Hayden Panettiere’s vocal chords will get an extended workout after ABC placed a back-nine order today for Nashville, the freshman country music drama set in the famous Tennessee town that also co-stars Connie Britton.
Nashville has been heavily promoted since its series premiere and has performed below expectations against powerhouse NCIS and fellow rookie Chicago Fire in its late Wednesday timeslot. The 8.9 millions viewers and 2.8 rating in the 18-49 advertiser-friendly demo might be lower than ABC would like, but other unique revenue streams are helping to keep Nashville from a swift cancellation.
As might be expected from a series whose foundation is built upon music, downloads of tunes featured on the show are generating additional cash whose benefits are apparently outweighing the ratings struggles based on the pickup. As long as Nashville can crank out catchy tunes, ABC can reap those benefits and strongly consider ordering up a second season.
ABC took a more cautious approach to the futures of the Tim Allen family comedy Last Man Standing and Reba McEntire’s Malibu Country. Both shows, a sophomore and rookie, respectively, have dropped slightly in the ratings since their fall premieres. Because of the cloudy outlook that could go either way, ABC has ordered three additional episodes rather than filling out a full season order. Additional episodes could still be ordered.
The fate of high profile rookies, the submarine drama Last Resort and horror thriller 666 Park Avenue, remains to be seen. Both new series have additional episodes on their plate, but their ratings performance have not instilled enough confidence in ABC to warrant a full season order.