Callie Khouri At Watkins College Commencement: “Triumphant” Feeling After ‘Nashville’ Canceled

 Pictured (L-R): Samuel E. Stumpf Jr., Watkins Board of Trustees Chair; Callie Khouri; J. Kline, President


Pictured (L-R): Samuel E. Stumpf Jr., Watkins Board of Trustees Chair; Callie Khouri; J. Kline, President

Callie Khouri, the creator of ABC’s Nashville, said she felt “triumphant”’ and remembered “moments of greatness, of joy,” when she was told that the series had been canceled.

Khouri made the remarks during a commencement speech given at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in Nashville on May 14. Read the speech.

Khouri also received the Honorary Degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, from the 131-year-old visual arts college, which offers BFA and MFA degrees in Film, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Photography. Khouri won an Oscar for her screenplay of the 1991 film, Thelma & Louise.

The speech was delivered just one day after the news broke of the cancellation. While speaking to the graduation attendees, she noted:

I am sure you have heard by now that my show Nashville has been canceled. By some measure, that is a failure. And yet, I feel triumphant. It’s amazing that it got made in the first place. I wrote a pilot, I FINISHED it, and it got made, against incredible odds. And I got to do it for four years. Not exactly the way I wanted to do it, but there were moments of greatness, of joy. The things that didn’t work and the ways in which I fell short, I don’t hold as deficiencies, but rather lessons. Lessons learned the hard way. But please know, that I have a storage space filled to the rafters with things that I’ve written that will never see the light of day. Some of which I consider far better than some of the work you may have seen. And some is just crap. But still, it was practice. Lessons. Learned the hard way. Because I can assure you that I tried hard and felt terrible when they were rejected and I spent days in dark disappointment over each and every script that is moldering away right
now.

The series finale of Nashville airs Wednesday (May 25) on ABC.

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Craig Shelburne is the General Manager at MusicRow.

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