'Nashville' goes international with UK, Canada distribution

Friday, December 28, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 52
By Tom Wood

The television show’s star power is being flexed in ways that could open other avenues of success.

Recently, “Nashville” was picked up for Canadian and British markets, where country music has traditionally enjoyed strong followings.

And while there is not yet a merchandising catalogue from which to buy “Nashville” souvenirs and clothing, plans may be in the works. Select music from each episode can already be downloaded, and “The Music of Nashville” soundtrack was released Dec. 11 by Big Machine records.

“We’re releasing music from each episode so that people can buy digital versions of select songs that are airing in each episode. We are planning on doing a soundtrack release as well,” Steve Buchanan, executive producer of “Nashville,’’ says.

Buchanan and Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, say the show’s success could spin off into greater tourism opportunities for major events like the CMA Country Music Festival, set for June 6-9. Don’t be surprised if there are “Nashville” bus tours and probably even a bevy of “Nashville” impersonators on street corners and in downtown clubs by next summer’s tourist season.

“You’re going to find a unanimous belief that this show can have a very positive impact on tourism to this city and state,” Buchanan says.

“The TV show landed at the most perfect time to bridge the success we’ve been enjoying to the opening of the center, the Omni Hotel and the Hall of Fame expansion. So it has taken what could have been an anomaly and probably sustained it into Nashville performing at new levels for an extended period,” Spyridon says.