'Nashville' at PaleyFest: Concert Tour in the Works

Nashville Cast PR image - H 2012

Nashville Cast PR image - H 2012

ABC's Nashville is poised to following in the footsteps of Fox's Glee and hit the road with a concert tour.

Mere days after The Hollywood Reporter reported that Nashville studio Lionsgate Television chief Kevin Beggs noted he hoped the show would tour, co-star Charles Esten (Deacon) noted during the show's Saturday PaleyFest event in Beverly Hills that the planning was in the "vague stages."

A well-placed source tells THR that meetings are under way for a tour featuring Esten and co-stars Sam Palladio (Gunnar), Clare Bowen (Scarlett) and Jonathan Jackson (Avery) -- the show's professional singers. Stars Connie Britton (Rayna) and Hayden Panettiere (Juliette) would not participate. ABC declined comment.

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"We're not sure exactly what it's going to be or what shape it's going to take right now," Esten told THR. "I'm down to do the greatest version possible we can do of that. Hopefully [Nashville producer and husband to series creator Callie Khouri] T Bone Burnett would be involved in some way because all of this music comes from him and that T-Bone touch is on everything. What ever we do, I hope that always has that part of it."

For her part, Britton told THR that touring likely isn't in the cards for her. "I know a lot of these guys go out every weekend and perform but that's not what I'm interested in right now."

Panettiere, whose stage fright has been well documented, joked during the panel that she'd need Burnett -- who has helped her overcome her anxiety on the show -- out on stage with her were she to go on tour.

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"I would need to get over my stage fright first," Panettiere told THR on the red carpet before the panel at the Saban Theatre. "My stage fright is pretty awful. But as you can see on the show, you never know what the heck is going to happen."

Noted Palladio, for whom Nashville marked his first U.S. TV role and first time in America: "There's certainly talks of it at the moment, I hope so; it'd be great and I'd love to do it. The conversations are being had and possible venues are being talked about and discussed. They're trying to get us all in one place because being individuals, we're all off doing different projects. If we can find a couple weeks to do a tour, to see the fans and spread the music, we'd love to."

Bowen added she'd be excited to tour would be "so much fun and such a pleasure to meet all the fans; country music fans are the best in the world."

Series creator Khouri (Thelma & Louise) also confirmed that the series is exploring the tour. "It would be fun but it depends on how much [the cast] wants to spend their hiatus out playing music," she told THR. "If my guess is correct, they're all going to want to. If we can get it together, we're definitely going to do it."

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Nashville has already released a soundtrack of its original and handful of cover songs, with music from each episode now available immediately on iTunes. Within two weeks of Nashville's Oct. 10 premiere, five numbers had cracked the iTunes Top 5.

Fox's Glee -- which helped lay the groundwork for fellow scripted musical dramas including ABC's Nashville and NBC's Smash -- has featured two summer concert tours in 2010 and 2011. The tours, which featured the bulk of the show's ensemble cast reprising their characters and performing cover songs featured on the series, ranked ninth on Billboard's Hot Tours list in 2011 and 16th on the publication's Top 25 Tours list. The 2011 tour -- which featured 40 dates -- grossed more than $40 million. 

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit