ABC’s “Nashville” premiered Wednesday night to strong numbers, pulling in 8.9 million viewers and placing second its time slot, according to preliminary Nielsen overnight ratings.
In spite of its strong ratings for the hour, “Nashville” experienced a half-point drop off in viewer retention numbers.
CBS’ “CSI” attracted the most viewers in the time slot, pulling in 10.6 million, while NBC’s “Chicago Fire” placed third with 6.4 million.
“Nashville” won the all-important 18-to-49 demographic with a 2.8 rating.
Overnight ratings are based on live and same-day DVR viewings.
At the heart of “Nashville” lies the time-old confrontation between youth and advancing age.
Connie Britton plays Rayna Jaymes, a seasoned country singer whose given 21 years to her recording label and is in the process of being pushed aside in favor of up-and-comer Juliette Barnes, played by Hayden Panettiere.
True to life, Jaymes doesn’t take kindly to the gesture and leaves the recording label after it attempts to relegate her to opening-act status on the tour circuit—opening act for Barnes, to add insult to injury.
“Nashville” is littered with side stories, each of which could easily slip into the driver’s seat, including Jaymes’ husband’s bid for mayor, Barnes’ sexually manipulative tendencies and Jaymes’ influential and dominating father Lamar Wyatt, played by Powers Boothe.
The show’s storyline seems aimed at making it the next big primetime soap opera, a genre that has produced some of TV’s most memorable shows, including “Dallas” and “Dynasty.”
Britton will forever be Tammy Taylor from “Friday Night Lights,” so shedding that character is going to be a difficult task.
Fortunately for her, Jaymes is a near carbon copy of Taylor, Southern drawl and all, ya’ll.
Barnes is a troubled soul, a young lady that has discovered the power her sexuality has in getting her what she wants. Trouble is it’s not very clear what it is that she actually wants. Not yet, at least.
She has a strained relationship with her mother, who apparently has a drug problem and only contacts her for money.
It’s easy not to like Barnes at first, but that may change the more viewers come to know about her background.
The singing on “Nashville”—and there’s plenty of it so far—is decent, but Britton’s and Panettiere’s lip synching skills aren’t the best. Don’t let that be a reason not to watch, though.
Solid acting, a country music setting and an intriguing and promising storyline are among the show’s strong points. The writing is also good, though a bit predictable—a fault the lies more with the soap opera genre than the writing itself.
“Nashville” isn’t off to a stellar start, but it does have enough promise to warrant at least another week on the DVR rotation.
“Nashville” airs in Provo on ABC 4 at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.