The Nashville series finale wrapped things up with a last-minute cliffhanger that will no doubt leave fans wishing they could find out what happened, and according to a source, that's exactly what producers intended.

Most of the major characters wrapped in happy endings in the Season 4 finale Wednesday night (May 25), with Deacon and Rayna's daughter returning home, Gunnar and Scarlett deciding to give their relationship another try, Will taking up a new cause and Luke reconciling with his son and contemplating re-connecting with his ex-wife. It looked like things might work out happily ever after for Juliette and Avery, too, but a shocking twist in the last minute of the episode left their future completely in question.

It's the sort of ending that might usually whet fans' appetite to tune in again in the fall, and as TVLine reports, Lionsgate TV deliberately changed the ending from the happy reunion that was originally scripted to the cliffhanger. Producers specifically intended to make a fifth season of Nashville more attractive to the other networks to which they are shopping the series in the wake of ABC's decision to cancel, according to the report.

Both ABC and Lionsgate declined to comment, but an unnamed source close to the studio tells TVLine that Lionsgate “is fully confident that there’s much more Nashville to be told. Tonight’s Season 4 finale ending speaks to that confidence. Not to frustrate or disappoint fans, rather Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment are listening to fans’ outpouring of support online for more.”

Lionsgate appeared to strongly hint that a fifth season will be forthcoming in a message posted to Twitter just as the Nashville finale ended.

Nashville fans have started a petition at Change.org to try to save the show, and there has been a very active online campaign using the hashtag #BringBackNashville. The petition has garnered more than 100,000 supporters in two weeks.

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