"Nashville's" singers, songwriters and superstars struggle to reconcile their public and private realities. Some will fight to climb to—or stay on—the top. Some will succumb to their own ambition. And all will learn how to survive in the wake of loss—proving that music may be at the heart of Music City, but drama always reigns.
"Nashville" stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O'Connor, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Will Chase as Luke Wheeler, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad, Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad and Aubrey Peeples as Layla Grant. Dee Johnson ("Boss," "The Good Wife"), "The War Room," "A Perfect Candidate"), Callie Khouri ("Thelma & Louise") and Steve Buchanan are executive producers of ""Nashville"." The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment.
Music legend Rayna Jaymes reigns as the Queen of Country, but after two decades, her grip on the throne is slipping. Rayna refuses to be steamrolled by her record label as they present a new arrangement. And in the face of an evolving industry, Rayna is struggling to adapt and reinvent herself, which she must do if she plans to stay relevant.
Juliette Barnes is sexy, sassy, and trails trouble in her wake— she's also the country's #1 crossover artist. In her climb to the top, Juliette's public image is threatened by circumstances she struggles to control. And while she is determined to sit on Rayna's throne, Juliette refuses to deal with her difficult past.
Offstage, things aren't much smoother for Rayna. Her father, Lamar Wyatt, Nashville's most influential businessman, continues to complicate her life. Their strained relationship is defined by years of resentment and secrets that come to a head when Lamar and Rayna's sister, Tandy, push Rayna's husband to run for mayor. For husband Teddy Conrad, this marks an opportunity to share the spotlight with his wife instead of continuing to be the man behind the woman.
The city of Nashville is the stage for many hopefuls: Deacon Claybourne, Rayna's longtime bandleader whose unrequited love for Rayna prevents him from claiming success if he went on his own. Scarlett O'Connor, the beautiful and gifted songwriter, who's here to support her boyfriend Avery's talent while still unsure of her own. Avery Barkley, a struggling alt-country musician, who can't help but feel left behind when his girlfriend Scarlett's songs have a chance to find an audience before his own. And Gunnar Scott, a wholesome up-and-coming crooner, who finds a musical soulmate in Scarlett, coming in between her relationship with Avery.
Rayna survives the horrific car crash that left her fighting for her life. She embarks on a battle with Jeff Fordham, the slimy new head of Edgehill Records. The guy steals Will Lexington away from Rayna's Highway 65 label. A war begins.
Juliette Barnes has an affair with the married, Charlie Wentworth. She eventually realizes that the love she's been searching for is right in front of her in Avery. Juliette's affair and an out-of-context quote about God makes her persona non grata in Nashville.
Reality TV star Layla Grant enhances her brand by hooking up with Will, who doesn't want the world to know he's gay. Gunnar strikes up a relationship with Scarlett's BFF, Zoey. He makes a name for himself by writing a hit song for superstar Luke Wheeler. As for Will, he becomes suicidal after sleeping with Jeff Fordham's former right-hand man, Brent. Fortunately, Gunnar is there to help his pal through.
Deacon overcomes his addiction issues. The truth comes out that he's Maddie's real father. The entire family effectively neutralizes the media stir, but Teddy worries he's losing his daughter. He has no idea that his lover, Peggy, suffered a miscarriage. The two marry, but Peggy is gunned down by a man who was targeting the mayor.
Rayna's sister, Tandy, goes in cahoots with the feds to take down her father. She believes Lamar was responsible for her mother's death. This causes much friction between Tandy and Rayna. Lamar passes away while threatening Teddy, who finds comfort for his own grief with Megan, the woman who was dating Deacon.
Juliette joins Rayna's Highway 65 label. These two music superstars must learn to get along if there's any chance for success. The label's other artist, a pill-popping Scarlett, has a major meltdown onstage. She bows out of the spotlight, but will it be forever?
Jeff Fordham has sex with an intoxicated Juliette, who now wonders if she's lost Avery. Rayna accepts Luke Wheeler's marriage proposal in the middle of a concert. A short time later, Deacon hands her the engagement ring he gave her many years ago. The next move is all on Rayna.
Season Three concluded with the ultimate cliffhanger—a flatline—as Deacon went under the knife to receive a liver transplant from his sister, Beverly. And when all is said and done, Rayna must learn to negotiate professional demands in the face of unthinkable personal tragedy. After the birth of her daughter Cadence, Juliette began to suffer from worsening postpartum depression and consequently recommitted to her music and movie careers—a choice that will cause her professional life to sizzle but her family life to fizzle. Her husband Avery, meanwhile, must determine how—and where—to raise their baby girl. Rayna's teenage girls, Maddie and Daphne, grapple with growing pains of their own, knowing they have different fathers—one of whom (Deacon) may die in surgery and the other of whom (Teddy) is headed to prison.
Elsewhere, cowboy Luke Wheeler has recruited superstar Juliette Barnes to be on his record label—a timely boon, considering his biggest artist, Will Lexington, came out publicly at a press conference to the surprise of the whole industry. Scarlett and Gunnar, who together comprise musical duo The Exes, still remain exes as they embark on tour for their latest E.P., but their chemistry—both onstage and off—might soon be too powerful for them to deny. And Jeff Fordham, Rayna's nemesis, continues to be romantically enmeshed with Highway-65 artist Layla Grant, the only person who can see the good in him but whom he always manages to hurt—whether he means to or not.