March 06, 2012 11:20am PT by Lacey Rose, Lesley Goldberg
Connie Britton to Star in ABC Drama Pilot 'Nashville'
American Horror Story's Connie Britton is heading back to TV.
The actress will star in ABC's Nashville, a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene revolving around one star at her peak and another on the rise, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Britton will play the former, a 40-year-old Nashville superstar named Rayna who is being forced to team with teen breakout Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) on tour as her own album sales are struggling.
The actress, still best known for her starring role on NBC/DirecTV's beloved but ultimately little-watched drama Friday Night Lights, joins previously cast Panettiere, along with Powers Boothe, Sam Palladio, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Robert Wisdom and Eric Close, who will play her on-screen husband.
Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise) and R.J. Cutler will write and executive produce the drama project, which hails from ABC Studios, Lionsgate and Gaylord Entertainment. The latter's Steve Buchanan will serve as an executive producer, with Cutler directing the pilot.
"I do love to work and I love to work in TV," Britton told THR on Friday at the PaleyFest session for American Horror Story. "It's finding something that feels like it's going to give me something that I haven't had yet."
Britton told fans during the panel that she was attracted to the role of Vivien Harmon on Ryan Murphy/Brad Falchuk's American Horror Story since her character was unlike America's sweetheart, FNL's Tami Taylor. She revealed that she was aware of the series' anthology design to reboot the show every season at the outset, which became part of the allure of jumping into such a different role.
In addition to Nashville, Britton told THR that she was still working with David O. Russell on developing his FX cop drama. "I was just on the phone with him before I came over here," she said Friday. "We're still developing that. I've got a couple things in development so we'll see what lands."
The Emmy-nominated Britton, who wrapped her highly rated, one-season stint on FX's anthology American Horror Story in December, becomes the fifth former Friday Night Lights star to land a pilot this development season.
Her former on-screen daughter Aimee Teegarden will star in the CW's Hunger Games-ish drama The Selection; Michael B. Jordan is reuniting with FNL's Jason Katims on NBC's County; Matt Lauria has booked Shonda Rhimes' ABC period drama Gilded Lilys; and Jurnee Smollett is heading to John Wells' Bad Girls reboot at NBC.
In the meantime, her former on-screen husband Kyle Chandler remains among a list of actors who are being heavily courted -- but unlikely to accept -- offers to join pilots and recently joined Kathryn Bigelow's hunt for Osama Bin Laden feature.
Britton is repped by WME, Untitled Entertainment and Hanson Jacobson.