"Nashville" isn't going away.
For now, however, we can't say that in the most literal sense.
Production company Lionsgate is working to find a new network or digital home for the TV drama, after its former network ABC passed on renewing the show for a fifth season. Nearly 100,000 fans have signed a petition for the show to be saved, and viewers have rallied on social media with the hashtag #BringBackNashville. And the show's cast and crew definitely aren't ready to speak about "Nashville" in the past tense.
But regardless of its future, "Nashville's" legacy will be felt in this city for years to come. The show has been a life-changing experience for hundreds of people who've helped make it over the years. As the show prepared to air its final episode (for now) on Wednesday, we talked to a few of the local residents whose lives are very different today, thanks to "Nashville."
Kate York (songwriter) and Colin Linden (musical director)
Nashville songwriter Kate York is used to staying behind the scenes. But when she and other local talents wrote tunes for "Nashville," she says the cast and crew treated them "almost as if we were the stars, which was a brand new feeling as a songwriter."
The Nashville resident has written or co-written 17 songs for the show over the past four seasons, including "Nothing in this World...," "Stronger Than Me" and "I Will Fall” — songs that she believes “may have never seen the light of day (otherwise).”
“(The show) did that for a lot of friends of mine, and the songwriting community at large. It has been a huge gift.”
But songs such as York’s have been just as much of a gift for “Nashville.” The show’s music has been the most universally hailed aspect of the show. Critics routinely praise “Nashville” for spotlighting a more nuanced, intelligent and emotional brand of songcraft than what’s often heard in mainstream country. As he’s performed with the “Nashville” stars on the show’s concert tours, musical director Colin Linden has noticed that these songs still appeal to an incredibly broad audience.
“There are a lot of people who just love the TV show and got turned onto the music, and wouldn't normally go to a concert even,” he says. “It's really fascinating where the pool of fans comes from. We have a tendency to separate music that shouldn't necessarily be separated.”
Songs featured on the show are immediately released on iTunes and other digital retailers via Nashville’s Big Machine Records. Collectively, “Nashville” has sold more than 5 million tracks. Earlier this month, Big Machine released the show’s eighth soundtrack album.
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