This nighttime soap set in the country music capital takes unusual care to get the musical performances right and present a realistic look at record industry pressures. Maybe that's because it's guided by a pair of Oscar winners, screenwriter Callie Khouri and music producer T Bone Burnett. It also stars the luminous Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights"), who performs her own musical numbers. "'Nashville' is big, bold, wildly ambitious and great fun," says McNamara in her review, praising its "moments of bare-naked and universal truths." It's hands-down the best reviewed of the new network dramas, but in a weak season that isn't saying much. Some see it as succumbing to the same generic slickness that makes commercial pop music so dispiriting. Assessment: "It's kind of the agreed-upon front-runner," says McNamara. "I would expect to see Connie Britton in the awards mix."
Chris Hollo / ABC
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