I actually already watched the pilot, because the luxury of Hulu Plus (a steal at $8 a month for being my version of DVR) allowed me to watch it well in advance! The verdict? I love it. Sure, it's basically the plot of Country Strong in terms of the old classic being shoved out by the new hot thing, but the acting is great. I loved Connie Britton in American Horror Story, and I'm a fan of Hayden Panettiere from Heroes and Bring It On: All or Nothing. But overall, I really love the entire cast of characters, the soapy drama, and the MUSIC.
Nashville has the legs to stand on that Smash doesn't. It's great storytelling, which is why I love country music after all. I also like that they film on location and reference real places in Nashville (Bluebird, Capitol Grille, etc.) and that the actors have to sing. I hate when actors dub singing.
Premise (via Wikipedia): The series stars Connie Britton as Rayna James, a legendary country music superstar, whose stardom begins fading. Her producers offer her a joint tour with the up-and-comer Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), the young and sexy future of country music. But both singers are pursuing their goals. Juliette wants to take the place of Rayna. Rayna thinks that a few songs written by talented author Scarlett O'Connor (Clare Bowen) will help to revive her success. Rayna's father is Lamar Wyatt (Powers Boothe), a powerful politician in Nashville, who forced her to marry Teddy Conrad (Eric Close), who lives on her money.
WATCH IT TONIGHT! I think it's the best new drama on TV this fall.