"Nashville" returns to ABC on Wednesday, March 27 (10 p.m. ET) and just because Rayna's (Connie Britton) marriage to the duplicitous Teddy (Eric Close) has finally dissolved, don't expect her to hop into bed with best friend Deacon (Chip Esten) at the drop of a cowboy hat.

"It's very confusing for [Deacon] because he, like everyone else, might think, 'Well, we can be together now!' But the more he thinks about it, the more he realizes that she has children; she has to honor the end of that marriage in the right way and do things right," Esten told The Huffington Post at "Nashville's" recent PaleyFest event in Los Angeles. "It doesn't make sense for us to suddenly go, 'Now me and you!' because that makes it look cheaper than it actually is, and Teddy would go, 'Oh, I see what it is -- he's the reason.' She wants to pay it a little more honor than that."

In fact, the couple will face another obstacle before the path clears -- namely a vet played by Susan Misner, who will appear as a love interest for Deacon for several episodes.

"Everybody else is so tied up in the same world and everybody knows everybody -- it's such a breath of fresh air to meet somebody who not only is not deeply entrenched in that world, but who doesn't have a clue who you are, isn't a fangirl over Deacon on any level," Esten previewed. "The fact that she's not impressed is probably the most attractive thing that he can run into, and it happens quickly. But he doesn't handle it well early on. What I like is the dignity that [Susan] gives her character ... that she wants more than he's willing to give, so maybe he'll step up if he wants more."

But Britton doesn't want audiences to feel bad for Rayna over her complicated romantic life. "Everybody keeps saying, 'Oh, poor Rayna, poor Rayna. She's having a tough time.' I see Rayna as a very self-made woman and I think that even what she's going through right now is, to some degree, of her own making," she told HuffPost on the red carpet. "I think she's always about moving in the direction that feels like it will be the most evolved for her, so it's always important to me to make sure that she is not wallowing."

While romance might not be in Rayna's immediate future, Britton said that her career will continue to flourish, both through her new record label and her forthcoming album: "She's going to get back to working on her album with Liam [Michiel Huisman] and she really is just going to channel all of this negative stuff and I think it's gonna make her a better artist."

Still, as producer Dee Johnson pointed out, the pair has "a bond that ultimately always has them crisscrossing and being pulled towards each other." And Esten says there's plenty more on the horizon for both characters, regardless of whether or not they get together right away. "It's always gonna be hot and beautiful and deep and wonderful, but there's also gonna be problems. Is he suddenly gonna be an easy guy to live with? What [would that] be like? There'll be a million things like that, not to mention the secrets that have yet to come out, which are gonna make it very hard."

They're not the only couple who is struggling right now. In the last episode, Gunnar (Sam Palladio) lost his ex-con brother, and that grief spurred him into hooking up with Scarlett (Clare Bowen) even though the writing/singing partners have yet to define their complicated relationship.

"Grief does terrible things to people and it also does wonderful things to people," Bowen pointed out at PaleyFest. "It can be either crushing or eye-opening or both at the same time."

"He's in a bad place and will be for a while," Palladio agreed. "It's such a tragedy, what's happened, after him finally forging this relationship with his brother again after eight years. To have that taken away just leaves him numb; it affects his songwriting, it affects his music, it affects the relationship with Scarlett because they don't enter into this thing in an easy fashion."

Johnson previewed hard times to come, but also a light at the end of the tunnel for the couple: "It isn't the ideal situation for them. The genie's out of the bottle. Now what? I don't think it's going to be easy for them to unring that bell, so they're gonna have their trials and tribulations. There's love there, although it hasn't been articulated, so it's gonna be complicated."

One character who might finally be getting her life together is Juliette (Hayden Panettiere), who just fired her manager and appears to be trying to take her career into her own hands. "You want to get to a certain place and do certain things in order to have the freedom of choice and the freedom to be picky and the freedom to have an opinion about what you want to do," the actress admitted. "But she doesn't go about things in the right way and she dives at them headfirst with this complete lack of the right kind of emotion. It's hard to see the message past Juliette's fog of evil, or mean-spirit, but she's right a lot of the time. She has good instincts and she does need to take this into her own hands and she does need to stop being puppeted by these people, because they will take it and run with it and they'll create whatever machine they want to."

That newfound independence might even lead to new romance, according to Johnson: "This sober companion [Jay Hernandez] comes into the picture and grounds [Juliette and her mom] a little bit, and fills a need for her in her life now that she's fired her manager ... He's cute, too -- you can't have a male character in her orbit and not go there."

"Nashville" airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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  • "666 Park Avenue"

    <strong>"666 Park Ave.," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/16/666-park-avenue-canceled_n_2147290.html">ABC pulled the plug</a> on this supernatural drama earlier in the season.

  • "The Bachelor"

    <strong>"The Bachelor," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: While ratings may have dropped, "The Bachelor" will likely see another season on ABC as tabloids and viewers still care about the comings and goings of contestants.

  • "Body of Proof"

    <strong>"Body of Proof," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: ABC is keen on this Dana Delany drama, but the ratings for the show's third season couldn't save it.

  • "Castle"

    <strong>"Castle," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: Strong ratings and a dedicated viewership keep "Castle" on the schedule.

  • "Dancing With the Stars"

    <strong>"Dancing With the Stars," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Likely to be renewed <strong>Why</strong>: The series is hurting in the ratings ... by "DWTS" standards. It's still a strong player for ABC, but the new season hasn't premiered yet.

  • "Don't Trust The B---- In Apt. 23"

    <strong>"Don't Trust The B---- In Apt. 23," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/apartment-23-canceled-dont-trust-the-b_n_2528858.html">ABC pulled the low-rated comedy</a> from it schedule and the stars took to Twitter to announce the cancellation.

  • "Family Tools"

    <strong>"Family Tools," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: This ABC comedy had a May 1 premiere date and that was the first of many bad signs.

  • "Grey's Anatomy"

    <strong>"Grey's Anatomy," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: America still loves McDreamy and the goings on at <s>Seattle Grace</s> Grey Sloan Memorial.

  • "Happy Endings"

    <strong>"Happy Endings," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: Always the bubble show, never the surefire renewal hit. "Happy Endings" has suffered from many ratings ailments, including bad scheduling (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/happy-endings-friday-abc_n_2683091.html">it moved to Friday night</a>) and lack of promo. But this ahmahzing show has some serious fans that are determined to keep it around on another network (a la "Cougar Town.")

  • "How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest Of Your Life)"

    <strong>"How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest Of Your Life)," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: The ABC comedy starring Sarah Chalke had a late midseason debut and though its ratings were decent, it still couldn't save the comedy.

  • "Last Man Standing"

    <strong>"Last Man Standing," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: Viewers still love Tim Allen and the show has been performing well on Friday nights.

  • "Last Resort"

    <strong>"Last Resort," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/16/last-resort-canceled-abc_n_2147316.html">ABC killed the Shawn Ryan drama</a> in late 2012.

  • "Malibu Country"

    <strong>"Malibu Country," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: "Malibu Country" had been performing well on Friday nights, but the ratings took a dip and there was also showrunner switches that are never a good.

  • "The Middle"

    <strong>"The Middle," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: Now in its fourth season, "The Middle" is still pulling in more than 8 million viewers an episode as the anchor of ABC's Wednesday comedies.

  • "Mistresses"

    <strong>"Mistresses," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Too soon to tell <strong>Why</strong>: The drama, which is based on the UK series of the same name, just got a Monday, May 27 premiere date. Though the scheduling struggle doesn't bode well, the ABC drama does have Alyssa Milano and "Lost" alum Yunjin Kim leading the foursome.

  • "Modern Family"

    <strong>"Modern Family," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: A fan favorite and Emmy darling, "Modern Family" will be back and will make ABC lots of money in syndication.

  • "Nashville"

    <strong>"Nashville," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: Critical acclaim doesn't always equate to rating success, but ABC still believes in this Connie Britton-fronted drama despite the numbers.

  • "The Neighbors"

    <strong>"The Neighbors," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: One of the few "hits" of the season, "The Neighbors" has found an audience and kept it pretty steadily week after week (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/11/abc-shows-fall-tv-2012-2013_n_1581796.html">much to our dismay</a>).

  • "Once Upon a Time"

    <strong>"Once Upon a Time," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: A ratings hit in its second season, "Once Upon a Time" will be back for a third season full of fairytale adventures.

  • "Private Practice"

    <strong>"Private Practice," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Ended <strong>Why</strong>: The "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff said goodbye in January 2013.

  • "Red Widow"

    <strong>"Red Widow," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: The show had a late February debut on ABC and the ratings were abysmal.

  • "Revenge"

    <strong>"Revenge," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: "Revenge" has fallen out of critical favor and seen lower ratings in its new Sunday night home. Though it lost its creator Mike Kelley as the showrunner, it will return for a third season, considering the sad state of ABC's dramas.

  • "Rookie Blue"

    <strong>"Rookie Blue," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: The Canadian co-production will return for a fourth season on ABC during the summer of 2013.

  • "Scandal"

    <strong>"Scandal," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: Shonda Rhimes has another hit on her hands. Now in its second season, "Scandal" has benefited from word-of-mouth and has been rising in the ratings (even recently beating out its lead in "Grey's Anatomy"). A likable star -- Kerry Washington -- and continued buzz keep "Scandal" on the schedule.

  • "Suburgatory"

    <strong>"Suburgatory," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: The series started Season 2 off strong in the ratings, but its audience has slowly eroded. Still, the show will be back for a third season.

  • "Zero Hour"

    <strong>"Zero Hour," ABC</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: The Anthony Edwards vehicle debuted to 6.3 million viewers with a 1.3 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, making it <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/15/zero-hour-ratings_n_2695800.html">the least-watched premiere for a scripted series in ABC's history</a>. Things only got worse from there.

  • "2 Broke Girls"

    <strong>"2 Broke Girls," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: CBS renewed "2 Broke Girls" in March of 2013.

  • "The Amazing Race"

    <strong>"The Amazing Race," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: As an Emmy and fan favorite, "The Amazing Race" has been a strong player for CBS.

  • "The Big Bang Theory"

    <strong>"The Big Bang Theory," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: Now in its sixth season, "Big Bang" is reaching series-high ratings. Even up against reality powerhouse "American Idol," "The Big Bang Theory" has been delivering with crazy high numbers in the 18-49 demographic, beating out what was once Fox's juggernaut.

  • "Blue Bloods"

    <strong>"Blue Bloods," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: The Tom Selleck-fronted police drama is a strong ratings performer for CBS on Fridays.

  • "Criminal Minds"

    <strong>"Criminal Minds," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: As one of CBS's strong procedural players, the series has been steady in the ratings and will likely be renewed to help anchor a night and launch a new drama.

  • "CSI"

    <strong>"CSI," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: Of the two "CSI" shows on the air, "CSI" is the stronger player in the TV landscape. The show is nowhere near its earlier ratings, but Ted Danson signed on for more and the show will be back.

  • "CSI: NY"

    <strong>"CSI: NY," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: The ratings from this "CSI" spinoff have faded over the years.

  • "Elementary"

    <strong>"Elementary," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: One of the very few freshman series hits during the 2012-2013 TV season, CBS is very keen on this modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes. The audience has been steady and the network even gave it the post-Super Bowl timeslot.

  • "Golden Boy"

    <strong>"Golden Boy," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: CBS certainly has a handsome star at the front of this cop drama, but its late season entry hinted toward CBS's confidence in the show.

  • "The Good Wife"

    <strong>"The Good Wife," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: A former ratings champ, "The Good Wife" has slipped to series low ratings on Sunday nights. Blame football overrun, fan-detested storylines or too many guest stars, but "The Good Wife" has star power and critical praise, plus its nearing a good syndication sweet spot.

  • "Hawaii Five-0"

    <strong>"Hawaii Five-0," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: In March, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/27/the-good-wife-renewed-season-5_n_2965829.html" target="_hplink">CBS announced "Hawaii Five-0" received an early renewal along with several of its other popular programs</a>.

  • "How I Met Your Mother"

    <strong>"How I Met Your Mother," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: CBS handed out a ninth and final season to this comedy with the entire cast returning. Expect to meet the mother, finally.

  • "Made In Jersey"

    <strong>"Made In Jersey," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: CBS pulled the plug on this legal drama very early on in the season because of low ratings.

  • "The Mentalist"

    <strong>"The Mentalist," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: "The Mentalist" has fallen to mediocre ratings -- by CBS standards -- but it was nonetheless renewed in March of 2013.

  • "Mike & Molly"

    <strong>"Mike & Molly," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: The ratings are down a little bit from last year, but Melissa McCarthy's star continues to rise.

  • "NCIS"

    <strong>"NCIS," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: CBS reached a deal with series star Mark Harmon in early 2013, keeping the No. 1 show in America around for a Season 11.

  • "NCIS: LA"

    <strong>"NCIS: LA," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: Viewers love their "NCIS," in any form. The ratings have been strong and the network is producing a backdoor spinoff pilot for this spinoff show. A full night of "NCIS" could be in CBS's future.

  • "Partners"

    <strong>"Partners," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: Low ratings and unfavorable reviews led to the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/16/partners-canceled-cbs_n_2145832.html">early demise</a> of this CBS comedy.

  • "Person of Interest"

    <strong>"Person of Interest," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: The series has developed a nice-sized audience, bigger than its first season.

  • "Rules of Engagement"

    <strong>"Rules of Engagement," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: This comedy has been on the bubble since it premiered ... yet it made it to Season 7. It's finally time to say goodbye.

  • "Survivor"

    <strong>"Survivor," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: A strong player for the last 13 years, "Survivor" will be back. But due to its <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/14/survivor-ratings-lowest-premiere-ever_n_2687591.html">most recent premiere ratings</a>, we might not see it during the fall season, though a midseason or summer return -- with some new gimmick -- is definitely in the cards for the reality series.

  • "Two and a Half Men"

    <strong>"Two and a Half Men," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: CBS always wanted another season of this bawdy hit, it was just a matter of getting its stars to sign back on. Though Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher will be back for a Season 11, the "half" man Angus T. Jones remains up in the air.

  • "Undercover Boss"

    <strong>"Undercover Boss," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Renewed <strong>Why</strong>: The show is enjoying life in syndication and its Season 4 numbers are better than most of its third season.

  • "Unforgettable"

    <strong>"Unforgettable," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Uncanceled <strong>Why</strong>: CBS canceled the Poppy Montgomery drama last season ... and then revived it! Season 2 premieres Sunday, July 28.

  • "Vegas"

    <strong>"Vegas," CBS</strong> <strong>Status</strong>: Canceled <strong>Why</strong>: Despite star power, the series wasn't a breakout hit in the ratings. CBS previously canceled "Unforgettable" (then uncanceled it) last season when it was doing about the same as "Vegas."

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