If in recent weeks you’ve found yourself stuck in traffic beneath the Musica statue, idling behind a “Juliette Barnes” tour bus, then you already know: Nashville is here.
The ABC country music drama, coming this fall, stars Connie Britton as an aging country music legend, Hayden Panettiere as Barnes, country music’s new It Girl, and Powers Boothe as a powerful Nashville politician (oh, that it were so). The plot, of course, takes place in a fictional Music City. But unlike, say, ER, in which true Chicago was seen only in establishing shots, the title role here has not been outsourced. Nashville will be playing itself.
We’re already bracing ourselves for the citywide nitpicking that is sure to commence once the show premieres in October. But until then, the only fodder for complaints will be the occasional road closings and detours caused by on-location shooting. It’s a trade-off, really. If you want Music Row to look authentic, they’ll need 16th and 17th avenues from time to time.
Along with that more obvious setting, the production has also set up in East Nashville’s Five Points area, and on the west side near Belle Meade. When they’re not filming in real, live Nashville, they’ve set up shop at a studio north of town, which reportedly includes a replica of the famous Bluebird Cafe. (Nashville Scene’s Adam Gold reported in May that the real Bluebird stars in the show’s pilot episode.) Moreover, the show features a slew of local talent, acting, performing musically and contributing songs.
For our part, we’re glad the first Nashville-set network television drama is actually setting up in Nashville, even if it does mean Demonbreun Street will be backing up every once in awhile. And should the script ever call for a clash between Powers Boothe’s character and a prying local news outlet, we’ll be ready. (Editor’s note — Actually, you’re busy that day. I’ve got it. Thanks.)