9:39pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Nashville' Renewed for Third Season at ABC
It's official: Nashville is returning for a third season.
Following prolonged negotiations, the Connie Britton-Hayden Panettiere country music drama rebounded from a critically maligned freshman season finale and held onto much of its first-year viewership. ABC's Ben Sherwood announced the renewal late Friday via Twitter. The renewal is for a full 22-episode season.
In the key adults demo, the Lionsgate TV-produced series from Callie Khouri is down four-tenths of a point and about 500,000 viewers. Also working in the musical's favor is ABC's largely forgettable freshman crop of dramas, with limited series The Assets as well as Betrayal, Killer Women, Lucky 7, Mind Games and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland all failing to make the cut.
Meanwhile, Nashville breakouts Charles Esten, Clare Bowe, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack and Will Chase hit the road for a small multi-city tour on the back of multiple albums and music downloads, which help provide ancillary revenue to support the series.
Nashville joins a roster of returning dramas including Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal, Resurrection and Agents of SHIELD. The network has already picked up eight new dramas -- even with last year. They are Shonda Rhimes' How to Get Away With Murder, Secrets and Lies, Astronaut Wives Club, Agent Carter, The Club, American Crime, The Whispers and Forever.
For a complete guide to what's renewed, canceled and picked up, head to THR's handy scorecard.