Connie Britton as aging country crooner Rayna in "Nashville." (ABC )
In a bid to continue its duet with its up-and-coming country crooner, ABC has given freshman drama "Nashville" a full-season order.
The series, the latest to incorporate original songs a la "Glee" and "Smash," features Connie Britton as a chart-topping country singer, whose career is slumping just as her younger rival's (Hayden Panettiere) is blossoming.
The critically acclaimed drama from "Thelma & Louise" scribe Callie Khouri took up "Revenge's" old time slot this fall. Though it was on par with its sudsy predecessor's debut, "Nashville's" October premiere numbers were soft when factoring in the buzz surrounding the series: its premiere drew 9 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among viewers 18-49. It would be a high note compared to the 6 million viewers and 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demo it currently averages. Still, it often outpaces its time slot competition "CSI" and "Chicago Fire" in the key demo.
And, hey, the music helps too — proving to be a profitable offshoot. The original music, produced by multiple-Grammy winner T-Bone Burnett, has garnered heavy downloading since its debut, with songs often breaking the Top 10 on the iTunes country chart.
The Wednesday drama joins previously announced full-season orders for rookie comedy "The Neighbors" and returning drama series "Scandal."