Connie Britton steps into the spotlight on ABC’s new “Nashville.”
The show takes place in Nashville (where else?) and appearing opposite Britton (playing Rayna Jaymes) is Hayden Panettiere (playing Juliette Barnes), a spoiled starlet on the rise. The two women don’t get along, so of course they end up touring together to help each of their situations.
Britton has a pretty voice, but I was less impressed by Panettiere, much like I’ve been underwhelmed by her on “Heroes” and “I Love You Beth Cooper.”
It took me most of the episode to realize Charles Esten (playing Deacon Clayborne) was Josh from the Stanford office on “The Office.” He had a serviceable voice. It was also nice to see Powers Boothe, who I mainly know from “UHF,” playing the powerful Lamar Wyatt, Jaymes’ father.
Britton comes to the show following stints on “Friday Night Lights” and “American Horror Story,” where she played strong-willed wives of more prominent characters. This time she’s front and center, and I think she carried it well in this premiere.
I’m not sure how well this show will hold up over a full season. Yes, we get that the two women don’t like each other, though they have problems with their respective parents in common. Jaymes' husband is also running for mayor, backed by Wyatt. Still, I think they’re going to need to dig a little deeper.
“Nashville” airs on ABC Wednesdays at 10 p.m.