Television Academy And SAG-AFTRA's 4th Annual Dynamic And Diverse Celebration - Arrivals"Nashville" just added a new face to its ensemble, casting transgender actress Jen Richards in a recurring role for the upcoming fifth season.

Richards, a recent Emmy nominee for the web series "Her Story," is set to play a character named Allyson Del Lago, described as "a tough but understanding physical therapist who helps one of the series' main characters through one of their most difficult challenges." Based on that descriptor, we know she's the person referred to in the recent scoop about Juliette, which said that the country singer would be helped through her recovery from her season four finale plane crash by a trans character.

With her addition to the show's cast, Richards is making history for new "Nashville" home CMT, marking the first time that an out transgender actor will appear on the network, and the first time a trans character will be depicted on the network's programming. It's unclear how many episodes she's slated to star in, but based on what intel we know so far, her role will be "significant" when it comes to Juliette's recovery. Richards was also recently seen on E! docuseries "I Am Cait," and will appear on CBS midseason legal drama "Doubt."

There are at least two other new characters joining the "Nashville" ensemble for season five, including a social worker and singer played by musician Rhiannon Giddens, and an up and coming star named Clay, set to be played by an African-American actor. No word yet on who landed that role.

"Nashville" returns for season five with a two-hour premiere on January 5 on CMT.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]

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