A key player on ABC’s "Nashville" won’t be returning next season.
Executive music producer T-Bone Burnett has announced his departure from the series to work on other projects, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"His slate of other film, television and recording projects would have made it impossible for him to return for a second season," Burnett's manager said in a statement. "He became close to many of the actors on 'Nashville,' and wishes all of them — as well as the show's producers, writers and crew — all the best with the coming season."
During his tenure on the show, Burnett was undoubtedly the guiding musical force, overseeing more than 100 original recordings and producing and co-writing a hefty batch of tunes featuring lead actors Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere.
"Nashville" creator Callie Khouri says her husband is leaving to produce the score for the upcoming Coen Brothers film, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” as well as a new Elton John album.
Buddy Miller, Burnett’s second-in-command and himself a celebrated singer-songwriter and producer, will assume the role of executive music producer for the second season of the show.
"T-Bone's schedule this year is so overwhelming with the Llweyn Davis movie coming out and several other producing projects that he has: Elton John’s record and so on," Khouri told The Hollywood Reporter. "We're going to do 'Nashville's' second season with Buddy and some of the other producers that we worked with. T-Bone set the gold standard for the show. His commitment to the quality of the music, the sound for the characters, and all of that was something that we were very lucky to get him for."
As Deadline points out, this isn’t the first shake-up for the musical drama. Shortly after it was renewed for a second season, ABC dismissed Line producer Loucas George and his team, who effectively run the day-to-day operation in Nashville, where the show is filmed.
Deadline also says the cost of filming the show on location in Nashville is a major source of tension behind the scenes.
There’s a lot riding on the second season of “Nashville.” The show was far from a hit in the ratings during the first season, averaging a 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 5.94 million total viewers, according to TVSeriesFinale.com
However, the show is critically acclaimed, and the two-volume soundtrack has been a big seller thus far.
The second season of “Nashville” premieres this fall on ABC.