Panettiere is locked in for the full season, Variety has confirmed. Sources inside Panettiere’s camp say the actress has signed on for all 22 episodes of the new season, which premieres January 5.
However, Britton’s status is still uncertain. She may be on her way out of the fan-favorite show, according to Entertainment Weekly, who first reported that the star has only signed on for “about 10 episodes.”
Insiders tell Variety that Britton’s contract negotiations are ongoing and that CMT is “optimistic,” per a source who stresses that any talk of her exit from the show is premature, especially since CMT has not greenlit any seasons beyond the fifth.
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As for other returning cast members, Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella and Chris Carmack are all poised to return as series regulars. Will Chase and Aubrey Peeples are also in talks to appear in smaller roles during the season, and the plan is to wrap up their storylines.
Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are the new showrunners for “Nashville” at its new home. The series was cancelled by ABC this spring, after running for four seasons on the broadcast network.