Going from a major network to a cabler comes with perks, according to new Nashville showrunners, Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. The duo who made thirtysomething such a popular hit are now steering the ship for the music city drama’s debut in its new home on CMT!
The fifth season of Nashville will have some noticeable difference from its four seasons on ABC. And in a joint interview with EW.com, the creatives share their theories and more for what fans will enjoy in this 22-episode season.
Herskovitz reveals on the feel of the retooled Nashville: “It actually wants to be very intimate. These people have a reservoir of emotion and connection with each other that goes very deep, and what we find is that these first few new episodes that we’ve done are very, very emotional. It’s been there embedded in the episodes, you could see it, but it wasn’t allowed to come to fruition before and by allowing the show to have longer scenes where you can play out the emotions between people and where you have fewer stories per episode, you can go deeper in a story and really have something profound happen between two people.”
Zwick and Herskovitz added how the change from ABC to CMT benefits their storytelling. “Honestly I’m happy about it”, says Marshall. What I feel is that when you’re on a big network like ABC, they have their own corporate strategy and there are going to be pressures on you to have your show conform to what they need in their totality of their schedule” Zwick added, “I don’t have any basis on which to say this in terms of personal knowledge, but I can only suspect that some of the emphasis on narrative thrust and melodrama and cliffhangers probably had something to do with the fact that it was on ABC. ”
In terms of balancing the story, Zwick weighed-in by noting: “We have narrowed our focus a little bit. We introduce new characters but I don’t think we’re trying to serve everyone in every episode.” While Herskovitz related: “The only way we could do the show we wanted was to say we’re not going to serve every story or character in every episode. That buys us the time to go deeper with each character when we do serve their story. And there are people we love who we just didn’t have room for in the narrative. For example, Will Chase who plays Luke Wheeler is incredibly talented, but from a story standpoint, we didn’t know what to do with his character. We had to make decisions about who we could tell ongoing stories about and who we couldn’t. We just brought him back in the last episode we shot and we were very happy because we love him, but we had to make choices about which characters we were going to follow.”
So are you excited for Nashville’s future on CMT? Do you think the way the showrunners laid out their plan for the characters and the actions will be satisfying for Nashies? Share your thoughts in the comment section below! And remember, all-new episodes of Nashville begin in January!