CMT’s Nashville not only changed the lives of everyone who has ever worked on the show, but it also helped change the city itself. And it will forever be part of its musical legacy.
The series continues to play a major part in why the city is the boom town it has become (The population expansion is starting to cool after 2017 Census data showed that 100 people were moving to Nashville a day.).
Since the show’s launch in 2012, it not employed several workers in the local entertainment industry, it served as a platform for many emerging artists like a rising Kacey Musgraves. Before Same Trailer, Different Park debuted in 2013, Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette Barnes was recording Musgraves’ original co-write “Undermine” with Charles Esten’s Deacon Claybourne in the studio.
Before Nashville premiered, there was always a line to get in to see a show at the Bluebird Café. But six seasons into the drama, it’s almost impossible to get a seat for any show at the musically sacred place. The Green Hills neighborhood where it’s located barely resembles what it was before the show began.
Nashville also changed the lives of its talented actors. Esten announced in December he has decided to make the city his forever home as he continues to focus on his music career. Chris Carmack’s (Will Lexington) Nashville life led him meeting his wife, instrumentalist Erin Slayer, and their daughter turns two in August. Clare Bowen married singer-songwriter Brandon Robert Young in Nashville in October. And if the show never happened, Cassadee Pope and Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott) probably wouldn’t be a new couple.
Then there are the numbers. Since its debut, the show has also inspired a series of world tours and 22 soundtracks, including a Christmas album, which have collectively sold more than one million album units and over 5 million single-track downloads to date. It has also been nominated for multiple Emmy®, Golden Globe® and Critics Choice awards.
On Monday (April 9), the Nashville cast members filmed their final scenes of the series ever. Before the shoot, several of them reunited with co-creators Callie Khouri and Steve Buchanan in Nashville on Saturday (April 7) for a wrap party to celebrate the show’s enduring legacy and its impact on the city.
That’s a wrap! 6 years of my life. Blessed beyond belief to have been surrounded a cast and crew that I can call family. The talent, dedication and passion I’ve watched in these individuals is truly inspiring. Thank you also to the city of Nashville for embracing us and making us all feel like home. X
At a 2016 screenwriters conference, Khouri, who is also longtime local, said her love of the city and the talented people who call it home was what inspired her to be part of the series in the first place.
“The thing that always blew me away,” she said, “is that you could go to a restaurant one night, and the bus boy would come take your plates off the table and be this invisible person. And the next night you would see him onstage with a guitar, and he would kill you with a song. Everywhere you looked was somebody who was so talented that just has never stopped.”
She’s right about those in the Nashville service industry. Many country icons like Rodney Crowell and Randy Travis got their starts in town working at local restaurants. Kris Kristofferson worked as a janitor at Columbia Records at the time Bob Dylan was recording Blonde on Blonde there.
Nashville’s midseason premiere is set for June 7. The series-ending finale is July 26.
Enjoy scenes from Saturday’s wrap party:
Charles Esten, Sylvia Jefferies and son
Pam Tillis and Charles Esten
Joseph David-Jones and Cameron Scoggins
Lennon Stella, Kaitlin Doubleday and Maisy Stella
Bridgett McGuire and Judith Hoag
Will Chase and Chris Carmack
Producer Marshall Herskovitz, Callie Khouri and Steve Buchanan
David Alford and Chris Carmack
Chris Carmack and Sam Palladio
Will Chase, Maisy Stella and Lennon Stella