CMT has announced Rachel Bilson (“The OC,” “Hart of Dixie”) and Kaitlin Doubleday (“Empire”) will join the cast of “Nashville.” The news was revealed directly to the fans on social media by CMT, Bilson and Doubleday in recognition of the Nashies’ unwavering support of the series, which just aired its midseason finale. Additionally, CMT released a first look teaser for forthcoming episodes. “Nashville” is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment.
“We welcome Rachel and Kaitlin into our incredibly talented ensemble,” said Marshall Herskovitz, executive producer and showrunner. “We fondly anticipate the second half of the season filled with surprising twists and turns that make ‘Nashville’ so beloved by the fans.”
The news comes on the heels of record ratings. Last week’s emotional episode entitled “I’ll Fly Away,” hit new season highs on CMT with A18-49 (1.02), W18-49 (1.39), M18-49 (.64), Total Viewers (2.2M), A25-54 (1.27) and W25-54 (1.75). The show broke records as the highest rated Original Series telecast in CMT History with A18-49, W18-49, A25-54 and W25-54 and was the most watched among P2+. Overall on CMT, original premieres are pacing up 46% among A 18-49 and 73% among W 18-49 versus year ago. Total day ratings are up 27% with A 18-49 and 31% with W 18-49.
Rachel Bilson was most recently seen as ‘Dr. Zoe Hart’ in The CW’s series “Hart of Dixie,” a fish-out-of-water story about a New York City doctor adjusting to life in a small Southern town after she inherits a local medical practice. Her film credits include “The To Do List,” “Waiting for Forever,” “Jumper,” “L!fe Happens” “The Last Kiss,” and “New York, I Love You.” She also appeared twice as a guest star on the television series “How I Met Your Mother,” as well as Josh Schwartz’s “Chuck.” Bilson also became an integral part of pop culture due to her series regular role on the very popular television show “The O.C.” for four seasons. She is represented by CAA and Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein Kohner & Gellman.
Kaitlin Doubleday gained worldwide recognition portraying ‘Rhonda Lyon’ on the megahit “Empire.” At age 17, she made her film debut opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can.”Other notable screen credits include the cult classic “Waiting,” opposite Ryan Reynolds and Anna Farris; “The TV Set,” a satire about the entertainment business starring David Duchovny; and “Accepted,” opposite Jonah Hill and Justin Long. Doubleday is represented by Paradigm Talent Agency and MPG Management.
“Nashville” is set against the backdrop of the city’s music scene and follows the lives of country music superstars as well as the up-and-coming performers and songwriters trying to get ahead in the business. Music City can mean so many things to different people. In “Nashville,” musicians and songwriters are at the heart of the storm, driven by their own ambitions. Some are fueled by their creativity and passion for fame. Others struggle to cope with the pressures of success and are doing everything in their power to stay on top.
“Nashville” stars Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O’Connor, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad and Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad. In addition, this season features Joseph David-Jones as Clay, Rhiannon Giddens as Hallie Jordan, and Cameron Scoggins as Zach Welles in recurring roles.