It’s no secret that the fans of Nashville have been a driving force of the show. Due to their fierce passion for the characters and their stories, fan reaction played a crucial role in CMT’s decision to revive the show after its cancellation on ABC, something the cast is grateful for.

"The Nashies just exploded," Clare Bowen, who plays Scarlett O’Connor, says of fans' Twitter reaction to the show's cancellation. "They couldn't quiet them down because we -- and this is the greatest gift that you get to give an audience as a storyteller -- get to tell stories that make people feel something, might give them a way to express themselves that they haven't had the words for previously."

Bowen and co-star Charles Esten hit the road for the Nashville in Concert Tour in 2016 that took them across the U.K. and Ireland, performing many fan favorites from the show’s extensive playlist. The response was humbling, according to Esten, who’s thankful for social media, as it allows the cast to see immediate reactions from fans.

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"It's going out there [on various networks], and we don't know until you're standing on that stage in Glasgow or you're standing on that stage in Dublin and they are singing along at the top of their voices to all the lyrics, and especially the lyrics of 'A Life That’s Good,'” he shares. “We're all looking at each other as a cast with cold chills and I said to them then, 'My job now is to go back to the other cast and the other crew and to convey this because it's not really fair that we get to stand here and get all this love that you have for this thing that is Nashville.”

"I have such gratitude for the Nashies, to really scream out like that and call for us back. And CMT has been wonderful and saying that it's a huge part of why they were able to pick us up, because we have this following," Bowen praises. “So that uproar that they caused, it's one of those things that you think, 'Wow, imagine if that happened,' and then it did. And I can't say thank you enough to them."

Fans can catch up on all the drama when Nashville returns to TV on its new home on CMT Thursday (Jan. 5) at 9PM EST.

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