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ABC Renews ‘Nashville’ for Season 3

ABC and Lionsgate TV hammered out a deal late Friday to bring county music drama “Nashville” back for a third season.

Renewal talks on the show, which lenses in its titular city, were complicated by the fact that the state of Tennessee has recently downscaled its production tax incentive program. That took a bite out of the rebate coin that Lionsgate and ABC Studios could bank on for a third season.

There was also wrangling between ABC and Lionsgate over the size of the order, with ABC initially offering a 13-episode pickup. Deal is expected to be for a full 22-episode season but details could not be confirmed late Friday.

Nashville” has not been a ratings powerhouse but it performs respectably enough and is an internal favorite at the network. ABC is also invested in the annual Country Music Assn. Award franchise and other C&W-themed special programming.

Stars and performers associated with “Nashville” also recently mounted a short concert tour, playing Gotham’s Best Buy theater on May 6. And the show has generated soundtrack releases and music sales activity for the partners.

Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Charles Estin and Eric Close topline “Nashville.”

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