Connie Britton Reacts to ‘Nashville’ Shocker: ‘I’m Forever Grateful’

Connie Britton Nashville
Courtesy of ABC

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead, if you have not watched “Nashville” Season 5, episode 9, titled “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” which aired on CMT on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Connie Britton’s character, Rayna, was killed off of “Nashville” on Thursday night’s emotional episode. (Read the full recap here.)

The send-off was a long time coming, as rumors have been circulating for months that the actress would be departing the series, which moved from ABC to CMT for its fifth season, and is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios, and Opry Entertainment.

In a statement, Britton said: “Playing Rayna has been a privilege and a deeply enriching experience for me. I am going to miss her grace, tenacity and feistiness. And I’m forever grateful and indebted to our unbelievably talented cast and crew, and to the Nashville community amongst whom I have had the honor to work. And then there are the fans. Wow. I’m so humbled by our incredible fans for their unwavering passion and commitment. They are the reason the show exists, and the reason the show will continue. I’ll be watching and cheering alongside all of you. Thanks for the honor of these 5 years.”

In exclusive videos provided to Variety, Britton says goodbye to “Nashville” and thanks the fans of the show. Watch below:

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  1. You are so right Nancy, kidos to yoou

  2. Nancy Shelton says:

    I think Connie Britton is making the biggest mistake of her life. People are going to be so upset with her that they won’t be watching her movies or tv shows anymore. How many stars have quit a popular show and went on to have big careers? Look at Downton Abbey the main character decided to leave the show and whats he done since? He vanished from the screen. I know she was the only non musician on the show but at her age scripts that good don’t come along everyday.

  3. I don´t see it being good ending for Rayna at all. Strong woman falling for a victim 2 times on row only to die ;( She would have deserved so much more!

  4. Sandy says:

    I will not watch this show again. Why save it to kill the main character. Bad decision.

  5. Bill B. says:

    There is no show without her though I don’t really care. She is a terrific actress though.

  6. Either the new production heads or Britton bulked on her salary. In the end, that’s what this is all about; she got too expensive for the show.

  7. Randie Walton says:

    I was certain I read that you would stay for all of Season 5! What a disappointment last night was!

  8. Angel torres says:

    I have absolutely no interest in ever watching the show again, for me, that was more like a series finale. Her character was the only one worth watching along with Haydens’. I actually fast forwarded the rest of the show. Everyone else was either too whiny or super annoying. The girl with the short hair always whined and her boyfriend was too wimpy and annoying. The 2 daughters always fought. The Will Lexington character was annoying, could never make up his mind about anything. I only watched for Connie’s character. They might have well just left show cancelled at ABC, what was the point?
    Over the past couple of years, TV characters have been getting killed off ( the dude on Good Wife, Taraji on Person of interest and so on ) but this was by far the most pointless one. I am definitely done

  9. LaRae says:

    *DEEP SIGH* Where do I begin? I started watching Nashville late, but since episode 1 I’ve been hooked. When season 4 came to a close, I was devastated. The songs were classic. The music resonated with me so much I thought about writing Country Music, being a songwriter/musician myself.

    Rayna James’ character was undeniably honest, classy, and warm. She had her missteps in business, but she was still daring & selfless in the process. So when CMT picked up the show for Season 5, I couldn’t wait for Thursdays.

    I do not know, how in the WORLD, will Deacon’s character…who has shown himself as such a weak man from the earlier seasons, somehow resurrect and be this strong man and take care of the girls. Maddie deserved what happened. She has been such a callous, spoiled brat. I’ve always hated her storyline.

    To Connie Britton…I don’t know rather to hate you for making me fall in love with Rayna, or wish you well & suck it up and keep watching the show.

  10. Paul Waszkiewicz says:

    I was in shock…!!!…..NEVER would I have thought this would of happened…WOW..!!!…Connie, thank you for brining joy to so many…You have your reasons & I respect that…God bless you today and all the days to come…P.S. Our twin is named Connie…<3.

  11. ntstar4 says:

    It does not bother me at all that she is off the show. I lost all respect for her after she joined in with all the protests and her support of the obamas. I always felt I was a number 1 fan until this year. The new writers have fuined what was a wonderful show.

    • eddie willers says:

      I’m with you. Didn’t watch but the first year of Nashville but I enjoyed her on 24 and adored her in Friday Night Lights. Now I will avoid her in the future. Same with Steven Pasquale and….sigh….Steve Buscemi. Do all of us a favor…shut up and entertain us.

  12. Sarah Hart says:

    Honestly I’m so angry about Rayna leaving. I really don’t care to even watch the show anymore. No one loved Nashville as much as me. I’ve been dedicated since the very first episode when it first aired. I could hardly wait for Thursday night so I could watch it. I was so scared when I thought the show was ending and I prayed so hard for that not to happen. Then good news came that CMT was picking it up and I was so excited. I didn’t care what network picked it up as long as it kept going. Now this happens. I loved Rayna on the show. Rayna and Deacon are the main reason people watch the show. I will not be surprised if ratings go down. I’m just upset right now.

  13. Debe Rodgers says:

    I am sick over Connie leaving the show. Nashville has always been my favorite show. I am very disappointed in this decision. As much as I love her, I would rather she had been replaced. The show won’t be the same without Rayna!

    • Lynn Dozier says:

      Who can ever replace her? What will Decon do now? It will not be the same.& die like that. So fast. I love this show but sure am not getting it right now. I love how Juellett has changed for the good.The storyline is not as good. The show has been about Rana,& Decon. I love Connie, but kill her off. No one can be her but replacing her would have been better. Now the show will probably go down the drain again.I lived for this show too come on ever week. Bad Move People!!!😭💔😭💔😭💔

      • I really feel they should have just write her go somewhere. It´s the killing off that´s bad choice. I know they say she wouldn´t leave family. But they could have easily stretch her going to witness protection after that stalker incident and leaving to protect her family and it would have been completely in character. So there was other choices!!!

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