It didn’t take too much thinking to realize that Nashville season 5, episode 10 ratings would likely post some significant gains. After all, it is typically the episode after a big surprise that you tend to see some significant fluctuation in the numbers.
Thursday night’s new episode, which featured the immediate aftermath to the shocking death of major character Rayna James, ended up drawing in total a 0.3 rating in the show’s 18-49 demographic. This marks the best performance of the show since early January, and the same goes for the 1.12 million viewers who watched. When you factor in both Hulu viewers and DVR data, this figure will rise significantly.
For the series, the big test comes now moving into the midseason finale or the second half of the season airing later this year. It’s one thing to keep viewers and even improve on them one episode after losing a huge star like Connie Britton, but it’s another thing altogether to have this become the new normal. You have to figure out new ways to keep viewers hooked, and for the legacy of Rayna to still be felt. You want to create distance, but you also don’t want to forget about the character, either. It is a difficult balancing act.
If we were to speculate, our guess is that the midseason finale will keep itself very immersed in that world, and following this point, we’ll get a better chance to see what the show does to try to move forward. This is probably a discussion for down the road, but it’s worth being aware of.
As for a season 6 renewal, right now we’re cautiously optimistic just because this show is getting CMT infinitely more buzz than it ever had before. Aside from ratings and all of that, this is a show about bringing some acclaim and a new culture to the network.