The Season Three premiere of ABC’s Nashville just may silence skeptics who think the actors aren’t really singing. Well, at least for two of the actors. Chris Carmack and Charles Esten, otherwise known as “Will Lexington” and “Deacon Claybourne,” will perform live on the September 24th episode — and on both coasts.
The show, which films in Nashville, will switch between pre-recorded scenes and live broadcasts from its Bluebird Café set, which is an almost-perfect replica of the famed Music City venue. The actors will perform at 9:00 p.m. CST for the East coasters and Central time zone viewers and then again at 11:00 p.m. for the West coast. Carmack is set to sing “If It’s Love,” written by country duo (and frequent Nashville song contributors) Striking Matches, while Esten will perform a song he co-wrote with Deana Carter, “I Know How to Love You Now.” Studio tracks and live recordings will be available for download that same night.
This will be the first time in TV history a scripted drama has attempted a live musical performance, but it’s not too much of a stretch for these two actors. Esten is currently on his own summer tour, alongside castmate Clare Bowen. The two also toured with Carmack, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio and Will Chase on a three-city stint earlier this year, along with a post-race concert at St. Jude’s Country Music Marathon in Nashville.
“I don’t really get nervous,” Carmack told Rolling Stone Country on the set of the Season Two finale, regarding his musical performances on the show. Instead, he says he gets anxious about “emotionally-heightened scenes,” which, of course, are at great heights for his character as the show resumes this fall. Will Lexington was caught by reality show cameras finally coming out of the closet as the last episode ended.
Nashville‘s third season, featuring live performances from its namesake city, premieres September 24th on ABC.