'Nashville' premiered last night on ABC starring Hayden Panettierre and Connie Britton.  I decided I would give it a shot and see what the pilot offered.  Wow!  The pilot gives you a lot of information, and makes you eager for next week.

Here's the premise.  Rayna is a 40 year old country singer who has reached the top, but sales are declining and she can't sell out shows.  Juliette Barnes is an young successful country singer, and the record label wants Rayna (the veteran) to open for Juliette Barnes (the newbie.)  That doesn't sit well.  Meanwhile, the conniving Juliette Barnes is trying to steal away Rayna's guitar player from 20 years, record producer, and everyone else.  (Plus she sleeps around with those mentioned.)

Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) gives you every reason to hate her, but writers of the show cleverly give us a reason to feel sorry for her.  Her mom is a junkie, and I'm no psychologist, but it looks like her broken family is what causes her to sleep with anyone around.

Also worth noting is how the viewer and/or country music fan gets a view inside how records and stars are made.  It shows the sacrifice that stars must go sometimes to please the label, and vice a versa.

Nashville plays on the talent vs. popularity battle that we have going on in pop culture right now.  The show makes it clear that Rayna has more talent and experience, and modern technology (auto-tune) and media has made Juliette a star.  Rayna at one point asks the record label, "So you're telling me I have to open for a girl that wouldn't even cut it as a background singer for me?"  And another point, the record producer says, "Auto-tune will fix that..." referring to Juliettes bad singing on a record.

Then, add in Rayna's political family and conflict with her dad, trying to get her husband in "his pocket" for political reasons and the conflict that arises in their marriage.  It's a doozie!

Like I said, the pilot gave us a lot to chew on, but a delicious bite.