Nashville season 5 returns with a special two-hour premiere on a new network CMT on Thursday, 5 January at 9pm ET/PT with Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz as executive producers. The premiere episode is titled, The Wayfaring Stranger.

Charles Esten who plays Deacon Claybourne spoke to E! News at CMT's Seventh Annual Artists of the Year celebration and revealed that Deacon and Rayna James (played by Connie Britton) are "moving forward".

Esten said, "I know what Marshall and Ed have in mind also is that slightly more lyrical quality that we started with in the very beginning, and I'm already seeing that in the scenes. The scenes are longer and there's fewer of them so there's more time in between characters."

Esten said that he really enjoyed filming a scene with his on-screen wife Britton. Teasing Rayna-Deacon's relationship, the actor said, "There's a lot going on, but perhaps not as much super dramatically or an incident, it's just about what's going on between the two of us. We came through that rough spot and now we get to see Deacon and Rayna moving forward from where we ended up last season. I'm having a ball doing those scenes with her."

The show is currently filming the fifth episode of the season, as Esten promised, "We're going to get more music." The musician also spoke about the show's change from ABC to CMT and revealed that the actors are glad to be back for the fifth season.

"None of that 'we're so glad to be back' has worn off at all. We've always been real grateful for this show. Having lost it for a quick bit, now that we've got it back and we're on CMT we all know how special it is and we're enjoying every moment."

Hayden Panettiere returns as Juliette, with a lot of new faces. Chris Carmack (country singer Will Lexington), Clare Bowen (singer/songwriter Scarlett O'Connor), Sam Palladio (Gunnar Scott) and Lennon Stella (Maddie Conrad).