Despite ABC President Paul Lee's comments earlier this year that the network had no plans to end Nashville, the TV drama has been canceled.

Variety reports the news, noting that this season, the show has been averaging a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49, and 6.7 million viewers overall in the "live plus-7" estimates from Nielsen. Those numbers put the TV show third in the 10PM hour rankings.

The news of Nashville's cancellation is especially surprising because a team was already in place for Season 5. In late April, Deadline reported that Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz had been appointed as showrunners for the fifth season, and that they were assembling a team of writers and beginning to work on stories for new episodes. Now, Season 4's May 25 finale will serve as the series finale.

In January, at the Television Critics Association’s press tour, Lee stated that the network planned to continue Nashville, citing the show's "passionate audience."

“If you consider the unique ingredients of our show, we will find new fans. More and more people will discover the show, be told about the show in years to come,” Nashville executive producer Steve Buchanan said. “There’s a long life cycle for a television property like Nashville.”

A handful of Nashville castmembers spent April and May touring the United States; a European trek is scheduled for June. Additionally, a new soundtrack is set for release on May 13.

Nashville first began airing in October of 2012. Throughout its four seasons, numerous artists, from Christina Aguilera to Steven Tyler, among many others, have appeared as guest stars, both as themselves and in fictitious roles. The show is shot in and around Music City, and many castmembers moved to Nashville to take their roles.

“We are [like family],” Clare Bowen, who plays singer Scarlett O’Connor, tells The Boot. “We love it here. Most of us on the cast and the crew who weren’t here before have bought houses here, and this is where we want our families to be. This is where I met the love of my life. This is where we belong, and we have been welcomed …

“People like Callie Khouri, T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller came and scooped me up from where I was, but the city of Nashville let us stay, and we’ll be forever grateful for that,” she continues. “It’s my home now. Nashville is a very special place.”

Country Stars Who Have Acted in TV Shows and Movies