If you're among the many Nashville fans upset over the cliffhanger ending from its ABC finale on Wednesday, May 25, hope springs eternal, as the show's previously filmed happy ending will get released if the country music-themed series doesn't get picked up by a new outlet for a fifth season.
Viewers were stunned when the season 4 finale ended with Avery (Jonathan Jackson) learning that the plane carrying ex-wife Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) had gone missing. As it turned out, the show had also filmed a final scene in which the pair are reunited, but producers opted to air the open-ended version in order to increase chances of a new distributor picking up the show, which costars Connie Britton and was surprisingly canceled earlier this month after four seasons.
So when will that happy ending see the light of day? Lionsgate TV exec Kevin Beggs told The Hollywood Reporter that although ABC Studios owns the rights to DVD distribution, his company plans to "make an alternate conclusion available."
"I'm sure we would figure out a satisfying way for audiences to see an alternative ending — but it won't be as good as the ending we have given them," Beggs said. "In a perfect world, we'd be making this show for many more seasons. Our hope and intention is to have an asset that continues to grow for many years."
The chairman admitted that he is "always worried about disappointing fans" — and indeed, plenty of Nashies were unhappy with the lack of resolution — but he defended shelving the upbeat ending for a greater long-term benefit.
"This is the ending that was intended," he said of the scene that aired. "I think it's more of a disservice to try to hastily put something together that's not satisfying. There will be detractors, but on the whole, the notion that this show will continue has been so positively received that I have to play the long game. And the long game is about keeping this show going."
Tell Us: Was Lionsgate right to keep fans guessing with the suspenseful finish?
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