Dan Rather will interview Charles Esten and Connie Britton Tuesday on AXS TV.
Just one day before ABC airs the Season 4 premiere episode of Nashville – and five days before Nashville reruns star to air exclusively on the AXS TV cable network – veteran newsman Dan Rather will sit down to chat with series stars Connie Britton and Cowboys & Indians cover guy Charles Esten in an all-new episode of The Big Interview.
Set to air at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT Tuesday, The Big Interview: Special Nashville Edition has Rather joining Britton and Esten for a lively discussion spanning the first three seasons of the show, and giving viewers a sense of what they can expect going forward in Season 4.
In separate segments, Rather speaks with an enthusiastic Britton about what it’s like to play country music legend Rayna Jaymes, whom she describes as a strong businesswoman with wisdom born of experience to thrive in the ever-changing music industry. Britton also talks about the series’ inspiring message, and reveals what made her want to be a part of Nashville.
“I was so excited about the idea of this world,” Britton tells Rather. “I was also very excited about the idea of singing, which I hadn’t done in many years. I was actively seeking doing things that would challenge me and be different from what I had been doing before, and felt risky and felt a little scary. I decided that it would be kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and that’s how it happened.”
Rather covers a similarly wide variety of topics with Esten, including the series’ efforts to present an honest portrait of Music City, and the way Esten’s role allows him to work within his two passions — acting and music.
Asked why he enjoys playing his character, the troubled Deacon Claybourne, Esten says: “He’s nobody’s hero, because he fails constantly. And what he does is he just keeps pickin’ himself back up and tryin’ to be a better man the next day. Tryin’ to be who he thinks he could be.”
Esten says he feels a responsibility not only to the character, but to the show’s loyal audience, who have developed a strong connection to Deacon and his struggles. “They’re not just plot points for people,” Esten says. “They’re what people are living. So it raises a desire in you to really do it justice.”
The candid conversation also touches upon Esten’s personal life, his dedicated charity work — and his daughter’s battle with leukemia, which he credits with helping him put the truly important things in life into perspective. Esten also sings a few heartfelt bars of his favorite song from the show — the moving ballad “A Life That’s Good,” co-written by country phenom Ashley Monroe.
“The Big Interview: Nashville Special Edition is the perfect primer for AXS TV’s Nashville premiere event,” said Michele M. Dix, AXS TV’s senior vice president, programming and development. “Whether viewers are visiting Nashville for the first time, or just want to relive the intense drama and show-stopping musical numbers, they won’t want to miss this exclusive backstage pass as Dan Rather gives them an intimate look at one of the most captivating series on television, led by two of its biggest stars.”
Nashville launches on AXS TV at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, September 26. The cable network will present three back-to-back episodes in weekly blocks, with encore airings at 11 p.m. ET Saturdays and 9 p.m. ET Tuesdays. As part of the premiere festivities, AXS TV will air the Nashville episodes with limited commercial interruption for the first four Saturdays, from September 26 through October 17.