The final season of Nashville is set to debut Thursday night (Dec. 4), and series star Charles Esten has an idea of how he'd like to see the last scene of the show play out.

"I picture somebody [new] pulling up in the final shot," Esten tells USA Today. "Somebody's coming to town the minute somebody's leaving. That's how it is [in Nashville], and that's the beauty of it."

The actor adds that it's only an idea, and no script actually exists yet, but he says that one positive thing about knowing the sixth season of Nashville will be its last is that the writers and actors will be afforded the chance to properly wrap the characters and storylines.

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"We have another 10 episodes to shoot together, so we can say all we need to say, and love on each other, and finish strong in a way that is purposeful," the actor, who has portrayed Deacon Claybourne since the series began in 2012, says. "You want to end well ... [the writers] get to draw it to a close in the best way they can."

Esten calls his job on Nashville the "role of a lifetime," and while he acknowledges it's bittersweet to bring the show to an end, he says it hasn't entirely sunk in yet for the cast and crew.

"At some point it'll be the last song Deacon sings on the show. But the way I like to think about it is this isn't the end of that world. This is the end of us watching it," he says with a laugh.

Nashville is pulling out all the stops for Season 6,  introducing five new cast members who will interact with the longtime cast to make the final season especially memorable. Esten has said that he plans to continue living in Music City with his family after the show comes to an end.

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