Episode to Highlight Iconic Memphis Locales, Include Memphis-Centric Storyline
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission (TFEMC) announced today the ABC series “Nashville” has traveled to Memphis for its winter finale episode airing Wednesday, December 10 at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.
“As the birthplace of the blues, the starting point of soul, and the home of the king of rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis has made an indelible mark on the very history of music itself,” Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “I can think of no better pairing than the city of Memphis with the musically driven ‘Nashville’ series. This storyline will offer a unique convergence of many of the great entertainment assets that Tennessee offers.”
The episode shows the beautiful Memphis skyline and filming was done on legendary Beale Street and at the iconic Peabody Hotel, including an appearance by the hotel’s most famous residents, the Peabody Ducks. The Memphis-centric storyline will feature principal characters Deacon Claybourne, played by Charles Esten, and Scarlett O’Connor, played by Clare Bowen. The episode was directed by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and “Nashville” Creator and Executive Producer Callie Khouri.
“I will look for any excuse to get myself to Memphis and this was a perfect opportunity,” Khouri said. “We had a fantastic time and are looking forward to showing our ‘Nashville’ fans what a wonderful treasure of a city Memphis is, too.”
“Film and television production in Memphis means talent and tourism for West Tennessee. Nashville, the series and the city, knows the value of this venue, and we welcome the opportunity,” said Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, sponsor of 2012 changes in the film fund incentive that created an additional $2 million in recurring annual funding.
Among the more than 50 international markets where “Nashville” is aired include the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Australia, Russia, Mexico, Scandinavia, Canada, Latin America, Israel and numerous markets throughout Asia. On average Nashville draws 7.7 million viewers each week. This season, the series ranks among ABC’s top five biggest gainers in TV, DVR and On Demand playback.
“The TV series ‘Nashville’ filming in our City is another great opportunity to have our unique musical history and assets showcased on an international level,” Memphis Mayor AC Wharton said. “Having the finale include scenes from our city, sounds of the music made famous in our city, and part of the plot featuring Memphis should attract new viewers and help set the series up for another successful season. Nashville’s success impacts Memphis and vice versa. We’re happy to host them.”
“We’re excited our area will be featured in this popular TV series. It will remind viewers of the many international musical attractions unique to the Memphis and Shelby County area,” Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. said.
The Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission partnered with production staff to coordinate on-ground logistics and provide liaison services between the entertainment industry, private business and local government for production needs.
“‘Nashville’ coming to Memphis was a win-win situation for everyone,” Memphis & Shelby County Film Commissioner Linn Sitler said. “We enjoyed hosting the show, and hopefully we can host ‘Nashville’ again in the future.”
“I have always known what a wonderful place Memphis is to live and work, and I am pleased my community will be showcased on an international stage,” Writer/Director (“Hustle & Flow,” “Blake Snake Moan”) and TFEMC Commission Member Craig Brewer said. “With ‘Nashville’ airing in more than 50 countries around the world, this will help viewers better understand why Memphis is so special with all the history and tradition that are rooted here.”
The winter finale episode isn’t the first time “Nashville” stars have visited the Bluff City. Sam Palladio, who plays Gunnar Scott, hosted a radio show for the United Kingdom’s BBC Radio from Memphis, and Esten officially turned on the lights at the 2013 Lighting Ceremony at Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Inspired by his love of “The King,” Esten even wrote and performed a new song “The Lights of Graceland,” with proceeds from song downloads benefiting the Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation.
“Nashville” airs on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. CT on ABC and stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O’Connor, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Will Chase as Luke Wheeler, Eric Close as Teddy Conrad, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Oliver Hudson as Jeff Fordham, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad and Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad.
Along with Khouri (“Thelma and Louise”), “Nashville” is also executive produced by Dee Johnson (“Boss,” “The Good Wife”) and Steve Buchanan. The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios, and Opry Entertainment.