When Nashville comes back for its fifth season, not only will it have a new home—the show is famously moving to CMT after being canceled by ABC—it'll also have new showrunners, Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick.

But it won't feel like a completely different series. In fact, the new episodes will feel a little more like the show did in its first season, star Charles Esten promises.

"I know what Marshall and Ed have in mind also is that slightly more lyrical quality that we started with in the very beginning, and I'm already seeing that in the scenes," the actor and musician dished to E! News at CMT's Seventh Annual Artists of the Year celebration. "The scenes are longer and there's fewer of them so there's more time in between characters."

In fact, Esten filmed a scene with his TV wife, Connie Britton, the other day, that he really enjoyed. "There's a lot going on, but perhaps not as much super dramatically or an incident, it's just about what's going on between the two of us," he says. "We came through that rough spot and now we get to see Deacon and Rayna moving forward from where we ended up last season. I'm having a ball doing those scenes with her."

The show is currently in the middle of filming the fifth episode of the season, and there's one change Esten can reveal: "We're going to get more music," he promises.

While Nashville is a well-oiled machine at this point, don't think the stars are taking their return for granted. "None of that 'we're so glad to be back' has worn off at all," Esten says. "We've always been real grateful for this show. Having lost it for a quick bit, now that we've got it back and we're on CMT we all know how special it is and we're enjoying every moment."

Bonus Nashville scoop: Check out a new promo for season five above! Nashville returns Thursday, Jan. 5 at 9 p.m. on CMT.

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