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TV review: Yee, haw! "Nashville" is this fall's best new show

Published October 10, 2012 12:12 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

ABC's Nashville (Wednesday, 9 p.m., Ch. 4) is, in my estimation, the most promising show of the fall season.

Would that the woman who created the show and the network that's airing it realized what they have going for them and stopped fighting it.

"Nashville" has all the makings of a really good prime-time soap that get a lot of things going in its first hour. Yes, it's set in the capitol of country music. And, yes, it revolves around country music.

But you don't have to be a country music fan to fall for "Nashville" - as I can tell you from personal experience.

Callie Khouri, who won a screenwriting Oscar for "Thelma & Louise," is the woman behind "Nashville." And she doesn't like it when critics (or anyone else) calls it a soap.

She really needs to get over herself. Soap is not a dirty word.

If it makes her feel better, let's call "Nashville" a continuing drama. And what a continuing drama.

At the center of the story is country-music icon Rayna James (Connie Britton), who finds her career stalled at the same time as no-talent Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) is on the rise. It's all very "All About Eve," with a country-music soundtrack.

If that's not enough, Rayna's powerful, manipulative father, Lamar Wyatt (Powers Boothe), plots to make her husband, Teddy (Eric Close), the mayor of Nashville, a move that could push Rayna toward her former flame, Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten). And Juliete has designs on Deacon.

There are plotlines about up-and-coming stars, politics, questionable paternity, back-stabbing, family secrets and more.

Britton is great. She's always great, whether it's "Friday Night Lights," "American Horror Story" or "Nashville."

Panettiere will surprise you if you've never seen her in anything other than "Heroes." Boothe is wonderfully menacing, and the rest of the cast is up to the task of making "Nashville" a really good primetime soap.

Whoops. A really good continuing drama.