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Jen Richards joins CMT’s Nashville as series’ first trans character

(Photo: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Nashville is making the most of its second chance to make a first impression—the country-music drama found a new home at CMT, where its fifth season will debut in January. Virtually all the original cast members are back, including Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, no matter what happened to the latter’s character at the end of season four. Now Deadline reports that the show has cast trans actress and producer Jen Richards as Allyson Del Lago, a “tough but understanding physical therapist” who helps one of the series regulars recuperate from some injury. Allyson is also the first trans character on the series.

Richards is the Emmy-nominated creator and star of Her Story, a webseries that offers a bold and but humorous look at the “dating lives of trans & queer women as they navigate the intersections of desire and identity.” She is the first trans actress to appear on Nashville, as well as the CMT network. The I Am Cait regular is also producing the upcoming docuseries More Than T and writing its companion series, Trans 102.

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