Earl Williamson has lived in Nashville for 25 years. In that time, he freely admits, Earl has never been to Centennial Park, attended CMA Music Fest, toured the State Capitol, watched the Nashville Sounds lose, or had any other quintessential Music City experience. This is why, he says, he is so excited about the premiere next week of ABC’s primetime drama, “Nashville”.
“I’ll finally get to see the real Nashville, get the whole experience” says Williamson, who mostly spends his time going to and from work a few miles from his home off Murfreesboro Rd in Antioch. “I hear they’re gonna have a lot of stuff in The Bluebird Café, which I’m thrilled about. I’ve always wanted to go there.”
Williamson’s story is not uncommon. An online poll of Nashville homebodies indicates that this unexpected demographic could make-up a significant portion of the new soap-opera’s audience. “Nashville”, starring Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) and Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), premieres this Wednesday on ABC Network; the show has been steadily building buzz amongst locals since the pilot was first shot here, and many discussions in area media have centered on which locations will and won’t be showcased on this national venue. Indeed, the legendary Bluebird Café plays such a pivotal role in the series that an exact replica of the venue has been built on a nearby soundstage. Other areas which are known to be featured include the Buddy Killen Circle roundabout off of Music Row, and various locations within The Gulch area of 12th Ave.
For many locals like Williamson who never bother to get out and see their town of residence, “Nashville” provides an easy way to experience the sights that they are too lazy to go visit on their own. Julie Warner, an architect and life-long resident of Belle Meade, says “I’m really hoping they do something with that historic racetrack at the fairgrounds. I understand they saved it with tate referendum a while back, and I’d kinda like to know what that was all about.” “I’d like to see them have a scene at Prince’s Hot Chicken. I’ve always meant to check that out” adds Barry Robbins, a graphic designer who lives only five minutes from Prince’s.
For their part, ABC executives say they are happy to oblige local couch potatoes and homebodies. Nathan James, a representative for ABC original productions, notes “One of the goals of this series is to show Nashvillians the REAL Nashville, as only Hollywood can. We’re glad to bring the true Music City experience to anyone who isn’t willing or motivated enough to go out and find it for themselves.”
Nashville promo art found at http://www.tvfanatic.com/gallery/nashville-poster/