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Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere 'to return to Nashville'

Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere are reportedly set to return to hit show Nashville.

The country music drama was canceled by officials at network ABC after four seasons in May (16) but it was announced in June that it was being saved by executives at Country Music Television (CMT).


It was unknown which of the major stars of the show would be back, but now The Hollywood Reporter claims that Connie and Hayden, who play Rayna James and Juliette Barnes in the series, have signed new deals to return for the 22-episode fifth season of the program.


Hayden's future involvement in the show was of particular concern to fans after Juliette was involved in a plane crash in the finale of the fourth season, with many speculating she may not have survived.


Other actors to return for the fifth season are Charles Esten (who plays Deacon Claybourne), Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott), Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley), Clare Bowen (Scarlett O'Connor), Lennon Stella (Maddie Conrad), Maisy Stella (Daphne Conrad) and Chris Carmack (Will Lexington), according to The Hollywood Reporter.


However, as previously reported, former regulars Aubrey Peeples and Will Chase, who played Layla Grant and Luke Wheeler on the show, won't be back for the new season, the publication confirms.


Aubrey hasn't commented on the news, but Will previously appeared to confirm it on Twitter by suggesting he was hanging up his character's shoes.


"Cowboy boots: Off... Tap shoes: On...(Stay tuned)," he tweeted followed by a winking face emoji.


The fifth season of the Nashville will also see the arrival of two new show runners - Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick are set to replace Dee Johnson.


It is expected the show will return for its next season sometime this fall (16).