Nashville will change networks — from ABC to CMT — for its fifth season, but without two of its main characters along for the musical ride. Will Chase (“Luke Wheeler”) and Aubrey Peeples (“Layla Grant”) are leaving the show, and both actors have already rebounded.
Chase, a Kentucky native with a long list of Broadway credits, is back on the Great White Way this summer playing William Shakespeare in Something Rotten! He has also scored a recurring role in The Deuce, an HBO drama about New York’s pornography industry in the Seventies and Eighties. Just like on Nashville, Chase will play a divorced father on the new show. The Deuce also stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco, and is being written by The Wire creator David Simon and producer George Pelecanos.
Peeples is juggling music and acting, playing several showcases around Music City — including at the real Bluebird Café, which has an almost exact replica on the set of Nashville. The 22-year-old actress had the lead role in the recent Jem and the Holograms movie, alongside Molly Ringwald. Her next film, currently in production, is a drama called Cowboy Drifter.
Oliver Hudson didn’t have to job hunt after his character was killed off Nashville last season. He had already started working on the Fox show, Scream Queens, along with a little modeling for sister Kate Hudson’s line of workout clothes.
Nashville makes its CMT premiere later this year, with 22 episodes set for the network, which is headquartered in downtown Music City.