Juliette Barnes is alive, but will she be well in Season 5 of "Nashville"?

The country music drama's new showrunners, "thirtysomething" creators Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, revealed in an Entertainment Weekly interview that the songstress (played by Hayden Panettiere) survives the plane crash teased in a cliffhanger at the end of Season 4. When Season 5 premieres in January, after the show's move from ABC to CMT, Herskovitz said, "We can tell you she's alive."

The real question is, how will Juliette react to her near-death experience and how will it affect her relationships, particularly with her ex-husband Avery (Jonathan Jackson).

"I think the direction we take will be surprising," Zwick teased.

Herskovitz added, "She finds her life very different now from what it ever was before. That cliffhanger affects other people in the story -- when something like that happens, it's a big event for everybody. There are ripples that go out from this event that affect other people in the show. It's a pretty great story."

The duo also explained they plan to focus again on music industry storylines, as well as on the relationship between Rayna (Connie Britton) and Deacon (Charles Esten).

"The idea of what it means to be married has always been interesting to us -- what are the dynamics, their individual triggers, how do they resolve conflict?" Herskovitz said. "It's endlessly fascinating to talk about two adults trying to be in a relationship to each other, so that's been really fun for us and for the actors to go deeper in that way. It's been rejuvenating."

"Nashville" Season 5 premieres Thursday, Jan. 5 at 9 p.m. on CMT.