Coming out of the shocking death of Rayna on Nashville season 5, there were of course questions aplenty regarding how the CMT series was going to move forward
Tonight, we got some of those answers, and it looks as though we’re going to be seeing Rachel Bilson (Hart of Dixie) and Kaitlin Doubleday (Empire) around for the remainder of this season, and potentially into Nashville season 6 in the event that the show is renewed. These two women have been cast for roles that will potentially be both musical and not, and will add a little bit more dimension and intrigue to the show with Rayna gone.
We have to give the series credit here — there is no replacing Connie Britton, but they did get two people who are certainly familiar to TV viewers out there. This is Bilson’s first prominent TV role since playing Dr. Zoe Hart on the CW series, and also the first major part for Doubleday since her character of Rhonda was killed off in shocking fashion on the Fox series. Given that Andre seemed to formally let her go on the first half of Empire season 3, it now seems as though Doubleday, in turn, is also free.
In a statement, Nashville executive producer Marshall Herskovitz had the following to say about the casting and the second half of season 5:
“We welcome Rachel and Kaitlin into our incredibly talented ensemble … We fondly anticipate the second half of the season filled with surprising twists and turns that make Nashville so beloved by the fans.”
We’re going ahead and campaigning for both Bilson and Doubleday to be in season 6 in CMT renews it, mostly because with stars this notable, it makes some sense that you want them around for the long haul. Given that the show seems to have been a big success for a network not known for their scripted programming, it feels like they would want to keep it around. Unfortunately, we don’t have any sort of way to gauge precisely what these people are thinking, so it’s hard to know for sure.