Could Nashville still be Nashville without Rayna James?
It's unclear whether Britton plans to leave the show, or whether she just hasn't negotiated a deal to appear in the other 12 episodes yet. Around the time of Nashville's cancellation at ABC, Britton said she would find it difficult to continue working in Tennessee, given the recent passage of an anti-LGBT bill in the state.
On Wednesday, CMT (which picked up Nashville after it was canceled by ABC earlier this year) announced that Season 5 of the country music drama will premiere on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 9/8c. New episodes will be available on Hulu the day after they air.