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Wyoming Author C.J. Box’s “Big Sky” TV Show Renewed For Third Season; Reba McEntire To Join Cast

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Country music superstar Reba McEntire will join the cast of “Big Sky,” which was just renewed for a third season on Tuesday, author C.J. Box told Cowboy State Daily.

McEntire is going to be one of two major guest stars next season, alongside former “Supernatural” lead Jensen Ackles, who guest starred in the finale of season two as Beau Arlen, who will step in as a temporary sheriff in season three.

“We’re thrilled that ‘Big Sky’ got picked by ABC for a third season and that both Reba and Jensen have been added to the cast,” Box told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.

McEntire will portray Sunny Brick, who is described by Deadline as “the mercurial matriarch of the Brick family, a successful backcountry outfitter with a secret history of missing customers.”

“Big Sky” is adapted from Box’s Cassie Dewell series of novels, the latest of which, “Treasure Hunt,” is due out in September, the author said.

“I’m not sure about the storylines for next season, since they’ve used most of them from the previous books already,” Box said.

In season two, private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick) reunite to investigate a car wreck outside of Helena, Montana, and they soon discover that the case might not be as straightforward as it seems.

While the series is set in Montana, it has been filmed in Vancouver, Canada, and New Mexico.

The show has received both popular and critical acclaim, with even horror author Stephen King praising it as one of the best series on television right now.

It has also attracted a litany of guest stars in addition to Ackles and McEntire, including “The Sopranos” star Jamie-Lynn Sigler and film actors Logan Marshall-Green and Ryan Phillippe.

Despite being a country legend, McEntire is no stranger to acting. She had a long-running series, “Reba,” during the 2000s and has appeared in films such as “Tremors,” “Spies in Disguise” and “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.”

Ackles is best known for his longtime role on “Supernatural” as Dean Winchester and will soon appear in the third season of the critically acclaimed series “The Boys” as Soldier Boy, a dementedly satirical take on Captain America.

In addition to “Big Sky” being renewed for a third season, Box’s other adapted series, “Joe Pickett,” is now streaming on Paramount+, although it originally debuted on the Spectrum Network.

Interested viewers can use the code “PICKETT” to view the streaming service for one month free.

Pickett has been renewed for a second season.

“‘Joe Pickett’ has gotten very good reviews, which is great,” Box said. “And it was the number one show on Spectrum where it debuted, which is even more exciting.”

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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 “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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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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Big Sky Review: Creepy But Very Much Worth The Watching. I Am Anxious For Next Episode

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

Five stars is the rating that I gave the TV Show Big Sky, which debuted Tuesday, Nov. 17, based on the book by Wyomingite C. J. Box.

Box’s book The Highway was one of the creepiest books I have ever read. It was quite a departure from Box’s traditional stories which are full of intrigue, mayhem, oddball twists and turns, and a big dose of Rocky Mountain lore.

The Highway is all about the scariest of things that can happen in a family – a friend or relative disappears in thin air and it appears that something really bad has happened to them.

I had three friends describe this first TV show as “creepy,” but it was not as sinister as the book.  The first two-thirds of the show also starred the Rocky Mountain West with all the vistas, canyons, mountains, and rivers plus the actors.

The characters were well-defined within the 60 minutes of the first episode, which was quite a trick. There are a whole bunch of them.

Creator David E. Kelley is the master of this genre. His shows Big Little Lies and the Undoing on HBO are classics when it comes to putting interesting people into God-awful situations.  This show is no different. Every single person has issues.  And the show did a good job of revealing them.

The two young girls are silly as they travel from Colorado to Montana. Their car breaks down. A mysterious truck comes along and . . . bad things happen. Really bad things.

Shades of real life. It reminded me of Dale Wayne Eaton and the famous Little Miss murder mystery in Wyoming in 1988.  Eaton raped and killed Lisa Marie Kimmell. He then took her car, a snazzy little Honda CR-X with the license plate “Lil Miss” and buried it in a huge hole on his property near Moneta between Shoshoni and Casper.  Eaton has since been on death row in Wyoming for that crime.

Eaton is also the primary suspect in another crime involving a missing young woman Amy Wroe Bechtel, that occurred outside of Lander in July, 1997. Her body has never been found and Eaton clams up about it, although his brother suspected him of snatching Bechtel, too.

But back to the TV Show.  The cast is full of troubled characters. The lead is a private investigator named Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillippe) who is separated from his wife, who is a former police officer who works with him. Another investigator in the office has a fling with Cody, which results in a classic western bar fight between the two women.  Lots of tension between them.

Cody’s son happens to be the boy in Montana where the two girls are headed.  He calls his dad, who mobilizes all these folks to hunt for the missing girls, including getting an oddball Highway Patrolman up in the middle of the night to help in the search.  This role is played by John Carroll Lynch, who I remember famously as Norm Gunderson in the movie Fargo. In that one, he was the slow-moving husband of the lady Sheriff. A classic role but this time around, he is much more sinister. There is a lot going on inside this guy’s head.

The trucker is a true misfit living with his domineering mother and full of pure evil.  

As in any David E. Kelley show, the whole thing comes together very well.

Spoiler alert – I about fell out of my chair on the last scene when the Highway Patrolman pulls out his gun and shoots Cody in the head. Just like that – poof. Hell, Cody is the leading man in this 10-part series. Is that the last we see of Cody?  Tune in next week.

Because of my admiration for both C. J. Box and David E. Kelley, it is easy to give this show five stars.  Be sure to tune in on ABC and see what happens next Tuesday – I know I will.

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Reminder: C.J. Box’s “Big Sky” Series Premieres Tonight

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

We know you probably didn’t need a reminder that “Big Sky,” the TV series adapted from C.J. Box’s Cassie Dewell novels, is premiering Tuesday night, but here’s one, just in case.

The series will premiere at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ABC.

Box told a Denver news station last week 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.’”

The show will focus on private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillipe), who team up with Cody’s estranged wife, Jenny, to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote road in Montana.

The series has already been ordered by ABC for a full first season.

The show is being created by TV writer and producer David E. Kelley, who has also created shows such as “Big Little Lies,” “Boston Legal,” “Ally McBeal” and “Mr. Mercedes.” Kelley will write multiple episodes and serve as the showrunner for the first season.

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C.J. Box’s TV Show “Big Sky”— Which Debuts on Tuesday — Was Inspired By Personal Experience

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If you’ve been counting down the days until C.J. Box’s TV show “Big Sky” debuts on ABC, we’re down to day number five.

The Wyoming author’s first TV show will be unveiled on Tuesday, Nov. 17 and fans are ready for it.

It’s a creepy story.  So creepy that Box himself was creeped out by the show which is based on his novel “The Highway.”

“The television series will be dark and scary,” Box told Cowboy State Daily. “A lot of people who have read it say it is one of the creepiest things they’ve ever read. The pilot I read scared me, even though I knew what was going to happen.”

It’s always fun to find out how an author gets an idea for a story.

For example, Stephen King came up with the idea for The Shining after spending a night in The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, and dreaming that his son was being chased around the hotel by a firehose.

So how did Box come up with the idea for Big Sky?

Personal experience. Appearing on Denver’s KMGH-TV Thursday, he said his daughter drove back to Cheyenne from the University of Wyoming on Thanksgiving weekend and there was a slight problem with her car.

“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.”

A similar scene was captured in the trailer for Big Sky — and it’s, well, creepy.

The show will focus on private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillipe), who team up with Cody’s estranged wife, Jenny, to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote road in Montana.

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C.J. Box’s “Big Sky” TV Show Trailer Draws 25 Million Views In First 3 Days

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The numbers are in and it seems that people are ready for the mid-November premiere of “Big Sky,” the series adapted from the Cassie Dewell novels of Wyoming author C.J. Box.

According to media reports, a trailer for the upcoming television series was viewed more than 25 million times in the first three days of its upload across multiple social media platforms.

“How big is Big Sky‘s trailer viewership tally of 25.5 million views over three days?” Deadline reported. “For comparison, the top [three] most-watched broadcast trailers at the 2019 upfronts, for ABC’s ‘Stumptown,’ ‘Emergence’ and ‘Mixed-ish,‘ amassed between 14.6 million and 16.1 million views across social media platforms in their first week.”

The trailer actually got most of its views from Twitter, 12.3 million to be exact. The other views came from Facebook (5.9 million), Instagram (4.1 million) and YouTube (3.2 million), totaling 25.5 million.

This is very good news for “Big Sky,” especially when many TV and film productions were shut down by health restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Box shared the good news on his Facebook page, expressing his excitement about the series’ premiere.

“You know who helped make this happen? YOU DID! Let’s keep up the excitement and get ready to tune in Nov. 17th on ABC for #BigSky,” he wrote.

The series has already been ordered by ABC for a full first season.

The show will focus on private detectives Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) and Cody Hoyt (Ryan Phillipe), who team up with Cody’s estranged wife, Jenny, to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote road in Montana.

The show is being created by TV writer and producer David E. Kelley, who has also created shows such as “Big Little Lies,” “Boston Legal,” “Ally McBeal” and “Mr. Mercedes.” Kelley will write multiple episodes and serve as the showrunner for the first season.

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