Richards will play Allyson Del Lago, a "tough but understanding physical therapist who helps a series regular through one of their most difficult challenges," according to an announcement from CMT.
Richards is the first out transgender actor to appear on CMT. Her previous credits include Her Story, which she co-wrote, produced and starred in, as well as I Am Cait, on which she was a series regular. She is also a co-producer of the upcoming docuseries More Than T, and is also scheduled to appear on CBS' Doubt this fall.
The actress shared the news on Twitter:
I'm impressed by @NashvilleCMT. Giving an out trans woman a good role on a show like this is a risk, and they've been wonderful to me. 💖— Jen Richards (@SmartAssJen) September 13, 2016
Nashville's two-hour Season 5 premiere airs Thursday, Jan. 5 at 9/8c.