'Hart of Dixie' showrunners spill on the fight to save Bluebell and upcoming relationship troubles

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Everyone's favorite little southern town is in trouble when "Hart of Dixie" returns for its winter premiere on Monday (Jan. 13). Can Mayor Lavon Hayes get all his friends to put aside their personal problems to team up and save Bluebell?

We certainly hope so, because according to "Hart of Dixie" showrunner Leila Gerstein and director Les Butler, it will take a team effort to save the day. 

"In the immediate future, we're going to have the fight to save Bluebell. Obviously it's played comedically but Fillmore and Bluebell might have to merge," Gerstein tells Zap2it. "There's a couple of episodes that are really fun about the whole town coming together to deal with that. George is involved, Lavon is involved, Annabeth is involved and Zoe ends up getting involved."

Don't expect the problem to be solved in one episode, though. "That's a three episode arc," Gerstein says. "Plus, there's a cabaret."

The fight to save Bluebell falls on the mayor's shoulders, so thank goodness he has his lady at his side ... for now. "Lavon and Annabeth are together [during the fight to save Bluebell] but in the future they will face other hurdles," Gerstein warns. "Right now we're in the middle of figuring out what it is but they're happy for a few more episodes. They may not make it, but it's hard to say."

Lavon and Annabeth aren't the only ones facing rocky waters ahead. Now that Tansy is back in town, Gerstein reveals that George's promise to Lavon that he would stay true to new girlfriend Lynly will be a lot harder to keep. 

"We brought Tansy back to shake things up with Lynly and George and Lavon," Gerstein says. "He promised Lavon that he was going to do right by Lynly, but then here comes the love of his life -- or just someone he loves -- back into town. We're going to play that triangle for sure."

But Tansy isn't just there to cause problems for George. She's also going to play a big part in the potential merging of the two towns. "Tansy is still dating Scooter McGreavy and that's obviously going to play into the merger story since she's in the middle," Gerstein says.

But another part of the reason they brought Tansy and (a pregnant) Shelby back to Bluebell was to help fill the void of Lemon (since Jaime King went on maternity leave). 

"We're happy to have Shelby and Tansy come back in the absence of Lemon, but you can never replace Lemon," Butler tells Zap2it. "Maybe people won't realize she's gone. Lemon does make an appearance, a very special appearance, in one of the episodes; hopefully in a fun way. She's not totally gone. When we looked at losing Lemon for a few, it was great to reach out and bring some of those other characters back."

And speaking of other characters, Zoe's cousin Vivian is about to get a whole lot more screen time now that she and Zoe have started getting along. "We're excited to see Zoe and Vivian together again to play that family story," Butlery says. "We're really expanding out into that side of it."

Of course, seeing as how Vivian is just starting to date Wade might throw a wrench into her newfound friendship with Zoe. But Zoe's still got her current boyfriend Joel, and Butler and Gerstein are really happy with the stories they've been able to tell through him. 

"We knew from the incarnation of the character that we were going to bring her back with the person that she would have been with had she stayed in New York," Gerstein says. "He's around for more episodes. I think he brought a new New York energy to the show. Zoe is definitely different with him, I think. She seems happier and we're doing a bunch of romantic comedy and comedy stuff as they're able to take those story lines in a fun way."

Gerstein and Butler revealed the couple they're most excited about in these next few episodes is Brick and Shelby, who is pregnant via artificial insemination. 

"He's still involved with Shelby. It's not like she has another guy," Gerstein says. "We're still telling essentially the love story between Shelby and Brick. We are so into Shelby and Brick, we think they're so funny. She's cuckoo and he's so mesmerized around her. I think they're adorable. We have a few more episodes of the two of them."

"Hart of Dixie" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW