“Nashville” Hits Prime Time…on Cable
BY JUSTIN OWEN
So all the buzz in poorly-scripted and half-acted TV news is that the show Nashville isn’t going away after all. You’ll recall that in May, ABC canned the show after four seasons. Beacon applauded this, not because the show conveyed the false premise that all us Nashvillians “talk like that.” No, we celebrated the halting of millions of tax dollars squandered every year on the show. To date, Nashville producers have seduced state and local politicians for more than $45 million in taxpayer money, and the state was lining up to dole out another $8 million for the show’s fifth season.
Alas, all is not well in taxpayer land. This past weekend, the show announced that it would indeed return for that fifth season, and another taxpayer handout would be making an appearance along with it. But that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. The show will return on cable’s CMT rather than network’s ABC. And it will receive even more taxpayer money for doing so.
Rather than the original $8 million promised by the state, Nashville will now receive $11 million in handouts for its fifth season. State officials ponied up an extra half-a-million above their original pledge, while the city of Nashville and its convention arm are ponying up $1 million each. Ryman Hospitality will top off the incentive package with an additional $500,000.
Is CMT really worth extra handouts? The station’s viewership says no. As this link shows, in 2015, ABC finished third overall with more than 6.8 million viewers. CMT? You’ll have to scroll way down to number 61, with a paltry 350,000 viewers. Along the way you’ll scroll past the likes of Lifetime, Hallmark and its sister station Hallmark Movies, and even SyFy. What’s next, will “Sharknado 4” come calling for a film incentive? From a handout-to-viewer ratio, that deal makes more sense. Plus the acting is better.
To put this into perspective, we taxpayers are forking over $31 per viewer for Nashville. For that price tag, Deacon should at least write a song about us.