10/10/2012 04:05 pm ET

Connie Britton Talks 'Nashville,' And 'Glee' And 'Smash' Comparisons

How is "Nashville" different from all the other musical shows we've seen in recent years, like "Smash" and "Glee"?

"The music is part of these people's lives –- it's not like we suddenly break into song," Connie Britton, who plays Rayna James on the show, told "Every song you see is something that you're hearing performed live or you're watching a character write the song or hearing it on the radio. Nashville is a town where you walk down the street and you hear music playing, so the music is really the backdrop for what's happening."

ABC's "Nashville," starring Britton and Hayden Panettiere, focuses on Rayna's struggle to stay on top of the country music scene as she gets older, while Juliette's (Panettiere) star continues to rise despite her lack of talent ... at least in Rayna's opinion.

She may be the picture of confidence, but Britton told New York magazine that the prospect of singing on TV was a scary one.

"It's been hard," she admitted. "I've been working with T Bone Burnett for months. I'm the remedial student in our cast of singers -- everyone else has great voices, and I'm the one who only did it back in drama school. We'll spend days just sitting around listening to the music Rayna would have grown up with."

"Nashville" premieres on Wed., Oct. 10 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

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