Hart of Dixie (TV Series 2011–2015)
|Genre||Comedy, Drama, Romance|
|Content Rating||TV-PG (TV-PG)|
|Awards||1 win & 4 nominations.|
|Company||Fake Empire, CBS Television Studios, Warner Bros. Television|
Hart of Dixie
Hart of Dixie is an American comedy-drama television series that aired on The CW from September 26, 2011, to March 27, 2015. The series, created by Leila Gerstein, stars Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart, a New Yorker who, after her dreams of becoming a heart surgeon fall apart, accepts an offer to work as a general practitioner in the fictional Gulf Coast town of Bluebell, Alabama.
Hart of Dixie premiered on September 26, 2011. The show was scheduled to move back to Mondays in the fall for its third season having been paired with Beauty & the Beast. The show's third season premiered on October 7, 2013.
On May 8, 2014, the CW renewed the show for its fourth season. On July 18, 2014, CW president Mark Pedowitz announced that Hart of Dixie would have ten episodes for its fourth season, which premiered on December 15, 2014. On March 14, 2015, Leila Gerstein revealed that season four of Hart of Dixie would be its last. The CW officially cancelled the show on May 7, 2015.
The first season mostly revolves around Zoe Hart adjusting to life in the small town of Bluebell, Alabama and the practice she inherited from the father she never knew, with whom Zoe's mother had an affair while she was engaged to the man Zoe knew as her dad and she had the best dad ever and she wanted to take over her dad's footsteps. She struggles to bring in 30% of the patients to her practice, a clause she needs to adhere to if she wishes to keep half of the practice from Brick Breeland. She finds this difficult, as she is at odds with most of the local residents due to her city persona. Zoe also struggles with her growing feelings towards local attorney George Tucker, feelings of which his fiancée, Lemon Breeland is fully aware, leading her to make it her mission to ensure Zoe leaves Bluebell. Other storylines include Wade's feelings for Zoe (which may or may not be returned); Zoe's friendship with the mayor, Lavon, and his past with Lemon; and Zoe's unresolved issues regarding her family.
The season begins with Zoe confused with her feelings for both George and Wade (she slept with Wade the night of George and Lemon's aborted wedding at the end of season one). She later decides that George isn't ready for another relationship yet and decides to see Wade. Lavon's former high school sweetheart Ruby Jeffries (played by Golden Brooks) returns to Bluebell and reveals she is opposing for mayor. George begins dating again, first seeing newcomer Shelby Sinclair; however, he later dumps her, and Shelby begins dating Brick Breeland. George later starts a relationship with Wade's ex-wife, Tansy Truitt. As the season progresses, Ruby leaves after Lemon's jealousy destroys her and Lavon. Wade and Zoe continue to date, though they face their share of setbacks. At the end of the season, Zoe is faced deciding between a summer in New York working at a hospital at her dream job - only to have confessed his feelings for her, and she unable to return them. Meanwhile, Annabeth begins having feelings for Lavon, and later the two sleep together, leaving Lemon devastated by her best friend's betrayal.
The season begins with Zoe returning to Bluebell after a summer in NYC - along with her new boyfriend Joel (played by Josh Cooke). George struggles to rebuild his life following his break up with Tansy but finds love with Lavon's younger cousin. Lemon finds herself in a scandalous relationship, while Annabeth hopes her relationship with Lavon will grow into something more. Zoe learns more about her family roots in Bluebell, breaks up with Joel, and reunites with Wade.
The final season deals with Zoe's pregnancy and her relationship with Wade. George, Lemon, Lavon, and Annabeth enter a tumultuous love affair, while Brick has to deal with his past in order to move forward as Lemon and Magnolia meet their half-sister from their estranged mother who left the family. In the end, George and Annabeth move in together, George changes careers to become a music manager, Zoe and Wade get married (in a rushed ceremony, due to Zoe's inhibitions about marriage and having gone into labor - they recite their vows while rushing towards the delivery room - delivering a baby boy), Lemon and Lavon get married.
The final scene shows the town in harmony in the town square, Wade and Zoe with their son - and an old love triangle re-fueled between 3 elderly members of the community; Zoe asks if all small towns are like Bluebell, to which Wade answers that they probably aren't. Zoe agrees, and they get up to walk their son and join their friends.
Cast and characters
- Rachel Bilson as Zoe Wilkes Hart, a medical doctor; Zoe aspired to become a heart surgeon like her father, however after four years of residency at a New York hospital she is refused a position at the hospital and told she needs more experience dealing with patients and their families. Zoe moves to Bluebell, Alabama after learning her biological father was really a respected physician in the small town. She inherits his half of a general medical practice, and constantly bumps heads with the co-owner of the practice, Brick Breeland. However, she becomes a regular in helping the town through its never-ending dilemmas. In season 2, she begins dating Wade Kinsella... However, he ends up cheating on her when he loses Battle of the Bands, and she ends their relationship. In the season 2 finale, Zoe sleeps with Wade, and she decides to go back to New York to get over everything. In the season 3 premiere, six months have passed and Zoe returns to Bluebell with her new boyfriend Joel, who is a writer and moves with her to Bluebell. For the rest of season 3, she remains in a relationship with Joel until one of his books is made into a movie and he moves to Los Angeles, California to assist with the production of the film. In the season 3 finale, Zoe realizes she is still in love with Wade and tells him that she is going to do everything she can to win him back. In the season 4 premiere, Zoe is still trying to prove to Wade that they should be together, and she seduces him, resulting in her getting pregnant. They eventually get back together and get married in the series finale as Zoe is giving birth to their son.
- Scott Porter as George Tucker; A local lawyer in Bluebell that starts out engaged to Lemon Breeland (season 1) but calls off their wedding after learning about Lemon's affair with Lavon, combined with his own romantic feelings for Zoe. Zoe turns him down, and George starts to date other women and ends up with Wade's ex-wife Tansy in season 2. In season 3, he begins dating Lavon's cousin Lynly. George goes into partnership with his former fiancé, Lemon, by helping her invest in Fancie's Restaurant, but eventually pulls out his part of the restaurant when it burns down. Although he is the town lawyer, George seems to have a lot of time to experience in other opportunities, such as touring for a summer, as a singer with Lily Ann, and becoming the Talent Manager for both The Truitt Brothers and Meatball. George lives on a houseboat owned by Annabeth, who he finally starts dating during season 4. George has parents that tend to meddle in his life when they come for the occasional visit.
- Jaime King as Lemon Breeland, the daughter of town physician Brick Breeland. She was engaged to George Tucker but had a relationship with Lavon while George was living in New York. Prideful, conservative and somewhat uptight, Lemon begins a deep rivalry with Zoe when they first meet, because she feels that Zoe is interfering in her "perfect" life, and they often clash, owing to their different ways of thinking. Over the course of seasons 2–4, although she wouldn't admit it to anyone, she does seem to come around to being civil with Zoe. During season 2, she becomes co-owner of Rammer Jammer with Wade. She later becomes the owner of Fancie's, the town's "best" dinner restaurant. Lemon has a reputation of being persistent and somewhat scheming when it comes to getting what she wants. After her wedding to George is called off, she finds herself without a true profession and a place to live. At one point, in order to move out of her father's house, she accepts the opportunity to live on AnnaBeth's houseboat, only to discover she suffers from seasickness. She eventually trades living arrangements with her former fiancé, George, trading him living on the houseboat, for living in what was once his apartment in town. Throughout the series, Lemon is seen having issues with her mother who abandoned her and her sister Magnolia (whom she raised like her own daughter). However, in season 4, she finally confronts her mother, with whom she remains hostile, but she does come around to accept that she has a little maternal half-sister, Scarlett, and makes extra efforts to come to know her.
- Cress Williams as Lavon Hayes, Mayor of Bluebell and a former linebacker for ten years in the NFL; He is best friends with Zoe Hart. He has a pet alligator named Burt Reynolds. It is revealed in season 1 that Lavon had an intimate relationship with Lemon, who was engaged to George. Lavon develops a close friendship with Zoe and often gives her meaningful advice on the town's traits. During seasons 2–3, he has relationships with his former high school sweetheart, Ruby, and with Annabeth, although, during each of these, he still has true feelings for Lemon. He has close friendships with Wade and George, although at times his and George's relationship is strained due to his love for George's former fiancé, Lemon. Lavon is a big fan of the television personality, Don Todd, and eventually gets to closely know him. The knowing of Don Todd helps him later on when it comes to negotiations with rival Fillmore Mayor, Todd Gainey, Sr.
- Wilson Bethel as Wade Kinsella, a bartender and Zoe's neighbor. He has an eccentric personality. Initially, he appears to be an immature, unambitious, womanizing and sarcastic bartender who doesn't care about anyone but himself. But slowly it is revealed that he cares deeply about the people around him (though he always puts his best efforts into hiding his feelings). He falls deeply in love with Zoe and tries to change his lifestyle and ambitions for her. For the most of season 2, he is in a monogamous relationship with Zoe until he is caught cheating on her. Wade has always dreamed of owning his own bar and eventually gets that chance, by becoming co-owner of the local Rammer Jammer, with Lemon Breeland. During season 3, he has a serious relationship with Vivian Wilkes, Zoe's cousin, who finally breaks his heart by reconciling and moving away with her estranged husband. At the beginning of season 4, he sleeps with Zoe, which leads to her becoming pregnant, causing him to finally come around and do his best to mend his "flirtatious" ways and grow up, in preparation of his new role as a family man with Zoe. In episode 10 Zoe goes into labor, and at the hospital, she and Wade get married before their baby is born. Eventually, Zoe gives birth to a baby boy in the series finale.
- Tim Matheson as Dr. Bertram "Brick" Breeland (recurring, episodes 1–14; starring, episodes 15–76), Magnolia and Lemon's father, who is also a doctor, and shares half of the local Bluebell practice with Zoe. He is often very critical of Zoe's medical diagnoses and inexperience of Southern hospitality. Also, he is portrayed as an antagonist when he attempts to buy out Zoe's share of the business. Brick eventually has a close on again, off again, on again, relationship, with local talent personality, Shelby, who at one time, actually dated his daughter's former fiancé, George. One of Brick's main goals is to be voted as "Man of The Year (MOTY), an honor bestowed upon outstanding male town personalities, by the local Fraternal Order of The Owl. Brick is also well known as the repeated winner of the annual town Gumbo competition.
- Kaitlyn Black as Annabeth Nass (seasons 3–4; recurring, seasons 1–2); a member of the Belles and best friends with Lemon. She is occasionally nicknamed "A.B." as an abbreviation of her first name. In season 2, she develops feelings for Lavon but decides not to pursue a relationship with him because of Lemon. Lemon gives her blessing, so Annabeth and Lavon start dating. She is also a good friend to Zoe. During season 3, she dates the nephew, of the rival town's mayor, Davis, who proposes to her, but she declines, telling Lemon she did so because she is still in love with Lavon. During season 4, she realizes she no longer loves Lavon and starts dating George Tucker. In season 3 and the beginning of season 4, she becomes the receptionist to Brick's and Zoe's medical practice, which eventually leads to her wish to go to nursing school.
Development and production
On February 1, 2011, it was announced that The CW had ordered a pilot for Hart of Dixie. On May 17, 2011, the network officially picked up Hart of Dixie to series, set to air in fall 2011. The series marks the second time executive producer, Josh Schwartz, and series star, Rachel Bilson, have worked together on television. The first time the duo worked together was on the Fox teen drama The O.C., created by Schwartz. The show's executive producer, Josh Schwartz, compared the show to The WB classics such as Felicity, Everwood, and Gilmore Girls.
With the reveal of The CW's fall 2011 schedule, it was announced that Hart of Dixie would air on Monday at 9:00 pm Eastern/8:00 pm Central, following Gossip Girl. It premiered on Monday, September 26, 2011. On October 12, 2011, the series was picked up for a full season, which will consist of twenty-two episodes. Along with pick-up for all other CW dramas, Mark Pedowitz said "We believe in the creative strength of these dramas, and by giving them back nine orders we can give our audience the chance to enjoy complete seasons of all three of them." On May 11, 2012, The CW renewed the show for a second season, which premiered on October 2, 2012. The CW renewed the show for a third season on April 26, 2013.
On February 8, 2011, TVLine reported that Rachel Bilson was nearing a deal to star in the series. Her role was later confirmed by The CW in a press release. Soon after, Wilson Bethel joined the cast as Wade Kinsella, Zoe's "gorgeous bad-boy" neighbor. Scott Porter was later cast as good-looking lawyer George Tucker, a potential love-interest for Bilson's character.
On May 20, 2011, it was announced that Nancy Travis would not continue with the series due to her commitments with the 20th Century Fox-produced ABC sitcom Last Man Standing. Travis was written out after the first two episodes. Meredith Monroe appeared in one episode as Lemon's estranged mother. JoBeth Williams appeared in three episodes as Candice Hart, the mother of Bilson's character. On July 26, 2013, it was announced that Kaitlyn Black was upgraded to series regular status for season three.
Hart of Dixie's first season has received mixed reviews, scoring a 43 out of 100 on the review aggregator Metacritic.
TVGuide.com described the show as "Southern Exposure" and, in a later review, stated that the actors are better than the "cutesy" material, although Bilson is not convincing as a heart surgeon. Both TVGuide.com and Robert Bianco of USA Today stated that the show is potentially offensive to the South. Bianco also wrote that the show is shallow and far-fetched, with Bilson giving an unconvincing performance, such as acting surprised when calling herself a doctor. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter stated that the series is predictable and superficial, but "surprisingly touching". Goodman and Brian Lowry of Variety stated that Bilson does not look like a doctor, with Goodman writing that she looked too much "like a high-priced call girl" and Lowry writing that she looked like she belonged in "Barbie's medical dream house."
Writing for The New York Times, critic Neil Genzlinger wrote, "...the premiere, at least, doesn’t find a convincing way to balance the clashing strands: the city-mouse disorientation, the medical emergencies, the girlfights, the daddy issues, the young-pretty-and-available stuff." Los Angeles Times reviewer Mary McNamara described the show as, "a stack of familiar scenarios stitched together to form a pretty if not terribly substantial quilt." TVLine described the show as "Everwood-esque". TVLine later said: "Beautifully filmed with warm, cozy tones, the Southern setting utterly envelops the glowing Bilson", adding that Porter's appearance "wins us over and makes you forget that clunky intro" and despite the "rom-coms clichés, the pilot is super-efficient at introducing us to those who will be the key players in Zoe’s story, laying the framework for storytelling places to go." Tv Times magazine gave Hart of Dixie its lowest score of 2011–2012: 12 out of 100.
Awards and accolades
|Year||Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Outcome|
|2011||E! Golden Tater Awards||New Fall Show You're Most Excited For||Hart of Dixie||Nominated|
|2012||People's Choice Awards||Favorite New TV Drama||Hart of Dixie||Nominated|
|ASCAP Award||Top Television Series (Composers and Songwriters)||Jeremy Adelman||Won|
|2013||ASTRA Awards||Favourite Program – International Drama||Hart of Dixie||Nominated|
|2014||ASTRA Awards||Favourite Program – International Drama||Hart of Dixie||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Show: Drama||Hart of Dixie||Nominated|
|Choice TV Actress: Drama||Rachel Bilson||Nominated|
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||No. of|
|1||Monday 9pm||22||September 26, 2011||1.88||May 14, 2012||1.60||2011–2012||#182||1.77|
|2||Tuesday 8pm||22||October 2, 2012||1.53||May 7, 2013||1.19||2012–2013||#142||1.70|
|3||Monday 8pm (2013–14)|
Friday 9pm (2014)
|22||October 7, 2013||1.03||May 16, 2014||0.88||2013–2014||#166||1.37|
|4||Monday 8pm (2014)|
Friday 8pm (2015)
|10||December 15, 2014||1.22||March 27, 2015||1.33||2014–2015||#175||1.61|
|Australia||Fox8||January 7, 2012||Mondays at 8:30 pm AEDT|
|Canada||CHCH-DT||September 26, 2011||Mondays at 8 pm ET|
|Ireland||TV3||May 13, 2012||Sundays at 6:30 pm|
|New Zealand||TV2||August 5, 2012||Sundays at 5:30 pm|
|Philippines||2nd Avenue||September 29, 2011||Thursdays at 8 pm|
|Thailand||TrueSeries||July 13, 2012||Fridays at 9 pm|
|United Kingdom||Really||April 30, 2012||Mondays at 8 pm|