Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere Near Deals for ‘Nashville’ Return on CMT

Seven other series stars poised to rejoin show’s fifth season on cable network

“Nashville” will most likely feature some familiar faces when it returns for Season 5 on CMT.

Series stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere are nearing deals to return to the former ABC series, an individual with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap.

Seven other members of the main cast are also expected to return: Lennon Stella, Maisy Stella, Chris Carmack, Jonathan Jackson, Clare Bowen, Charles Esten and Sam Palladio.

ABC devastated fans of the primetime soap when it announced that the series would not return for a fifth season. The news came just a few weeks after “Thirtysomething” duo Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz were named new showrunners.

After the cancellation, fans were further upset when the season ended on a massive cliffhanger, leaving the fate of Panettiere’s character, Juliet Barnes, a mystery after her plane went missing. A rosier alternate ending was also shot, but producer Lionsgate opted for the open-ended route to bolster efforts to find the show a new home.

The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment. Production will commence in Nashville with Zwick and Herskovitz at the helm.

“Nashville” premiered on ABC in October 2012. It was created by Academy Award winner Callie Khouri and produced by R.J. Cutler, Khouri, Dee Johnson, Steve Buchanan and Britton.