Nashville Is Losing Two Series Regulars When It Moves to CMT

'Nashville' Season 5 Is Totally Happening
Nashville lives to see another day!

Nashville, which was cancelled by ABC earlier this year and then subsequently saved by CMT, will be losing two series regulars as a result of the network transition.

According to TV Line, Luke (Will Chase) and Layla (Aubrey Peeples) will not be returning to the country music drama for the fifth season.

TV Line reports that their character story arcs have more or less come to an end anyways:

Chase’s Luke had little to do after his engagement with Rayna [Connie Britton] fizzled in Season 3; most of his Season 4 storyline involved sticking up for Wheelin’ Dealin’ Records artist Will Lexington when he was attacked by a homophobic talk-show host.

Meanwhile, Peeples’ Layla sought to avenge Jeff Fordham’s death by ruining Juliette’s relationship with Avery, but Avery’s discovery of her plan — and his seemingly imminent reunion with Ms. Barnes — meant the end of that storyline.

Neither Chase nor Peeples were original cast members. Both started out as recurring characters on the show in the first half of the second season; Chase was promoted to regular in Season 3, and Peeples in Season 4.

In addition to moving to CMT, Nashville has new executive producers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (thirtysomething) taking over show-running duties from Dee Johnson.

Deadline notes that Chase and Peeples could possibly come back for guest-starring appearances, subject to availability. They also explain that cuts on the show were to be expected, “as it has to adjust from a Big 4 broadcast network license fee to a basic cable fee.”

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Chase and Peeples “will likely be the only departures as talks with all the remaining series regulars are going well including Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere. The latter’s future on the series was in question after the major cliffhanger in the season four finale.”

Nashville is expected to return sometime this fall.