Nashville

Created by Callie Khouri. Airs Wednesdays at 11pm (ABC)

Tami Taylor sings! After an unfortunate post-Friday Night Lights year on American Horror Story, Connie Britton settles back in with the much more appropriate Nashville, a soapy look at the contemporary country music scene. Britton is Rayna Jaymes, 20 years into a career that’s faltering under a broken system and the pop-country crossover of the likes of the Swiftian Juliet Barnes (Hayden Panettiere, we’ll see). Rayna is faced with a choice: Combine tours (and fanbases) with Barnes, or nothing. As with most pilots it’s a lot of ground-laying, including James’ family of husband Teddy (Eric Close, no Eric Taylor), two young girls and titan father (Powers Boothe), plus bandleader Deacon (the Blake Shelton-y Charles Esten), various bandmates and label personnel. Creator Callie Khouri won an Oscar for Thelma & Louise but has since struggled in films---this feels like the right scale for her sharp, observant writing. And there’s no one better than Britton, warm yet powerful, to hold the centre of her stage.

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