As CMT's 'Nashville' Ends, So Does A Glamorous Showcase Of The City And Its Songwriters | Nashville Public Radio

As CMT's 'Nashville' Ends, So Does A Glamorous Showcase Of The City And Its Songwriters

Jul 25, 2018

Thursday night marks the end of an era: It's the series finale of the CMT show Nashville, which features the lives, and at times soapy scandals, of fictional country music stars.

The six seasons have also given a big boost to the city's image and some of its songwriters — because, plot aside, the show makes the city look really good.

Dive bars, honky tonks and everyday spots like the Nashville Farmers' Market suddenly look glamorous in that polished, TV-drama way.

Nashville showrunner Marshall Herskovitz says shooting on location was a very conscious decision from the show's earliest days, which he felt compelled to continue after he took over in 2016.

"I think [it was] mandated by the people on the show. Not by anybody at the studio or anything like that. It was the people who work on the show," he said. "Their feelings about Nashville are so passionate that I would occasionally just burst out laughing."

This kind of showcase of the city likely did boost tourism after the program's 2012 debut. When the visitors bureau surveyed tourists a couple of years later, about half of the people they talked to had seen the series, and those people tended to spend more money here. 

More: TV's 'Nashville' A Boon For The Tennessee City

The show also had an impact on the musicians it featured — more than 300 of them, according to a tally from CMT. For Sarah Siskind, it gave a national platform for her style of songwriting, "country-leaning but not your typical radio-country song."

This was exactly what the show was looking for. Siskind ended up with 21 songs on Nashville. Several appeared on the series' commercial albums, including "A Life That's Good."

"Definitely a unique show," she said. "There's never been anything like it, and I'm not sure there ever will be."

The finale isn't the end of CMT's production in the city, but its newest venture will feature a much different side. Next week, it premieres a reality show following Nashville bachelorettes.