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‘Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton, ‘Heroes’ Hayden Panettiere To Star In ABC’s ‘Nashville’

Connie Britton and Hayden Panetierre

ABC’s musical soap beefs up its cast with Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.

Friday Night Lights alum Connie Britton and Heroes star Hayden Panettiere have reached a deal to star in ABC’s country music drama Nashville.

Nashville, a family soap set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene, is helmed by Oscar winner Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise). ABC Studios, Lionsgate and Gaylord Entertainment serve as the production companies.

Britton will play Rayna James, a fading Nashville superstar whose career is on the decline. The singer’s labels forces her to tour with her much younger peer Juliette Barns (Panettiere), or lose support for her newest album and proposed tour. Faced with the decision of losing her family’s only income, Rayna must do as her label says or risk losing everything she’s worked hard to build. Without Trace alum Eric Close will play Rayna’s husband. Rayna’s predicament should come as good news to her father Lamar Hampton (played by Deadwood alum Powers Boothe), a “powerful and controlling” man who’s never approved of her career.

Britton is coming off a successful stint on the first season of FX’s horror drama American Horror Story. Panettiere co-starred in the 2011 feature films Scream 4 and Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. She also starred in the Lifetime original television movie Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, earning rave reviews for her work.

Additional cast include General Hospital star Jonathan Jackson as Avery Davis, Robert Wisdom (Burn Notice) as Coleman Caldwell, Claire Bowen (Home and Away) as Scarlett and Sam Palladino (The Hour) as Gunnar Scott.

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Omar White-Nobles

Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TVSource Magazine. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.