“Nashville’s” second life on CMT, and the series as a whole, is coming to an end.
The cable channel announced Friday that the forthcoming sixth season of “Nashville” will be its last. The show aired its first four seasons on ABC, which canceled it in 2016. CMT revived it for a fifth season, then picked up a shorter sixth year (16 episodes vs. 22 for Season 5) in April.
In the intervening year-plus, however, CMT’s parent company, Viacom, has narrowed its focus and opted to go all-in on six channels (BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and Paramount Network, a Spike rebrand that launches in January).
Channels like CMT and TV Land have either entirely stopped or cut back heavily on airing original scripted series; “Nashville” will be the last scripted show on CMT for the foreseeable future. Comedy series “Still the King,” starring Billy Ray Cyrus, has been canceled after two seasons.
“All of us on ‘Nashville’ are so incredibly grateful to the show’s fans, who convinced CMT to give us a chance to keep telling the story of these remarkable characters,” executive producer Marshall Herskovitz says in a statement. “And we want to return the favor with a final season that celebrates all the joys and passions, twists and turns — and amazing music! — that made ‘Nashville’ such an exciting journey for the last six years.”
Season 5 of “Nashville” averaged 819,000 viewers and a 0.2 rating among adults 18-49 in its initial airings — way below its ABC numbers but also considerably better than CMT’s usual primetime performance. It grew to a little over 2 million viewers with a week of delayed viewing.
“Nashville” joins these shows that are airing their final seasons in 2017-18. Season 6 premieres Jan. 4 and will be split into two parts; the series finale is set to air in the summer.