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He also has learned a few thing about his wife’s artistic side.

“Working this close to her, during her writing process, I have learned a lot about drama,” Mr. Burnett said recently.

“Seeing the characters grow, having the plot, watching them expand, I see a lot about development. I’m learning a lot of helpful things about characters from this.”

Forty years of creating characters through his music and working alongside talents such as Bob Dylan along the way (and winning his own Oscar for best original song for “The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart”), Mr. Burnett has worked with Hollywood’s top shelf.

He guided Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon for their singing roles as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in the film “Walk the Line” and said he is impressed by the level of talent he’s encountered on “Nashville,” which airs at 10 p.m. Wednesdays.

Mr. Burnett said he doesn’t watch television much, even though he’s working regularly in it.

“I don’t have time for television,” he said, “especially if it is [standalone] episodes. I like long-form storytelling, where I can sit down and watch it all at one time.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports