After rescuing the former ABC television show from extinction, CMT is making it clear there will be some big changes coming to the musical drama Nashville in the forthcoming season. CMT announced that Emmy-nominated actress Jen Richards will make her Nashville debut in Season Five, making her the first transgender actress in the network’s history.
Richards will play the reoccurring role of Allyson Del Lago, a transgender physical therapist who helps a principle charter through a difficult time in their life. CMT has described the character as “tough but understanding” while staying silent on which character the Nashville newcomer will be treating. While nothing is confirmed by CMT, there is heavy speculation the character in critical condition will be Hayden Panettiere’s character, Juliette Barnes, who is presumed dead after the Season Four finale.
Photo via Jen Richards
CMT’s groundbreaking decision to cast Richards on the show makes network history with the actress becoming not only the first transgender actress that the network has ever hired, but the first transgender character as well.
Prior to her work on the musical drama, Richards has had a successful career in the industry working as not only an actress but also a writer and producer of the Emmy-nominated series Her Story, as well as her upcoming role in the CBS courtroom drama Doubt alongside from Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl.
Nashville makes its highly anticipated return Jan. 5 on CMT in a special two-hour premiere.
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