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18 February 24th, 2017 NASHVILLE SHOCKER: Connie Britton Bids Farewell To Rayna James!

Courtesy/CMT

After all the reports if Connie Britton was on for the full 22-episode season of Nashville on CMT, or only for the first half, it turned out after last night’s heartbreaking episode that Rayna took her last breath, and Britton made her official exit for the series leaving devastated #Nashies from coast to coast!

On last night’s episode, “If Tomorrow Never Comes” after being held at knifepoint by a crazed stalker, a car crash and emergency surgery, Rayna unexpectedly slipped away.  Look for Rayna to appear in flashbacks in two more episodes, before Britton is gone completely from the canvas.

Britton took to Instragram to address her departure from the series which was entirely her decision:  Thank you Rayna Jaymes. For your magic and your dignity. And thank you to all the creators of Rayna Jaymes, for there were many. Callie Khouri, who gave her life. Deacon, Maddie, Daphne, who shaped her as her family. Teddy, Tandy, Lamar too. Juliette, Scarlett, Bucky and the ones who crafted her into a business woman. Along with countless other compatriots and combatants. And then of course the crew of “Nashville” who brought her to life, every crew member in every department who made Rayna live each week.

And then there’s the music. T Bone, Buddy, Tim, Frankie and all the brilliant songwriters who gave Rayna a voice. There was no music, and no Rayna, without you.  But finally and most importantly, the fans. You made Rayna. You supported her and loved her and gave her inspiration just as she was able to inspire you. You were the energy source, the power behind her heart and soul and life. Rayna lived for you. And, from the depths of my heart, I thank you, for her and for me. It has been an honor to be a part of that creation. And as I know she would want it, the show must, and will go on. Long live Rayna Jaymes. #RIPRayna #NashvilleCMT

Connie told The Hollywood Reporter that her exit scenes were so emotionally difficult:  ”It was incredibly emotional. It was very difficult for me and it still is. It’s hard for me to talk about without getting a little choked up [pauses] … because I love this character so much and the people I’ve been fortunate to act with for the last five years and our crew. This has become an essential part of my life. It was really tough doing those last couple weeks especially. Those scenes were so emotional. Toward the last couple days, which is when we shot the really intense scenes in the ICU and the one where Rayna actually dies, nobody could get through them without crying. Saying goodbye is really hard.”

News on Thursday also has Britton landing her first major role post Nashville.  She has signed on to star in  The Land of Steady Habits. Netflix’s ensemble comedic drama that adapts the Ted Thompson novel. Britton will play a divorcee who develops a connection with Mendelsohn’s character, first meeting him in a strip club.

So what do you think of a Nashville without Connie Britton? Did you watch the heartbreaking final death scenes of Rayna? Were you shocked? Comment below!

 

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  1. Kelly Pietrangeli says:

    I am really going to miss Rayna on one of my favourite nighttime shows. I loved her character and especially her and Deacons love story! I looked forward to Thursday night and was so happy when CMT picked up this amazing show. I know this show will go on and continue to be fantastic but Rayna will occupy a space that no one will replace in my heart and in Deacons!!!

    Reply

  2. Soaphound says:

    Right now, the shock still fresh, I can’t picture the show being as good without Rayna/Connie. But I will still keep watching. I just hope this won’t be an excuse to have more of that obnoxious Matty taking front and center. We need more musical performances and a new country diva. And let Gunnar keep his hair…those ridiculous shaved side cuts rarely look good on anyone!

    Reply

  3. nancy dillingham says:

    It won’t survive. It seemed not so very gracious to court the audience to come to Nashville’s rescue and help it not to be cancelled and to go to CMT this season–then to pull the rug out from under the loyal viewers. And I must say that Connie’s earlier comments were misleading to the audience–not cricket. And I found myself so very upset and angry as I watched the show unfold.
    And I have seen it happen again and again–the lack of objectivity on the part of the people involved in a show. It’s happened again here unfortunately. Really, the show went off the rails after the first season and never found its footing again. It was like trying to revive a dead horse.
    I guess “they” just don’t see that Rayna’s character, along with that of the wonderful Charles Esten’s character Deacon, was the heart of the show.
    Now it has nothing/no one to hold it together. I predict it will collapse from within and that the ratings will drop dramatically. I, for one, am NOT interested with the bratty older child. And what will Deacon do? No one on the show will have the chemistry Esten had with Britton. Such a waste! He is so very talented. If he made a whole album I would listen to it. He’s paid his dues and he deserves better. Hope he find an insanely successful show to go to. I will not watch Nashville again.
    The Hayden P. character is too self centered for me to care for her. And Jonathan Jackson, another talented character is wasted, has no chemistry with Hayden, and is sidelined to listening to her whine and carrying/tending to the baby–for how many seasons has this been going on. So sad! Sometimes TPTB cannot see the forest for the trees. The show will pay dearly. I read the interview where Connie said she would have wanted the marriage to have been explored more fully–I agree. Writing together was a great beginning and the song that closed the episode 2 weeks ago was sweet and promised more juicy bits to follow. Alas! Then the character of Rayna was killed. I don’t care that she said the new producer–and she–thinks they have done all they can with the character–not true And the bad thing in that Connie said they all knew going in that her character would be killed. They didn’t play fair with the audience and the audience has a LONG memory. Mark my word–the show is over–kaput.
    The promos showed a rehashing of the same stale storylines. Nope, not watching!

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    Connie wouldn’t have stayed that much longer. What I think they SHOULD do…in light of fan reaction and disappointment, is create some new episodes to be seen as Deacon’s flashbacks…where we see their life together as a married couple. That way we can get the relationship we waited four years to see….

    Reply

    JK replied

    SORRY I DONT AGREE…..I THINK THE SHOW WILL GO ON JUST FINE WITH HOPEFULLY NEW EXCITING STORIES TO BE TOLD….EMPLOY SOME REAL STARS FROM NASHVILLE……NOW IT WONT BE THE CONNIE BRITTON SHOW!!!!! CHARLES ESTEN CHARACTER DEACON SHOULD BE THE HEART OF THE SHOW!!! AGREE THE LAST COUPLE WEEKS HAVE BEEN SO DULL, BUT I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT EPISODES.

    Reply

    Shay replied

    Amen, JK….the show lost me in the beginning season due to the absolute overemphasis on Rayna’s Britton, who I never liked, even on Friday Night Lights. I thought Powers Boothe’s character was magnificent, and Tandy and Teddy made for good soapy fun, too, but in the end, they were underutilized/gone too soon. (Deacon, I never took to…way too skeevy for my taste….) Hopefully, the show will now skew younger with far more screentime for Jonathan Jackson and his age group….he is a real star, and perhaps spotlight the truly cosmopolitan nature of the city and its citizens… more high society-oriented stories, too. That’s what makes a soap fun to watch…..

  4. Annalee says:

    Very sad. I am still shocked! In a world of hints & spoilers in tv …,never saw it coming. I loved the way CMT made Rayna somehow a more loveable character.

    Reply

  5. Donna Dykema says:

    I loved her as Rayna on Nashville and am VERY unhappy she is gone. Hope the show can go on without her. There are other good actors on that show though.

    Reply

  6. fginaspy says:

    When CMT picked up the show it was reported CB was not signing for the whole season. Later just prior to airtime the reports said she was staying put. I don’t like that they misled me as an audience member. The writing is not balanced for the number of characters they have. This will be their downfall. I do like that Juliette is slowly maturing. Now that Rayna is gone Juliette may just surprise us. I can hope.

    Jonathan Jackson should be showcased more. He has 6 daytime Emmys and he delivers heart wrenching material. More music and less teenage angst and bed hopping.

    Reply

  7. gwill says:

    I stopped watching it halfway through season 2. I gave it a shot when it went to CMT and i was still bored with it. Season 1 was amazing though.

    Reply

  8. Karen Rosen says:

    That is the end of Nashville!

    Reply

    Barbara from Atlanta replied

    I totally agree.

    The show is cancelled by one network and is lucky enough to get picked up by another. Within 10 episodes of the “saving,” the show kills off the main character?Who in their right mind would think this is a good idea for the show to keep it going.

    On the one hand, maybe Connie Britton wanted to leave the show. I don’t know. However, if Britton had wanted to leave, why did CMT even bother to bring it back? ABC cancelled it and the main actress wants out. Not a wise investment by CMT if this is the case.

    On the other hand, if the writers and producers came up with the idea of killing her off, they’ve botched up the second chance that they got for this show.

    Either way, I bet Nashville will be off the air for good by the end of the year even if it manages to make it to a second year on CMT.

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    Yes, Barbara, it was Connie’s choice. She didn’t even want to do CMT but was persuaded it seems, to appear for a few episodes. They tried to get her to stay; she wanted out…back to L.A. and other series/films.

  9. rebecca1 says:

    I wasn’t surprised that they killed her off. Connie wasn’t at all upset when the show got cancelled and was looking forward to getting back to L.A. I think she was persuaded to do a few episodes to help kick off the CMT version.

    What do I think? I think it was disrespectful to the fans who pushed for Nashville’s renewal. Without fan demand CMT would not have considered picking it up. And, regardless of how many other characters we love, Rayna was the central heart of the show. There was just something about her presence that ruled the show.

    With that said, we have no control over whether an actor wants to go on to other projects. It’s, of course, his or her right, just as it is any of ours to change jobs, etc. But, still, there should be a recognition that if you have loyal fans who have rallied for renewal…and you KNOW that leaving would put quite the crimp in the show and the fans enthusiasm, I think you need to reconsider. At least stay the entire season.

    I was upset from the beginning that they dropped Luke and Layla. Considering that they knew Connie would be leaving, I think it would have been wiser to keep the Nashville “family” together instead of introducing Juliette’s “angel” and a gospel Church. I’m thinking that’s where Maddie and her boyfreind will be headed as well…given Maddie’s grief and probable need for forgiveness.

    I’m heartbroken. Just as in real life when you may know that someone ill may pass…it doesn’t mean you’re emotionally prepared when the time comes. Grief takes over. That’s how I felt watching this episode. It was beautifully written, exquisitely executed and gut-wrenching. I’m still reeling….

    Reply

  10. Anthony says:

    I was under the impression that Connie said she was staying with Nashville – throughout. What happened? Hope Nashville survives – I still enjoy the country aspects of the show – and the music. Rayna’s death and Connie’s leaving is just heartbreaking.

    Reply

  11. Rebecca G says:

    I cried like a baby watching her children cry as she died. And the next one shows her sister trying to take them from Deacon. I’m not a fan of that character but she is doing her job making me hate her.
    I too would like to see more singing, more Nashville and please let Charlotte grow out her hair!

    Reply

  12. Joy says:

    I was totally shocked to see Rayna die and it wasn’t even a cliffhanger. I think the other great actors/actresses can carry the show without Connie but the writing will have to get alot better. Dallas couldn’t survive without the great JR (Larry Hagman) so we shall see. I hope they will concentrate on more music and definitely put the talented Avery front and center. Avery & Julette should be Nashville’s super couple and start performing together.

    The show is going to fall flat if the writers continue to place the two teen girls in every scene. I am already fast forwarding those scenes.

    Please writers, do not bring the alcoholic story back for Deacon. Viewers much rather see a strong man handling his grief in a responsible manner. Allow Deacon to become a country super star!

    Reply

  13. Violet Lemm says:

    I have stopped watching. To me Connie was the star. I started watching in the beginning because I had loved Hayden P. and Jonathan J. for years, but to me Connie out shown them. I do not want to see the younger sister’s jailbird father and Connie’s sister fighting over custody of the girls, when they want to be with Deacon. Also Scarlet’s blatant disregard for her boyfriend’s feelings, throwing her disloyalty in his face.

    Reply

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