The new ABC drama Nashville premieres October 10 featuring Connie Britton as country music superstar Rayna James and Hayden Panettiere as rising country singer Juliette Barnes. Connie’s character has been at the top of the country charts for a long time, but she denies rumors the character is based on country legend Reba. It seems those rumors got to Reba herself.
Connie says, “I ran into Reba McEntire on a plane, and she said, ‘Did you hear that they’re saying that you’re playing me in your show?’ And I said, ‘No, I had no idea.’”
Connie says her character Rayna is a composite of a lot of different characters, but she worked to really allow that character to emerge on her own.
Reba is actually a fan of Connie’s from her role on Friday Night Lights, and they first met earlier this year when ABC presented their new fall lineup in New York City. Reba is starring in the upcoming ABC comedy Malibu Country where she plays a single mother trying to revive her country music career. When asked if she’d like to appear on a show like Nashville that mirrors her own life in country music, Reba says, “I’m in this business for true life. I want to play an imaginary character having fun in Malibu.”
Reba would be open to a guest spot as herself on Nashville at some point though.
Rumors have also been going around that Hayden Panettiere based her young country singer character Juliette on Taylor Swift. Hayden admits Juliette and Taylor are about the same age and blonde, but the comparisons end there.
“I think you guys, once you see her and get to know Juliette, my character, a little bit better, you’ll see that,” Hayden says. “But I really think Taylor would disagree wholeheartedly as well. She’s much nicer than my character.”
The new series Nashville will also feature original music produced by Grammy-winner T-Bone Burnett.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio