When Does 'Nashville' Season 4 Premiere? Here's A Wish List For Another Year Of Country Music Drama

It was looking dicey there for a minute, but fans may now breathe easy. Nashville is returning for Season 4, ensuring we'll see more of the lives, loves, and songs of some choice residents of Music City, USA. The series teetered on the bubble for a while — as it's done every year — but the reprieve came along with a deluge of other ABC renewals and cancellations. Now that we can stop worrying about whether the show will return, however, we have something else to be concerned about: When will Nashville Season 4 premiere? [UPDATE: ABC has announced that Nashville will premiere on Sep. 23.]

ABC hasn't issued an episode order yet, but signs point to a full season. This batch of episodes would take Nashville into syndication territory, which is where the network could see a big return on its investment in the show. With that tasty carrot hanging in front of the suits, I'd be very surprised if the series didn't come back for another 22 episodes. If that is the case, Nashville will likely return in late September, just like its past two seasons. The series initially premiered on Oct. 10 2012, so at the very latest, we should see more Nashville by mid-October.

So, what's there to look forward to when Nashville Season 4 does premiere? The creatives behind the show have been pretty tight-lipped about future storylines, possibly because the late-in-the-game renewal means that they simply don't know yet what's in store. Also, much of the show's future depends on the survival of Deacon Claybourne. If he is killed off, Nashville will come back a much different show. Obviously, that's a surprise they want to reserve.

With little evidence to go on, that leaves me to create my Season 4 Nashville wish list — a very selfish exercise in articulating my own hopes for the show. Here's what I'm looking for the series to tackle in its next go-round.

Label Wars

Rayna James is a full-on mogul and I'm ready to see her start acting like one. She signed a couple of acts this season (most recently Gunnar and Scarlett's The Exes), but her time was mostly taken up by Deacon's illness and her painful break-up with Luke. With Luke and Rayna both in the independent label game and Jeff mustache-twisting on the sidelines, their showdown would make for some good TV.

Juliette Barnes Back On Top

Juliette is struggling with postpartum depression, as her friends, family, and doctor pointed out to her in last week's episode, though she immediately refuted their claims. Still, she has a support system in place who continue to help her, no matter how hard she tries to push them away. Juliette is a strong person and I know she'll eventually get the help she needs and overcome it, so I'm looking forward to her really getting back in the game, in both her personal and professional lives.

Will Comes Out To The Public

It seems like some tabloid photographs are about to out Will Lexington before he's fully ready, but I hope he's ready soon. This storyline has been dragged out across several seasons and while it's infuriatingly accurate as to how close-minded an industry can be, I want Will to be more than a tragic figure. He's young, handsome, and talented — can't he be proud too?

The End Of Scarlett & Gunnar Weirdness

Speaking of dragging things out: Gunnar and Scarlett. Their off-stage interactions this season have been nothing less than painful, with Gunnar's stalker-ish behavior torpedoing any feelings I might have had for them as a couple. Worse still, Scarlett appears to be responding to it, which is bad news for the cute doctor who's about to save her uncle's life. The bottom line is that Gunnar and Scarlett are toxic anywhere but onstage. Let's give them a rest.

Images: Mark Levine/ABC; Giphy (2); gravitywon (2)/Tumblr