ADDITIONAL NOTES: the show's current season will be its last
DESCRIPTION: (from CMT's press release, April 2017) CMT today announced "Nashville" will return for a new season with 16 episodes premiering early next year. In addition, the network revealed a midseason premiere date of Thursday, June 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Charles Esten (Deacon) first announced the renewal on Facebook Live on behalf of the entire cast. In the coming weeks, CMT will announce its complete 2017-2018 slate. Long-time SVOD partner Hulu will continue to stream episodes the day after they premiere on CMT. The devoted "Nashie" fan base has generated record-breaking numbers for CMT. "Nashville" ranks as the network's highest-rated and most-watched show in the network's history, averaging 2.1M weekly viewers (L+7). Over the course of the first-half of the season, the series notched nearly 16 million total viewers on CMT alone, and nearly 23 million on CMT and Nick at Nite. The news comes on the heels of strong growth for CMT. Original premieres are pacing up 51% among A 18-49 and 79% among W 18-49 versus year ago. Total day ratings are up 19% with A 18-49 and 25% with W 18-49. As a result, CMT garnered the biggest year-over-year growth this quarter than any other top 50 channel on cable (excluding news nets). Rachel Bilson ("The OC," "Hart of Dixie") and Kaitlin Doubleday ("Empire") will join the series in the second half of season five. In addition, fresh off the success of "Big Little Lies," Jeff Nordling will recur in the role of Brad Maitland, an extremely successful, charming, egotistical, narcissistic owner of the most successful record label in Nashville.