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10 Fun Facts from the 'Nashville' Cast at PaleyFest

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So we got a chance to check out the Nashville panel at the Saban Theatre yesterday at PaleyFest. We watch the soapy music drama on ABC for one reason: Connie Britton—who’s best known as Tami Taylor (aka Mrs. Coach) on the old critically acclaimed, yet ratings-challenged show Friday Night Lights.

She leads an ensemble cast that includes both fresh faces and TV veterans like Hayden Panettiere from NBC’s Heroes (which was a great show for one season). Britton plays Rayna Jaymes, a country singing superstar trying to stay at the top of her game; Panettiere’s Juliette Barnes is her foil—a young singing sensation with a bitch streak a mile wide.

Here are 10 fun facts from yesterday’s panel, which included Britton and Panettiere and fellow cast members Charles Esten (Deacon Claybourne), Clare Bowen (Scarlett O'Connor), Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley) and Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott). They were joined by Creator & Executive Producer Callie Khouri and Executive Producer Dee Johnson.

  1. 10. Callie Khouri, who wrote Thelma & Louise, is married to music legend T-Bone Burnett, who serves as a show’s music producer. Talking about adding music cred to a series. This ain’t no Glee.
  2. 9. There's been discussion of live Nashville stage show/concert.
  3. 8. Panettiere (who’s sassy and funny live) admitted to the audience that her role has helped her tackle her stagefright.
  4. 7. Palladio is a Brit. He auditioned for the role of Gunnar via the web.
  5. 6. Palladio had never been to America before this show. First city he landed in? Nashville, of course.
  6. 5. Clare Bowen is an Aussie. She got kicked out of opera class once and told she couldn’t sing.
  7. 4. Bowen and Palladio, whose characters are involved professionally and romantically on the show, had never met until they went into their first song rehearsal for the Civil Wars’ “If I Didn’t Know Better.”
  8. 3. Esten said he was a huge Friday Night Lights fan.
  9. 2. Joshua Jackson, who plays bad boy Avery Barkley, is still beloved for his role as Lucky Spencer on General Hospital.
  10. 1. Khouri started the panel by saying that Connie Britton has the best hair on television (and we have to agree).

Nashville is on ABC on Wednesday nights at 10 pm.