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Lucinda Williams

With 'Nashville' and 'Sun Records,' CMT hopes to reshape its image for an evolving country audience

With 'Nashville' and 'Sun Records,' CMT hopes to reshape its image for an evolving country audience

Outside the CMT building, Nashville is booming.

Cranes dot the skyline downtown, and thousands of tourists flood the neon-lighted clutch of clubs on Lower Broadway. In recent years, Music City has gained “It City” status, with new arrivals prompting a surge in everything from retail and real-estate ventures to food culture.

Fortunately for CMT (otherwise known as Country Music Television), “Nashville” is also booming.

When ABC canceled the soapy, country-centric drama in 2016, CMT saw an opportunity. Not only could it breathe new life into the series but it could also expand its umbrella with a more inclusive approach to programming to attract a broader, and more...

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