The busy director-choreographer told Playbill.com, "We shot the pilot in March, and it was picked up. Now we're shooting 12 episodes down here in Nashville. I'm working with Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton and the rest of the cast. It's going to be a fantastic show. Fantastic!"
The cast features Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights," "American Horror Story") as Rayna, Hayden Panettiere ("Heroes") as Juliette, Powers Boothe ("MacGruber," "24") as Lamar, Charles Esten ("Enlightened," "Big Love") as Deacon, Eric Close ("Chaos," "Without a Trace") as Teddy, Clare Bowen as Scarlett, Jonathan Jackson ("General Hospital") as Avery, Sam Palladio as Gunnar and Robert Wisdom as Coleman.
"Chart-topping Rayna James (Connie Britton) is a country legend who's had a career any singer would envy, though lately her popularity is starting to wane," according to ABC. "Fans still line up to get her autograph, but she's not packing the arenas like she used to. Rayna's record label thinks a concert tour, opening for up-and-comer Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), the young and sexy future of country music, is just what Rayna needs. But scheming Juliette can't wait to steal Rayna's spotlight. Sharing a stage with that disrespectful, untalented, little vixen is the last thing Rayna wants to do, which sets up a power struggle for popularity. Could the undiscovered songwriting talent of Scarlett O'Connor (Clare Bowen) be the key to helping Rayna resurrect her career? Complicating matters, Rayna's wealthy but estranged father, Lamar Hampton (Powers Boothe), is a powerful force in business, Tennessee politics, and the lives of his two grown daughters. His drive for power results in a scheme to back Rayna's handsome husband, Teddy, in a run for Mayor of Nashville, against Rayna's wishes."
"Nashville" was written by Callie Khouri, who is an executive producer along with R.J. Cutler and Steve Buchanan. The pilot was directed by Cutler.
John Carrafa began his Broadway career as a performer in the 1985 production of Singin' in the Rain. He has provided choreography or musical staging for Love! Valour! Compassion!, Dirty Blonde, Urinetown (Tony nomination), Dance of Death, Into the Woods (Tony nomination) and Dance of the Vampires. Carrafa directed and choreographed Good Vibrations.