Stars: Hayden Panettiere, Connie Britton, Powers Boothe, Charles Esten, Eric Close, Clare Bowen, Jonathan Jackson
Go ahead, tease us all you want—Nashville, ABC's freshman country music soap, is the year's ultimate guilty pleasure, and we're not afraid to say it.
Admittedly, the initial attraction came from the proposition of watching dueling diva-beauties Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere try to outwit and out-sexy each other as an aging country superstar and a chart-topping newbie, respectively. Color us pleasantly surprised, then, that Nashville is much more than a two-hander. Britton and Panettiere are both top-notch, but co-stars like Clare Bowen (as a lovesick poet/songwriter) and Charles Esten (as a veteran guitarist with a contemptuous past) are just as solid.
Covering the city's shady political dealings, the music industry's ability to corrupt, and the pitfalls of infidelity, Nashville is a multi-layered drama that's infinitely better than its wannabe-Dallas veneer would lead you to believe.