As viewers saw last week, ABC’s Nashville series finale concluded with not a happy ending for everyone!
In fact, it left star-crossed lovers Avery (Jonathan Jackson) and Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) in peril! He is awaiting the plane for her return to Nashville, while her plane lost contact and had not been heard from! Creator Callie Khouri along with Lionsgate, one of the main studios behind the show, decided to go with the cliffhanger ending in the hopes it will help jump start the series if the show lands on another cable outlet or online streaming platform for its fifth season. Fans learned ABC canceled the show in early May.
Now Lionsgate Television chairman and CEO Kevin Beggs told The Hollywood Reporter there is an alternative happy ending that will be made available to fans — even if the show isn’t picked up by another network or streaming service.
Beggs elaborated more on the decision to leave Avery and Juliette apart in the ending that aired on ABC: “There’s a little short-term pain, but ultimately long-term gain because we intend and are quite focused and are in substantive and serious conversations with multiple buyers about continuing the show on another platform. If we didn’t feel that was going to happen, we might have gone a different way. The ending we ran was the ending always envisioned for this season. These things are crafted over weeks and months. In our estimation, to go with a quickly assembled too-easy wrap-up is more of a disservice to the fans who have invested four years in this great cast and these great stories. And there’s more stories to tell.”
The Lionsgate chairman and CEO went on to say: “I’m sure we would figure out a satisfying way for audiences to see an alternative ending — but it won’t be as good as the ending we have given them. In a perfect world, we’d be making this show for many more seasons. Our hope and intention is to have an asset that continues to grow for many years.”
As to why Nashville filmed a happy ending in the first place for Avery and Juliette, he expressed: “At the time, it was something we had in our hip pocket, but you never know. We weren’t thinking at that time that we would be going to any other platform.”
So, would you be interested to see Avery and Juliette get a happy conclusion to their love story, if the show does not get picked up elsewhere? Do you think that Nashville can have its proposed 22-episode fifth season with all of its stars returning including the pricey Britton and Panettiere somewhere other than ABC? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!