It’s not uncommon for bubble shows to film two endings in an effort to put a cap on their shows should they not get a renewal. The business of television has proven to be woefully inefficient in the way that it decides which shows live or die, often pushing that situation until the middle of May — right around when shows close up shop for the season — so this practice offers fans some measure of closure.
When Castle got the hook after a brief flirtation with the idea of doing a ninth season without its co-lead, Stana Katic, the series finale gave fans a glimpse at the unthinkable (and an obviously intended cliffhanger) before allowing them a sigh of relief thanks to a tacked on warm and fuzzy final moment of fan service. Nashville fans, however, weren’t that kind of lucky when their show took its last bow on Wednesday night, confusing and ticking off some fans who had expected the same kind of fan service. The thing is, they may still be lucky and the finale may not have been the last bow.
According to TV Line, the show’s studio, Lionsgate, felt that Nashville would be in a better position to find a new home (that oft-teased, but still infrequently realized fantasy of all cancelled shows) if they closed on an epic cliffhanger: (Spoilers!) in this case, one that left the fate of one of the main characters, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) up in the air.
That position was made crystal clear when Lionsgate, whose Twitter background is an advertisement for the #BringBackNashville fan campaign, sent out a pretty confident tweet.
Whether that’s an act of chest thumping in an effort to drum up interest, or a justified boast from a studio that has a legitimately hot property remains to be seen, but the fans are on board, and most of the cast has been vocal in the effort to get a second chance (though, star Connie Britton — who has been through this all before with Friday Night Lights — seemed publicly at peace with where things were when she told Seth Meyers that the show’s ending was, “bittersweet” back on May 16). The question is, where would the show fit?
It’s doubtful that ABC didn’t consider the value of those same vocal fans (Nashville has been a bubble show throughout its existence, but its fans have always rallied and supported the show on social media) and the impact of the Nashville brand (the live concerts and the original music sales) when they made their decision. To them, the best of what Nashville can offer has already been extracted, but for another network or a streaming channel, the show could be an instant infusion of legitimacy and good publicity. It has to be the right network or service, though. Does a Hulu or a Netflix get much from a Nashville pickup?