Moving Nashville to CMT brought out even more of the bold in this country music series. Stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere will be joined by Jen Richards and Rhiannon Giddens for the 5th season beginning Jan. 5, 2017.
How are a couple of new cast members momentous? The answer is inclusion. One is a transgender woman, the other is a banjo playing woman of color.
Nashville already broke barriers with out gay country singer Will Lexington’s (Chris Carmack) character. Now they’ve added the first openly transgender character to be on CMT.
Jen Richards will play physical therapist Allyson Del Lago. Richards is co-writer, producer and star of web series Her Story. She’s an advocate for transgender rights.
Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens has spent much of her career as a singer songwriter using her role as lead singer of the string band Carolina Chocolate Drops to educate people to the fact that many black people play the banjo. Giddens role on Nashville will be as Hanna Lee “Hallie” Jordan, a young social worker with “the voice of an angel.”
Nashville has 22 episodes scheduled for the new season on CMT. It will also be available on Hulu. Congratulations to Nashville for including more diverse characters in the new season. We need more of this on our TVs.
“Nashville” Season 5 poster © CMT