Emmy-nominated actress and transgender advocate Jen Richards is joining Nashvillein a recurring role for Season 5, TVGuide.com has learned.

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.

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TVGuide.com previously reported that Nashville was looking to add a trans character to work closely with Juliette (Hayden Panettiere).

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:


Nashville's two-hour Season 5 premiere airs Thursday, Jan. 5 at 9/8c.