ABC orders pilot for Nashville-based TV series

Friday, February 17, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 7
By Hollie Deese

Nashville could soon be the set and subject of a new television series.

As reported on Deadline Hollywood, ABC Studios gave the green light to a new drama pilot titled Nashville. The show is being described as a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene and will follow one country star at her peak and another star just on the rise.

However, as this is not an order for a series, just a pilot, there is no guarantee it will ever see the small screen.

“This is quite premature,” says Leah Krantzler, executive vice president for The Lippin Group for Lionsgate Entertainment. “Typically the studios and the network are pretty low-key about a pilot, and consumers are not going to see it unless it gets picked up to series.”

Nashville comes from Oscar-winning writer Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise) and TV producer/documentary filmmaker RJ Cutler (The September Issue), who will direct. The two will executive produce with Steve Buchanan of the Grand Ole Opry through Gaylord Entertainment.

According to Deadline, this is the third drama pilot in the last two years to be set in Nashville. Epix’s Tough Trade revolved around three generations of a Nashville music dynasty and starred Trace Adkins, Sam Shepard, Lucas Black, Cary Elwes and Joey Lauren Adams. FX’s Outlaw Country was set against the backdrop of organized crime and royalty in Nashville and starred Luke Grimes, John Hawkes, Haley Bennett and Mary Steenburgen. Neither of those pilots was picked up as a series.

If the pilot is a success, a deal with the network would be contingent on who is cast.