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C.J. Box

C.J. Box’s “Big Sky” Returns For Second Season Next Week

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The wait is almost over as “Big Sky,” the series based on C.J. Box’s Cassie Dewell novels, will return for its second season next week.

Season two of the popular drama/mystery series will begin Sept. 30 on ABC. Check local listings for the time.

Season one concluded in May after 16 episodes, somewhat of a rarity for a first season on a popular cable network, where first-season shows are generally limited to 10 episodes. “Big Sky” was also given a full first season order when the show was announced rather than an abbreviated order for fewer episodes.

It was not clear how many episodes would be produced for season two, although Deadline, an entertainment news outlet, did confirm there would be a bevy of new cast members this season, including “The Vampire Diaries” actor Michael Malarkey, “Fargo” actor Ryan O’Nan and more.

Screenwriter and producer Elwood Reid will be showrunner for the second season of “Big Sky,” taking over for David E. Kelley, who also worked on hit series such as “Big Little Lies.”

According to Deadline, season two will see private detectives Dewell and Jenny Hoyt reuniting to investigate a car wreck outside of Helena, Montana, but they discover that the case might not be as straightforward as it seems.

From the season two trailer, that might be an understatement. It’s got a supposedly dead person, creepy men giving strange warnings, a group of teenagers stealing drugs and money and a woman with bold red lipstick who says Montana’s big sky views are “such a vibe.”

C.J. Box did not immediately respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment on Thursday, but we know of at least one viewer who will be watching season two: legendary horror author Stephen King, who regularly praised the first season of the show.

“BIG SKY gets the best line of the month (so far): “Ronald? Not to overstate the obvious, but you kidnapped the wrong girls,’” King wrote in early December following an episode.

The author is obviously a fan of the series’ writing, as he has praised other lines from the show.

“Best line of the week goes to Ronald (Brian Geraghty) in BIG SKY, when talking–shouting–at his mother: “I’M EATING MY CEREAL AND I DON’T WANT JUDGEMENT!’” he wrote.

The first season followed Dewell and Hoyt as they searched for two sisters who were kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana.

Box has not made many social media posts himself about the second season of the show returning, but has regularly retweeted posts from the cast about the trailer dropping and the season premiere date.

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C.J. Box’s “Dark Sky” Is One Of Stephen King’s Favorite Summer Reads

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Famed author Stephen King hasn’t been shy about his praise for C.J. Box’s work, but he made it official this week with a mention of Box’s latest book on a list of his favorite summer reading material.

Box’s latest Joe Pickett novel, “Dark Sky,” was named as one of King’s favorite summer reads of the year on an list published by Amazon list.

“You may have seen Big Sky on TV, the excellent adaptation of Box’s Highway Trilogy,” King wrote. “Those three books are good, but this one, featuring game warden Joe Pickett, is even better. Stuck with the job of babysitting a tech mogul who wants a hunting experience, the hunt for big-game elk turns into a pulse-pounding chase story you won’t be able to put down.”

“Dark Sky” was one of four picks by the horror author.

Box was pretty excited about the news, sharing the list on his social media account on Wednesday.

“Guess what made the list of one of the great Stephen King’s favorite summer reads? Pretty cool. Thanks Mr. King!” Box wrote.

King said last fall that “Big Sky” was one of his favorite shows on TV.

“I think BIG SKY (ABC) is the best drama on network television,” King wrote on his Twitter account. “With the last three episodes, it’s tiptoeing into Emmy territory.”

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C.J. Box Reveals More ‘Joe Pickett’ Casting, ‘Big Sky’ Sheriff Jumping to New Series

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming author C.J. Box has been regularly trickling out new information about the long-awaited “Joe Pickett” television series, and this week, he announced an actor coming to the show will be familiar to viewers of another series based on his books.

Patrick Gallagher, who plays Sheriff Walter Tubb on “Big Sky,” adapted from Box’s Cassie Dewell novels, is making the jump to play another sheriff, Barnum, to be precise, in the “Joe Pickett” series, according to entertainment news outlet Deadline.

“Yowza! The sheriff in BIG SKY will now be the sheriff in JOE PICKETT as well. Worlds collide!” Box wrote in a tweet on Thursday.

The author included a follow-up message, congratulating Gallagher on the role. The actor responded soon after, thanking Box for writing both of the characters.

“Thanks C J… Such a thrill to play both of those guys…who woulda thunk it ..lol Thanks for writing such great characters… It’s an honor to play them and bring them to life,” Gallagher said.

According to Deadline, Barnum “is an institution in Twelve Sleep County who’s learned that enforcing the law is not so black and white in this place and clashes with the Warden’s involvement in his murder case and doesn’t take kindly to the implication that he isn’t doing his job.”

The cast will also include David Alan Grier, Julianna Guill, Sharon Lawrence, Mustafa Speaks, Paul Sparks, Skywalker Hughes and Kamryn Pliva.

They will join New Zealand actor Michael Dorman, best known for his roles “The Invisible Man” remake and the Apple TV+ series “For All Mankind,” who has been cast as Pickett.

The series will follow Pickett and his family as they navigate the changing political and socio-economic climate in small-town Wyoming while also investigating the schemes and secrets hidden in the area.

Grier, a veteran of the Fox Television series “In Living Color” and a number of movies including the 1995 version of “Jumanji,” will play Vern, a gregarious, larger-than-life former game warden.

Guill will portray Marybeth Pickett, wife to Joe and mother to two young daughters. Lawrence will play Missy, the mother of Marybeth.

Speaks will portray Nate, a former Special Ops solider. Sparks will play Wacey, an ex-rodeo cowboy with a slick charm who is about to begin his campaign for sheriff.

Hughes will portray Sheridan and Pliva will play Lucy, the Pickett children.

The series will air for a nine-month exclusive run on Spectrum. Box is serving as an executive producer on the series, as he did for “Big Sky,” which was recently renewed for a second season.

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C.J. Box Catches Beautiful Rainbow Trout (And He’s Not Telling You Where He Caught It)

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Catching a great fish is similar to the movie “Fight Club” in that there are specific rules to follow.

The first rule of fight club is you don’t talk about fight club, so the script goes in the 1999 Brad Pitt movie.

The first rule of fly fishing is you don’t ask where the fish was caught.

A good angler is not going to tell you. A good angler also knows never to ask.

Wyoming author C.J. Box is a good angler. And he backs it up by posting photos of his catch.

Like he did over the weekend with a beautiful 22-inch rainbow trout that he caught on the North Platte here in Wyoming.

“Great day on the river!* Caught and released this 22-inch rainbow,” Box tweeted.

What does the asterisk mean?  It refers to line two of the tweet.  Where you’ll find the words “Don’t ask…”

That’s for the rookies who would — of course — try to get him to divulge his location.

However, he didn’t give it up, of course. And most of his followers on Twitter didn’t press him.

It wasn’t until a Facebook post on Tuesday (with the same photo) that he even specified the river.

Box did, however, provide some information.

“Can we at least inquire what type of fly you employed,” asked Brent McCarthy.

“Sure,” Box said. “We were using nymph rigs.”

Thus ended the fishing conversation with Box. 

When will fans actually see Box again — in person? He did say that book tours will happen again sometime.

But in the meantime, fans can read his latest book “Dark Sky” or watch one of his two TV shows: “Big Sky” (which was just renewed for Season 2) or “Joe Pickett” — a new series which will start production soon.

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C.J. Box’s “Big Sky” Renewed For Second Season at ABC

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

“Big Sky,” the series adapted from C.J. Box’s Cassie Dewell novels, has officially been renewed for a second season at ABC.

The Wyoming author shared the news on Tuesday, along with an article from Deadline that confirmed the renewal.

#BigSky will be back to solve more crimes! ABC has renewed the drama for a second season,” Box wrote on social media.

The first season of the series will wrap up sometime this month, ending with 16 episodes. It was not announced how many episodes will be produced for the second season.

The series has been a hit for ABC since it premiered in the fall, raking in millions of viewers, including horror author Stephen King.

Screenwriter and producer Elwood Reid will be showrunner for the second season of “Big Sky,” taking over for David E. Kelley, who also worked on hit series such as “Big Little Lies.”

Reid has worked on other shows such as “The Chi” and “The Bridge.”

The first season follows private detective Cassie Dewell, played by Kylie Bunbury, and ex-cop Jenny Hoyt, played by Katheryn Winnick, who join forces to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana.

When they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken.

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More of “Joe Pickett” TV Show Cast Announced

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

More of the cast for the new “Joe Pickett” television series, based on the C.J. Box character and book series, was announced on Monday.

The cast will include David Alan Grier, Julianna Guill, Sharon Lawrence, Mustafa Speaks, Paul Sparks, Skywalker Hughes and Kamryn Pliva, according to Deadline.

These actors will all be series regulars in “Joe Pickett,” the new hour-long drama based on Box’s bestselling novels.

Grier, a veteran of the Fox Television series “In Living Color” and a number of movies including the 1995 version of “Jumanji,” will play Vern, a gregarious, larger-than-life former game warden.

Guill will portray Marybeth Pickett, wife to Joe and mother to two young daughters. Lawrence will play Missy, the mother of Marybeth.

Speaks will portray Nate, a former Special Ops solider. Sparks will play Wacey, an ex-rodeo cowboy with a slick charm who is about to begin his campaign for sheriff.

Hughes will portray Sheridan and Pliva will play Lucy, the Pickett children.

They will join New Zealand actor Michael Dorman, best known for his roles “The Invisible Man” remake and the Apple TV+ series “For All Mankind,” who has been cast as Pickett.

The series will follow Pickett and his family as they navigate the changing political and socio-economic climate in small town Wyoming while also investigating the schemes and secrets hidden in the area.

The series will air for a nine-month exclusive run on Spectrum.

Box is serving as an executive producer to the series, the second show produced from his works. The other, “Big Sky,” is currently airing on ABC.

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New C.J. Box Series Based on “Joe Pickett” Announced; Filming To Start Soon

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

C.J. Box’s “Joe Pickett” series has finally found its star and filming will commence soon.

New Zealand actor Michael Dorman, known for his roles “The Invisible Man” remake and the Apple TV+ series “For All Mankind,” has been cast as the famous game warden from Box’s 20-novel series, according to Deadline.

“We’ve been teasing this for months. Now here it is and we couldn’t be more pleased!” Box wrote in a social media post about the casting announcement on Thursday.

Spectrum Originals has given a 10-episode order for the series, which will be an hourlong drama series based on the novels. The project is coming from “Waco” creators John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle and Paramount TV Studios.

“Joe Pickett” follows the titular game warden and his family as they navigate the changing political and socio-economic climate in a small rural town in Wyoming. Surrounded by rich history and vast wildlife, the township hides decades of schemes and secrets that are yet to be uncovered.

The series will air for a nine-month exclusive run on Spectrum.

“C.J. Box’s brilliant and beloved Joe Pickett novels draw you in with the quiet beauty of the Wyoming setting, but it’s the characters that keep you riveted in their complexity, passion and unique points of view — for better or worse,” said Katherine Pope, Head of Spectrum Originals. “Michael has the intensity, humanity and humor that Joe Pickett demands.”

Box will serve as an executive producer on the series.

This is the second TV series adaptation of Box’s work ordered over the past year. The other, David E. Kelley’s “Big Sky,” based on Box’s Cassie Dewell novels, has been a breakout hit for ABC.

“C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett novels truly have something for everyone—spellbinding storytelling, multifaceted characters, and of course the breathtaking setting of the Wyoming wilderness—and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Spectrum Originals, Red Wagon and John Erick and Drew Dowdle in bringing these characters to life,” said Paramount Television Studios President Nicole Clemens. “The Dowdles have a sharp instinct for the specificity of this rich world. Joe Pickett is a ‘still waters run deep’ character and so we feel unbelievably fortunate to have Michael Dorman, who brings amazing depth to this character.”

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C.J. Box’s Latest Book “Dark Sky” Debuts #3 On New York Times Bestseller List

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

C.J. Box’s latest novel will debut in the top five of the New York Times Best Sellers list, the author announced this week.

Dark Sky,” the latest entry in Box’s Joe Pickett series, will debut at No. 3 in combined hardcover and ebook sales and No. 4 in hardcover sales on the March 21 list, he announced on social media.

“We’re extremely happy to report that DARK SKY will debut as the #3 book in combined hardcover and ebook sales and the #4 book in hardcover sales on the March 21 New York Times Best Seller List!” Box wrote on Twitter. “And that sales are up 21% overall! Thanks to you, readers, for making this happen.”

The book was released earlier this month and follows Pickett as he accompanies a Silicon Valley CEO on a hunting trip, but finds out that something more sinister is afoot.

This is the 21st book in the Pickett series, which is in the works to be adapted as a live-action show as well. Not much information has been released about the show, but it is expected to begin production in Canada sometime this summer.

Making the NYT Best Sellers list isn’t a new accomplishment for Box, but it is something to celebrate, nonetheless.

It’s shaping up to be a good year for the Wyoming author, with the success of the latest Pickett novel, the adaptation of the series and the hopeful continuation of “Big Sky,” the ABC series adapted from Box’s Cassie Dewell novels.

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Stephen King Is Big Fan of “Big Sky”

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

“Big Sky” has become one of the nation’s biggest cable network drama series, gaining millions of fans, and one of its biggest fans is horror author Stephen King.

“I think BIG SKY (ABC) is the best drama on network television,” King wrote this week on his Twitter account. “With the last three episodes, it’s tiptoeing into Emmy territory.”

“If Stephen King says so…” responded C.J. Box, the Wyoming author whose Cassie Dewell books from which the show is adapted.

Box also shared a link to an article that detailed King’s praise of the series, which began airing in the fall.

King has been watching the show since its premiere, it would seem, since he has been tweeting about it since December.

“BIG SKY gets the best line of the month (so far): “Ronald? Not to overstate the obvious, but you kidnapped the wrong girls,'” King wrote in early December following an episode.

The author is obviously a fan of the series’ writing, as he has praised other lines from the show.

“Best line of the week goes to Ronald (Brian Geraghty) in BIG SKY, when talking–shouting–at his mother: “I’M EATING MY CEREAL AND I DON’T WANT JUDGEMENT!'” he wrote.

Last month, the series was renewed for six more episodes for a total of 16.

The series, created by “Big Little Lies” showrunner David E. Kelley, follows private detective Cassie Dewell, played by Kylie Bunbury, and ex-cop Jenny Hoyt, played by Katheryn Winnick, who join forces to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana.

When they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken.

Box previously told a Denver news station that he got the idea for the story from a personal experience, after his daughter came home to Cheyenne from the University of Wyoming for Thanksgiving.

“When she arrived at our house, I went out to check her car and the ‘check engine’ light was on,” he said. “And I asked her, how long has that been on because I knew how much traffic was on that road. And her answer was, ‘Don’t worry, it’s always on.’”

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C.J. Box’s “Big Sky” Renewed For Six More Episodes

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Six more episodes of “Big Sky,” the ABC series adapted from C.J. Box’s book “The Highway,” have been ordered by the network, the author announced on Wednesday.

“For those of you asking if/when #BigSky will be coming back…” the Wyoming author wrote in a post on Wednesday morning, linking to a Deadline article detailing the six episode order.

The additional episodes will bring the series to 16 episodes in total, which is not too shabby for a brand new show premiering in the midst of a pandemic.

The series, created by “Big Little Lies” showrunner David E. Kelley, follows private detective Cassie Dewell, played by Kylie Bunbury, and ex-cop Jenny Hoyt, played by Katheryn Winnick, who join forces to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana.

When they discover that these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, they must race against the clock to stop the killer before another woman is taken.

Box previously told a Denver news station that he got the idea for the story from a personal experience, after his daughter came home to Cheyenne from the University of Wyoming for Thanksgiving.

“When she arrived at our house, I went out to check her car and the ‘check engine’ light was on,” he said. “And I asked her, how long has that been on because I knew how much traffic was on that road. And her answer was, ‘Don’t worry, it’s always on.’”

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