EMMY(R) NOMINATED WRITER, PRODUCER, AND ACTRESS JEN RICHARDS JOINS NEW SEASON OF "NASHVILLE"
NASHVILLE - September 13, 2016 - CMT today announced that Emmy(R)-nominated writer, actress and producer Jen Richards ("Her Story," "Doubt") is set to join the cast of "Nashville" in the recurring role of 'Allyson Del Lago,' a tough but understanding physical therapist who helps a series regular through one of their most difficult challenges. This marks CMT's first transgender character and the first out transgender actor on the network. "Nashville" makes its triumphant season five debut on CMT with special two-hour premiere on Thursday, January 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Long-time SVOD partner Hulu will continue to bring fans their favorite series 24/7 by making all "Nashville" episodes available to stream the day after they air on CMT.
Richards is an accomplished writer and actress, as well as a consultant and advocate who works with national organizations and media projects. She is the co-writer/star/producer of the Emmy(R)-nominated series "Her Story"; co-producer of the upcoming docu-series "More Than T" and writer of its accompanying Trans 102 series; a 2016 Outfest Screenwriting Fellow for her feature script "Any Given Week"; and will be appearing in several upcoming projects, including CBS's "Doubt." Her television credits include: series regular on E!'s "I Am Cait," Logo's "Beautiful As I Want To Be" and AOL's "True Trans with Laura Jane Grace." She has appeared in several videos for BuzzFeed, OWN, and After Ellen. She has published essays on multiple platforms, and wrote the 2015 Sep/Oct cover story "What Trans Movement?" for The Advocate.
Prior to her transition, Richards had a successful career in nonprofit and arts management, received her BA in Philosophy from Shimer College, studied at Oxford University and in Kyoto, Japan, participated in Outward Bound, was active in theater, and published articles, lectured, and led workshops on a variety of topics across the country. She was born in Mississippi, where all her father's family remains, calls North Carolina home, where her mom, brother and sister-in-law live, and her favorite musical artists include Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton, The Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams, Miranda Lambert, Patsy Cline, Shelby Lynne, Steve Earle, and Sugarland.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops founder Rhiannon Giddens is joining the show in a recurring role as Hanna Lee "Hallie" Jordan, a social worker with the "voice of an angel." Additionally, an open casting call was held in Nashville recently for a character named Clay, a 20-something African-American musician "destined for great things."
Produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment, production commenced on "Nashville" earlier this month. The series is executive produced by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (the creators of "Thirtysomething"), Steve Buchanan and Callie Khouri. Jayson Dinsmore and Morgan Selzer executive produce for CMT.
NASHVILLE is set against the backdrop of the city's music scene and follows Rayna Jaymes and Juliette Barnes. Both women face personal and professional challenges as they navigate their paths as artists and individuals. Surrounding them and often complicating their lives are their family, friends and, in some cases, lovers, as well as the up-and-coming performers and songwriters trying to get ahead in the business. Music City can mean so many things to different people. In "Nashville," musicians and songwriters are at the heart of the storm driven by their own ambitions. Some are fueled by their creativity and passion for fame. Others struggle to cope with the pressures of success and are doing everything in their power to stay on top.
NASHVILLE stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O'Connor, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Will Chase as Luke Wheeler, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad and Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad.
The series airs in 82 international markets on six continents. Since its debut, the show has inspired 10 soundtracks, including a Christmas album, which have collectively sold more than one million album units and over 5 million single-track downloads to date. It has also been nominated for multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards.
CMT, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S. CMT, CMT.comand CMT Radio offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and are the top resource for country music on demand. The network's digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.
Hulu is a premium streaming TV destination that offers hundreds of thousands of hours of the best of current season programming, premium original content, films and full seasons of hit series to subscribers with limited commercials for $7.99 per month or commercial free for $11.99 per month. Hulu is the only streaming subscription service that offers current season content from 5 of the 6 largest U.S. broadcast networks, as well as acclaimed Hulu Originals including The Mindy Project, The Path, 11.22.63, Difficult People and the Golden Globe(R) nominated comedy series, Casual. Since its launch in 2008, Hulu has been at the forefront of entertainment and technology and continues to redefine TV by connecting viewers with the stories they love.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, international distribution and sales, branded channel platforms, interactive ventures and games, and location-based entertainment. The Company has nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the ground-breaking hit series Orange is the New Black, the fan favorite series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the hit drama series The Royals, the Golden Globe-nominated dramedy Casual and the breakout success Greenleaf. www.lionsgate.com
About ABC Studios
ABC Studios is a leader in the development, production and strategic distribution of entertainment content across broadcast, cable and on demand platforms. The studio is the key content provider for the ABC Entertainment Group, having produced multiple seasons of hit series, including current shows "American Crime," "black-ish," "Quantico," "Grey's Anatomy," "How to Get Away with Murder," "The Real O'Neals," "Marvel's Agents of "S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Mistresses," "Once Upon a Time," "Scandal" and "Secrets and Lies" for ABC; "Criminal Minds," Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" and "Code Black" for CBS and "Devious Maids" for Lifetime.
About Opry Entertainment
Opry Entertainment(r), a division of Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP), is a producer of multi-media entertainment experiences with primary interests in location-based entertainment and television and stage production. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, its core business segments include the world-famous Grand Ole Opry(r), the historic Ryman Auditorium(r), and legendary radio station 650 AM-WSM.