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‘Nashville’ Adds Transgender Actress Jen Richards for Season 5 on CMT

Richards becomes network’s first out transgender actor

If you thought “Nashville” might get more conservative with its move from ABC to CMT, think again. On Tuesday, the network announced the casting of transgender actress Jen Richards in a recurring role for Season 5.

The actress will play Allyson Del Lago, a tough but understanding physical therapist who helps a series regular through one of their most difficult challenges.

With the new role, Richards will become the first out transgender actress on CMT, which picked up the Connie Britton-led following its cancellation at ABC earlier this year.

Richards is the co-writer, star and producer of the Emmy-nominated series “Her Story,” co-producer of the upcoming docu-series “More Than T” and writer of its accompanying Trans 102 series.

She has also appeared on the E! docuseries “I Am Cait,” and will appear in CBS’ upcoming drama “Doubt.”

Earlier this month, the network announced that Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens will also the show in a recurring role as Hanna Lee “Hallie” Jordan, a social worker with the “voice of an angel.”

Produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment, production commenced on “Nashville” earlier this month.

“Nashville” is executive produced by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (the creators of “Thirtysomething”), Steve Buchanan and Callie Khouri. Jayson Dinsmore and Morgan Selzer executive produce for CMT.