Connie Britton Ditches 'American Horror Story' and Heads for 'Nashville'

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We will say this for Connie Britton, she's sure got a lot of range when it comes to the TV projects she chooses.

Just days after FX's 'American Horror Story' announced the majority of its returning cast for season two (which as expected, didn't  include Britton), the former 'Friday Night Lights' actress is getting a bit of her own by taking the lead in ABC's upcoming musical pilot 'Nashville'.  No, not that type of musical. But there will be singing.

TVLine describes 'Nashville' as a family-style soap opera set against the backdrop of the Nashville country music scene, with one country singer's career at her peak, and another rising like the Tennessee sun.  Britton will expectedly play the the older star "Rayna," joined by former 'Heroes' star Hayden Panettiere as her younger counterpart.

Also joining for the pilot are Eric Close ('Without a Trace') as Britton's husband, and Powers Boothe ('Deadwood') and soap star Jonathan Jackson (that's "Jonathan," not "Joshua," 'Fringe' fans.  It took me a minute).  'Thelma & Louise' scribe Callie Khouri penned the pilot episode, to be directed by renowned documentarian R.J. Cutler.

Hmm, shades of 'Country Strong,' no?  We'll leave any talk of infringement for you to decide, but will you tune in to see the 'American Horror Story' and 'Friday Night Lights' leading lady flex her pipes on a country stage for 'Nashville'?  Is Hayden Panettiere's character like to have super-powered healing for her ego if she gets booed off-stage?

Give us your take, or hurl beer bottles at chicken wire in the comments below!

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