Reports coming in from Entertainment Weekly and other sources are indicating that Nashville star Connie Britton is leaving the series midway through the fifth season. Britton has signed on for 10 of the 22 episodes, with final negotiations ongoing to try and up that order. It is reported that Hayden Panettiere will be back for all 22 episodes.
Also back as regulars for the fifth season are co-stars Charles Esten, Sam Palladio, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella and Chris Carmack. Sources indicate that they will be featured in all 22 episodes of the season.
Original network ABC canceled the series after airing its fourth season this past year. Cable network CMT bought the rights to a fifth season, with Hulu airing them the following day.
The fifth season is set to debut on CMT Thursday, January 5th, 2017.