The Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated musical drama series
Nashville star Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne) announced the renewal and midseason premiere date in a Facebook Live video (watch above) and CMT has also released a video previewing the second half of the season, with executive producer and show runner Marshall Herskovitz explaining, "What we're promising, really, is this continuing process of deepening the relationships of these characters and following through of them trying to figure out who they are in their lives, trying to make their way and getting into the real conflicts that happen." Watch the preview below.
Picking up 10 weeks after events in the midseason finale, those conflicts, based on footage in the video, include Deacon's struggle with balancing single-parenthood with running the Highway 65 label, Maddie and Clay's contentious run-in with a police officer, Juliette's drive to return to the performing stage after the plane crash and the still-uncertain future Scarlett faces as she continues to wonder whether it's Gunnar or Damien who's the father of her baby-to-be.
"There is most definitely life after Rayna," says Herkovitz of Connie Britton's character, whose death was a shock for viewers and unquestionably changes the series' focus. "And yet, we never forget her. She's sort of a presence in each of the episodes because that's what happens in life."
New cast members being introduced in the second half of season five include Rachel Bilson (The OC, Hart of Dixie) and Kaitlin Doubleday (Empire). Actor Jeff Nordling (Big Little Lies, Desperate Housewives) joins as recurring character Brad Maitland, described as "an extremely successful, charming, egotistical, narcissistic owner of the most successful record label in
Since moving from ABC to CMT,