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“Nashville” Becomes Thriving Franchise for ABC Studios, Lionsgate, Opry Entertainment and Big Machine Records

May 22, 2014

They play the roles of Country music superstars on the ABC hit primetime drama but “Nashville” cast members are becoming real-life chart-toppers with original music escalating to the top of sales charts and LIVE performances to sold-out crowds in major markets.

ABC Studios, Lionsgate, Opry Entertainment and Big Machine Records — the entertainment heavyweights behind the show — have turned the “Nashville” audience into real fans. Viewers have become key purchasers of music, tour tickets and other branded merchandise in a mere two seasons of the show. ABC announced last week that the show will return to Nashville for a third season this fall.

“‘Nashville’ has quickly become more than just a TV series; it has become a serious multimedia franchise,” said Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group – the record label who markets and distributes music from the show. “It’s rare that a TV show brand can surpass its presence on the small screen, but the strong music sales prove that there’s a passion and a real connection between the viewers and the cast.”

Immediately following the April 23 broadcast of ABC’s “NASHVILLE: On The Record,” a special album of LIVE song recordings from several cast members entitled Nashville: On The Record (LIVE) was released to iTunes. Immediately propelling to #1 on the iTunes all-genre chart, the project is still in the Top 5 Country albums nearly two weeks later. Additionally, all three previously released THE MUSIC OF NASHVILLE soundtracks jumped into the Top 15 on the iTunes Country Albums chart during the same time period.

“On The Record has always been a celebration of the songwriters and a gift to our fans, we are thrilled that it is also bringing new viewers to the show and music in a way that is so authentic to Nashville,” said ABC’s Dawn Soler.

To date, the soundtracks have sold over 600,000 copies and over three million individual track downloads.

THE MUSIC OF NASHVILLE Season 2, Volume 2 was released to all digital retailers on May 6. The standard version includes 11 tracks while a special deluxe edition containing 21 tracks is now available exclusively at Target.

The first-ever “Nashville” Concert Tour with series stars Charles Esten, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson, Sam Palladio, Chris Carmack and Will Chase, delivered over and above in Chicago; Washington, DC; Philadelphia and New York City, with sell outs at all stops. Fans screamed the names of their favorite “Nashville” characters as they performed original songs from the show onstage. The tour is presented by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation and produced by Opry Entertainment. ABC affiliates in each city provided promotional support and shared the excitement if the "Nashville" tour.

"The response from the audience at the live shows has been overwhelming. The excitement begins with the first note and builds to a fervor with moments where the audience is singing along to each word,” said Steve Buchanan, President Opry Entertainment Group and “Nashville” executive producer. "The tour highlights the extraordinary talent of our cast and underscores the passionate musical connection created between the tv show and its fans.”

"’Nashville’ is a shining star in the television world – a first-rate drama and a musical franchise that continues to build on its passionate fan base. The must-have musical download story evidenced by the chart-topping OTR performance confirms what we have known all along – America loves Nashville,” said Lionsgate’s Kevin Beggs.

Related Stories: Big Machine Records, Nashville

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