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'Nashville': 10 things you can expect in season 2

Tonight, Nashville returns with a second season premiere (10 p.m. ET on ABC) that has a lot of cliffhangers to resolve. We asked exec producer Dee Johnson and Hayden Panettiere to tease what lies head. Here are 10 things you can expect in season 2:

1. Rayna (Connie Britton) and Deacon (Charles Esten) will survive that car crash. No surprise there. But what it does, Johnson says, is “change everything from the point of view of our two star-crossed lover anchor characters. It definitely sets them on totally different trajectories.” After picking up shortly after the crash, there’s a bit of a time jump that will allow Deacon to be back on the wagon. “For any addict, it’s always gonna be an issue. But that is the biggest wake-up call of anyone’s life, so I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say he’s not gonna be stumbling around drunk,” she says. “He has a whole bunch of new information in his life [about Rayna's daughter Maddie being his], and I think the struggle for him is to look at where he is, why he is, and how he’s supposed to either embrace or reject the role of father.” Rayna will eventually butt heads with the new president of Edgehill (Oliver Hudson). “Having been bought out by a massive conglomerate, it has a very different and new perspective in terms of how it handles its artists. And Oliver’s character, Jeff Fordham, instantly butts head with Rayna in a kind of love/mostly hate relationship.” Will they have sparks? “They’re certainly gonna have a lot of fireworks between them, and whether or not anything ever romantic comes to pass remains to be seen.” 
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Emmy Watch: 'Nashville' star Hayden Panettiere on the hardest scene she's ever shot

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to submit nomination ballots, EW.com will feature interviews with some of the actors and actresses whose names we hope to hear when nominations are announced on July 18.

Who would have thought that country-pop starlet Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) would end Nashville‘s first season as the character in the healthiest place — even as she’s mourning her recovering addict mother, who’d just committed murder-suicide to save Juliette from another scandal? Even more surprising: Originally, Juliette wasn’t going to be as large a role as she’s become. “I found this out on Heroes: Especially when you do ensemble casts, you can try as hard as you want to tell the audience how to feel, what character or story line they like the most, but they will always choose. Everybody loves to hate one of the characters,” Panettiere says, with a laugh. “But Callie [Khouri] and the writers created this character that you still had sympathy for, and empathy. I would never want to play the villain who didn’t have heart, who didn’t have something to back it up.” Here, we ask Panettiere to break down the emotional season finale. READ FULL STORY

PaleyFest 2013: 'Nashville' cast talks rhinestones, romances, and tour rumors

When the cast of Nashville took the stage at PaleyFest 2013, they weren’t quite prepared to give away too much information about the show’s will-they-or-won’t-they couples Deacon and Rayna (not to mention Gunnar and Scarlett). However, that didn’t stop them from revealing some other tidbits. Below, in no particular order, 10 things we learned from the ridiculously attractive (and talented) cast. READ FULL STORY

'Nashville' star Hayden Panettiere talks stolen nail polish and tonight's episode

It’s a testament to how quickly we’ve come to associate Hayden Panettiere with Juliette Barnes, her character on ABC’s Nashville (Wednesdays, 10 p.m. ET), that you almost slip into a Southern accent the second you start speaking with her. It’s okay it happens. She’ll just laugh it off. “I did the same thing,” she says. “I got lectured before by my best friend that I needed to not go on and put on a Southern accent. It’s not put on. Especially when you’re a singer, you tend to pick things like that up more quickly. But also, I’m living in Nashville now, and that’s what I wanted: I wanted to immerse myself in the culture and the people and to develop that accent and make it natural and not distracting.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you first read that stealing a bottle of nail polish would take down Juliette’s tour, what did you think?
Hayden Panettiere: Well, it wasn’t necessarily the nail polish that took down the tour, it was the way that she handled herself afterward. People like honesty, and they like recovery stories. If you openly admit to it, apologize, and give them somebody to root for, people are very willing to forgive and forget. And then she just goes into [that interview] and sabotages herself and gets herself into a lot of hot water and has to dig herself out. READ FULL STORY

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