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ABC Network President: Plans for ‘Nashville’ Are ‘to Keep It Going’

Nashville Season 5
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Nashville fans are in luck: ABC network president Paul Lee has confirmed that there are no plans to shut down the show — a good sign that a fifth season is very likely.

On Saturday (Jan. 9), at the Television Critics Association’s press tour, Lee made the announcement: “We don’t have any plans to finish Nashville.”

“We have an incredibly passionate audience. The Nashville audience grows by a large amount in our delay viewings,” Lee explains (quote via Entertainment Weekly). “No, at this point, no plans for Nashville other than to keep it going.”

“Delay viewings” include DVR users, who make up a portion of the show’s Live + 7 rating, which measures the number of viewers watching a TV show episode in the seven days following its original airing. Nashville recently saw a huge surge in these numbers: Its fall finale jumped 125 percent in the 18-49 demographic (from .8 to 1.8). According to the Tennessean, the Music City-based drama had a bigger seven-day bump than any other network show that aired that week.

“If you consider the unique ingredients of our show, we will find new fans. More and more people will discover the show, be told about the show in years to come,” Nashville executive producer Steve Buchanan says. “There’s a long life cycle for a television property like Nashville.”

Nashville premiered in 2012 and features an extremely close-knit cast, several of whom relocated their families to the South in order to film the show. Season 4 is scheduled to resume on March 16 at 10PM ET on ABC.

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