Nashville fans got some bad news recently: The show's upcoming sixth season will be its last. Ahead of the final season's premiere, the TV drama's cast and showrunners say they're "so incredibly grateful" to the show's fans -- dubbed "Nashies" -- who have tuned in for so long, and kept the show going.

"After more than 120 episodes of unforgettable television, we believe that creatively it is time for the series to come to its triumphant close at the end of the upcoming season," says Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate Television Group chairman, in a press release. "We’re very proud of our incredibly talented cast and crew, the creative brilliance of our showrunners and the loyal support of our great partners at CMT, Hulu and ABC Studios. Most importantly, we owe a special debt of thanks to the Nashville fans, who propelled the series to an incredible run. We owe it to them to make the sixth season the most exciting and memorable of all.”

Nashville ran on ABC for four seasons, before being canceled in 2015. However, due to fan demand, CMT picked up the show shortly thereafter.

“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,” says Marshall Herskovitz, one of Nashville's showrunners. “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.”

Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne on Nashville, echoes Beggs and Herskovitz's sentiments on Twitter, saying that it's "[h]ard to express the amount of gratitude in my heart."

"This role, this show and this city have changed everything for me and mine," he adds. "I’ll have plenty of time to give my thanks to so many, but for now: To our incredibly loyal #Nashies all over the world: THANK YOU."

Nashville's sixth and final season is scheduled to premiere on Jan. 4 on CMT; the 16-episode season will air in two parts, with the finale airing sometime during the summer of 2018. Season 6 will be the show's first full season without Connie Britton, who played Rayna Jaymes and was killed off near the midpoint of Season 5.

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