Two ‘Nashville’ Stars Leaving Show Before Season 5
Two stars of Nashville will not make the switch to CMT when Season 5 begins. Multiple media outlets report that negotiations with the rest of the cast are going well, however.
Will Chase and Aubrey Peeples are reportedly exiting prior to the new season of the recently saved television drama. Chase plays Luke Wheeler, while Peeples portrayed Layla Grant. Both became less essential characters during Season 4. Wheeler was the odd man out when Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten) reunited permanently with Rayna James (Connie Britton). Grant was Jeff Fordham’s (Oliver Hudson) love interest before he was killed off from the show last fall.
The Hollywood Reporter adds that the rest of the cast, including Britton and Hayden Panettiere, will return. Panettiere's return is somewhat surprising, as her character, Juliette Barnes, was seemingly killed off in a plane crash during the ABC series finale of Nashville in May. But the episode never revealed her ultimate fate, leaving just enough room for her to come back should the show be picked up by a new network, and should she be able to get past postpartum depression that’s left her in search of treatment.
On Twitter, Peeples and Chase both hinted at upcoming projects without directly addressing their departure from the show:
The fifth season of Nashville is scheduled to begin in the fall.
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