In what ABC says is its biggest virtual-reality project to date, the network is launching a VR music series for “Nashville,” featuring the show’s stars and singer-songwriters performing at the Bluebird Cafe venue.
ABC shot three “In the Round” musical performances at the downtown Nashville club, a key locale in the series, which will be presented in 12 videos, as well as a performance scene from next week’s episode featuring Layla (Aubrey Peeples) and Avery (Jonathan Jackson). The VR content is part of ABC Digital Media Studio’s “On the Record” documentary web series about the original songs performed on “Nashville” and the songwriting process.
The “Nashville” virtual-reality experience can be accessed on the web at ABC.com/VR and via Littlstar’s app for headsets, mobile Apple TV and the web. The Alphabet has charged into VR, with recent virtual-reality offshoots for shows including “Dancing With the Stars,” “Good Morning America” and “Quantico.”
“If music is the heart of our show, then the Bluebird Café is its soul,” said Dawn Soler, senior VP of music at ABC Television. “With this VR experience, fans will literally be at the center of it all. It’s a perfect format for virtual reality and a natural extension of ‘On the Record.’”
Episodes of the “Nashville: On the Record VR ‘In the Round at the Bluebird’” episodes will be released as follows:
- May 11: Performances by Charles Esten singing “Let’s Do This Thing,” as well as a duet with Jaida Dreyer on “This Town.” Jonathan Jackson offers a special performance of “Alleluia,” and sister act Lennon and Maisy Stella share “A Life That’s Good.”
- May 18: Chris Carmack sings “Pieces of You,” and Sam Palladio performs his “Wake Me up in Nashville” and joins K.S. Rhoads for “Battles.” Levi Hummon caps the performances with “Life’s For Living.” In addition, there will be a full performance scene from the night’s episode of “Nashville,” featuring Layla (Aubrey Peeples), Avery (Jonathan Jackson), Bucky (David Alford) and Glenn (Ed Amatrudo).
- May 25: Clare Bowen and Brandon Robert Young perform “It’s Not Yours To Throw Away,” while Sarah Siskind sings “Keep Me Alive” before joining Aubrey Peeples on “Too Far From You,” and Erin McCarley and K.S. Rhoads perform “I Will Never Let You Know.”
All original music from “Nashville” is released by ABC Studios, Lionsgate and ABC Music Lounge in association with Big Machine Records, the Nashville-based label whose artist roster includes Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Rascal Flatts.
“Nashville,” which airs Wednesday nights on ABC, is exec produced by Dee Johnson, Callie Khouri and Steve Buchanan. Buddy Miller is executive music producer and Frankie Pine is music supervisor. The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment.