Nashville Brings on New Characters

On and Off the Screen Changes in the Works

The latest cast of characters to join the Nashville TV series are Riff and Vita. But behind the scenes, there are going to be some other fresh faces if the show is renewed for a fifth season.

Nashville is currently in that bubble of not renewed but not canceled. (Like some kind of network purgatory.)

Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick — the duo behind hit TV shows like thirtysomething, My So-Called Life and many others — will take over as creative control as showrunners. No word on how that will impact the drama on the show, but I think we can all agree that whatever needs to happen to keep this show on the air should happen.

But back to Riff and Vita.

On Wednesday night’s (March 30) episode, it turns out that Luke’s old/new tourmate Riff isn’t the same stage star he was before he took an early retirement from the business. He throws Luke’s band under the bus for it, though, refusing to accept any blame for his lapsed skills. Eventually, Riff gets his groove back and it’s all systems go for the big tour.

And then there’s Vita. God, what problems doesn’t she have? She was raised in foster homes, lives in her car and has some pretty violent enemies. But the budding new singer/songwriter claims she did not steal from the cash register at The Beverly, and Rayna believes her. Because Rayna believes in anyone and anything. Except, you know, the late Jeff Fordham.

Other goings-on in the fictional Music City:

Even though Rayna (and others) felt like Will wasn’t a good fit for her Highway 65 label since coming out, he does get a record deal offer from a gay label. But he stuck to his guns, telling them that that he is not a “gay country singer,” but a country singer who happens to be gay.

The bond between Maddie and her songwriting family friend Cash gets stronger. Maybe too strong. But her boyfriend Colt has decided to enlist in the military, so she needs some kind of significant other in her angst-filled life right now.

And Avery goes on a date, which kind of bummed Layla out. Because in the TV portrayal of Nashville, every producer and artist eventually end up in love — or at least in bed.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.