I don't want to alarm anybody for no reason, but I'm starting to wonder — is this Connie Britton's last season on Nashville? There have been whispers for months that the star of the modern-day country music soap is ready to move on from the show, but even in addressing said rumors and trying to put them to rest, Britton only raised more questions. To be fair, I'm sure it's been a rollercoaster for the show and everyone involved ever since Nashville's cancellation by ABC and subsequent pickup by CMT, so I can't blame Britton for keeping her options open, but it did bum me out to hear that she had only signed up for 10 episodes as Rayna James in the new season, premiering Jan. 5, out of a potential 22.
That means we're talking about less than half, which was a huge bummer to fans, so Britton sat down for an interview on Ellen to try to ease some of their minds. When Ellen DeGeneres asked about the rumors, Britton responded vehemently, "I'm in it. I'm in. I'm in for the duration, and we're about to start a new season." And with that, she skillfully pivoted to talking about the upcoming season with its new show-runners, and we're off on a new topic without contemplating the fact that Britton's answers were actually pretty noncommittal. Think about it — it had already been confirmed that she was in for 10 episodes, and since it would be super weird if she was in one half but not the other, it's safe to assume that the 10 (or more, if she signs on for them) will be scattered throughout the season.
So technically, no matter what, she's "in for the duration"; that doesn't really give any more insight into her plans post-Season 5. And that right there is what makes me a little nervous that this is Britton's last season. If she'd already decided she was in for Season 6, or had said how many episodes she'd signed on for in Season 5, those would have been good tidbits to drop on Ellen. But instead, she just underlined stuff that everybody already knew, emphasizing it in a way that was supposed to make fans feel better, but really provided no new information.
The good news is wherever Britton goes, and whatever she does, she'll be stellar at it. So whether it's staying on Nashville until its finale (whenever that might be) or moving on to an awesome new project, she's gonna crush it and I'll be watching.