Would ‘Nashville’ season 5 (or the entire series) survive without Connie Britton’s Rayna?

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Last week, “Nashville” put one of its biggest characters in general, and moving into Thursday night’s new episode, it doesn’t look as though anything is going to be getting easier for Rayna. Connie Britton’s character is in grave danger, and given all of the rumors that are floating around out there about her future on the show, there is probably a pretty substantial reason to have a little fear.

Could the show really kill off Rayna? In theory, yes. “Nashville” is not a show that tends to have a lot of fear, and removing her from the equation is the sort of move that could provide a spark like no other to get people discussing the show en masse. However, the juice of the “OMG moment” may not be enough to sustain the overall series once some of the hype and the craziness starts to die down a little. You’d be left with a show without its biggest star, and one that still needs to find a way to get ratings on CMT, even if there is a Hulu partnership boosting it to a certain degree.

If we had our druthers, we’d say that Rayna’s hospitalization is a fake-out, but potentially a temporary one. We don’t want to see the character’s end on the show be one where she passes away. She’s been through so much already that this isn’t the sort of way in which we’d want to see her go. Instead, our hope would be for something far more fiery, dramatic, and inherently interesting if they are going to write her out. Signs point to Britton leaving the show at the season’s end, even if it is renewed. With that, our biggest desire is just to have her depart the series in a way that is emblematic of her run — big, ambitious, and interesting.

There are still many more episodes of “Nashville” this season still to go, so consider that another sign that we’d like to have her stick around for a little while longer. It’s just too early. We do think that the series can survive her exit, but you have to give a little bit of time to prepare for it.

If Britton does ever depart the series, how do you want to see it happen? Share in the comments, and check out the link here to see a video preview for the episode coming up. (Photo: CMT.)

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