Fans of ABC's music industry drama 'Nashville' were elated to learn that the series managed to avoid the axe and was picked up for a second season; unfortunately, given the amount of money the network had committed to the series, that second season comes with cutbacks to ensure the series remains cost-effective.
So far, the changes being made to 'Nashville' are on the production and post-production ends of the project, so fans can breathe easy that the creative side--the writing and the characters--should remain intact.
Line producer Loucas George, who was responsible for running the production on location in Nashville itself, announced on Twitter shortly after the renewal 10 days ago that his contract had not been renewed. That also applies to his team, including production supervisor Don Bensko. When shooting a television series, it is the line producer's job to handle all of the financial details. Some of a film's expenses are what is known as "above the line" expenses, meaning they are known in advance. These costs include things like crew salaries, story rights and camera equipment. Other expenses are "below the line," meaning additional, unexpected expenses, such as last-minute wardrobe additions, insurance fees and scheduling changes.
The production of 'Nashville' has been a rocky one, with series star Connie Britton speaking out regarding a grueling work schedule. Bensko’s wife Micaela, lamenting the decision not to pick up her husband’s option, spoke about “14-20 hour days with an unrelenting schedule due to issues beyond their control” and “a string of endless and exhausting shoot days” as “a string of delayed scripts and tripping storylines kept everyone on edge.”
Reportedly much of the frustration of the series is that the show itself is filmed in Nashville while the production remains housed in Los Angeles. A new line producer will go a long way towards making or breaking the production stresses for a second season.