are fantastic actors. We feel super-optimistic” about Castle‘s future.
SCHEDULING | ABC detailed its split-season schedule for its heavy hitter dramas, revealing that Nashville will return from its winter break on Feb. 26, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal will resume their runs Feb. 27, and Once Upon a Time and Revenge will come back March 9 — with all of the above finishing their seasons with few or no repeats. (Lee told TVLine that midseason programs such as Tricia Helfer’s Killer Women will fill those midseason gaps.) The new reality series The Quest, meanwhile, will at least temporarily replace Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (Thursdays at 8) starting Jan. 2, while Resurrection will take over for Betrayal (Sundays at 10) on March 9.
Rules of Engagement‘s Oliver Hudson is making his way to Nashville this fall as a recurring love interest for Connie Britton’s Rayna, TVLine has learned.
According to sources, Hudson will play a charming, audacious, take-no-prisoners businessman who promises to “shake things up in Nashville.”
Nashville‘s second season, set to premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 25, will show us the aftermath of Rayna and Deacon’s car accident, then will move ahead several weeks. The near-death experience sends Rayna’s album sales soaring, making her the apple in the eye of her label’s new top exec (Hudson).
Hudson is the ABC drama’s second new Season 2 hire, joining Chaley Rose as Scarlett’s longtime BFF.
The ABC drama has cast Chaley Rose as Zoey, an old pal of Ms. O’Connor’s who also has designs on a career in country music, it announced Tuesday via Twitter.
Rose has appeared in an episode of Anger Management and can be seen in the upcoming film 36 Saints.
The casting comes soon after Chris Carmack (who plays Gunnar’s closeted friend Will) and Lennon and Maisy Stella (who play Rayna’s daughters Maddie and Daphne, respectively) were promoted to series regulars for Season 2.
Just as Nashville fans were happily embracing Rayna and Deacon’s romantic reunion, a major paternity bombshell ripped the pair apart. When the show returns, is there any chance for a reconciliation?
“You will see happy times between the two. They might not necessarily be the happy times that we want, but we’ll certainly be working towards more happy times,” showrunner Dee Johnson tells TVGuide.com. “They have to work through their relationship and what it means to both of them and hopefully they’ll come to some understanding that leads them back to each other.”
In addition to the drama between Deacon (Charles Esten) and Rayna (Connie Britton), when the ABC series left off, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) was reeling from her mother’s death, while Scarlett (Clare Bowen) was caught between a proposal from Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and reconnecting with her ex Avery (Jonathan Jackson). So where is Nashville headed when the show picks up? We caught up with both Johnson and creator Callie Khouri, who shared their insight into the sophomore season.
Happily ever after for Rayna and Deacon? Not so fast. As much as we’d love to see the pair come together as part of the James’ larger dysfunctional family, first Deacon must come to terms with his new role as a father before he and Rayna can consider moving forward. “They are never going to have what you call a smooth-sailing relationship,” Khouri says. “They have that thing where two people feel like they’re meant for each other and then the universe doesn’t seem to support that. But I don’t think they ever — no matter what they’ve been through prior to the show starting — think that the other one can just be gone from their life.” Adds Johnson, “I think by the end of the season Deacon will come to understand [Rayna's] reasoning for keeping the secret. Whether or not he’ll ever forgive her for it is another thing, but I think he’ll come to understand it more.”
How is Deacon as a daddy? “It’s not going to look like Father Knows Best,” Khouri says. “I don’t think Deacon ever thought of himself as father material and as the season goes on we’ll see him grapple with why he feels that way and whether or not he’s right.” Fortunately, Maddie (Lennon Stella) and Deacon have one thing in common: music. “They can’t help but be drawn to each other in that way because they have that musical connection that runs quite deep,” Johnson says.
Can Rayna and Juliette ever be friends? Although the two shared a very sweet and sentimental moment at Juliette’s mother’s gravesite, Johnson says “that was a moment in time and a place of vulnerability for both of them.” She also adds, “As the season begins let’s just say they’re not going to holding hands and skipping in a meadow. They’re oil and water and they always will be, but I do think they come to appreciate each other during the course of the season and maybe even unite in some fashion.”
Juliette will remain the girl you love one minute and hate the next. If you’re constantly torn between loving and hating the young starlet, expect that to continue. “As awful as she can be, we were able to humanize her and make you feel and empathize with her situation,” Johnson says. “After you cry for her, you can turn around in the next scene and just smack her.” Khouri echoes the sentiment, adding, ” Growing up with that mother, she didn’t have such a great start at life and wasn’t given the best tools which with to deal with problems. So I don’t know if we’ll ever see a time when she’s not screwing up something for herself.”
New love(s) for Juliette. The girl could use a break from men, right? Too bad it won’t happen anytime soon. “I don’t think somebody like Juliette is going to take a vow of celibacy,” Johnson says. “In many ways, that’s one form of medication for her. She is definitely going to have her love interests and maybe some high-end players, but I also think at the core she really has never been in love and maybe during the course of the season she figures out that she is.”
What about the Scarlett-Avery-Gunnar-Will love square? Between these four, romance and friendship will only get more complicated. For Will (Chris Carmack), his struggle between being gay and wanting to be a country music star will continue. “Ultimately Rayna is going to have a working relationship with him and it’s wrought with all the complications that the audience is aware of and Rayna is not,” Johnson says, adding that Gunnar, maybe surprisingly, will end up being a truly good friend to Will in the process. As for Avery, Khouri says, “He learned a lot of lessons and the thing about Avery that made him really attractive to Scarlett when they first got together is that he really is an artist. Getting smacked down a bit really taught him a lesson and reconnected him with the actual person that he is and took him out of the ‘who he’s going to be.’ So he’s dealing in a much more honest place.” And who, if anyone, will Scarlett ultimately choose? “Avery is her first love and there’s always a special place for one’s heart for someone like that, but Scarlett is going to be very much on her own journey this season,” Johnson says. “But that said, she has strong ties to both of those guys.”
What are you looking forward to seeing when Nashville returns?
Chris Carmack is putting down full-time roots in Nashville.
The O.C. alum — who recurred in Season 1 as Gunnar’s closeted gay pal Will — has been upgraded to a full-fledged series regular ahead of Season 2, TVLine has confirmed.
Additionally, siblings Lennon and Maisy Stella (who play Rayna and Teddy’s daughters Maddie and Daphne, respectively) have also been bumped up to regulars. (In the finale, Maddie learned that Deacon is actually her biological pa.)
News of the promotions was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
ABC is heading back to Nashville, renewing the series for a second season.
The Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere country music soap opened the season with high expectations thanks to an impressive cast and pedigree including Oscar winner Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise). Adding Boss‘ Dee Johnson as showrunner ahead of its October bow, the series launched big with 9 million viewers and a 2.8 ratings among adults 18-49 — topping CBS’ CSI and rookies Chicago Fire and Arrow, but down year-over-year compared with last year’s Wednesday at 10 p.m. occupant, Revenge.
The series from Lionsgate TV earned a full-season in November and has released two soundtracks so far, tapping into ancillary revenue from downloads of the T Bone Burnett-produced original music from the series. Despite a lagging political story line, the early critical darling has continued to earn rave reviews for its supporting players including Charles Esten (Deacon), Sam Palladio (Gunnar), Clare Bowen (Scarlett)and Jonathan Jackson (Avery), with a tour featuring the four breakouts is in the works. The series is averaging a 1.9 in the demo and 6 million total viewers.
File this one under: Headlines we never thought we’d write!
Sources tell E! News that ABC’s delicious (but normally not deadly) drama series Nashville (starring Connie Britton and Hayden Panetierre) will be doing a bit of housecleaning among the cast before the first season closes out—with a shocking storyline viewers wouldn’t expect.
According to insiders, there will be two character deaths in Nashville‘s gripping final episode, slated for May 22. (Nashville airs Wednesday nights.) And the DOA actors won’t be coming back on the show…assuming it returns in the fall.
Nashville has yet to receive a second-season pickup by ABC, but ABC insiders tell us it’s “looking good” for another year. ABC will announce its entire 2013-14 lineup on May 14 at the New York upfronts, where the fates of Happy Endings (not likely to return but likely to move networks) and Revenge (likely to return) also will be decided. (As previously reported, Revenge also has a major death coming in the season finale.)
Nashville sources also tell us the season finale was not shot as a series finale, but rather sets up some seriously dramatic storylines for season two.
ABC also announced today that Brad Paisley will appear as himself in the season finale, performing opposite Rayna (Britton) and Deacon (Charles Esten).
So…whip out those dollar bills (for betting, thankyouverymuch) and tell us: Who will die? Which characters are most likely to be goners?
And P.S., if you guess Connie or Hayden, we’ll be forced to publicly ridicule you. (Don’t make us do it!) We can assure you that the two leading ladies, without whom the show couldn’t exist, are safe.