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Joe Pickett

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’s “The Highway” to Become Television Series

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C.J. Box
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By Mike McCrimmon, Cowboy State Daily

A book by Wyoming author C.J. Box will be turned into a television series by ABC, Box has announced.

In an exclusive interview with Cowboy State Daily, C. J. Box said his book “The Highway” will be turned into a series called “The Big Sky.”

Box called “The Highway,” about a long-haul trucker who is a serial killer, the “creepiest thing I ever wrote.”

“(The television series will) be dark and scary,” he said. “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.”

Filming for the series is to begin in March and resume in the summer.

Box is known for his “Joe Pickett” novels about a game warden in Wyoming, but “The Highway” focuses on a private investigator from Montana.

The rights to a number of Box’s books have been purchased for production, he said, but none have resulted in a movie or television series until “The Highway.”

“Actually, (it’s) kind of gotten comfortable, into a groove, where these people in Hollywood give me money and don’t make anything,” he said. “And it’s not so bad.”

Box said he hopes the series leads to increased book sales.

“If there’s a series, it’s great advertising for the book,” he said. “It’s not as lucrative as it used to be in entertainment, because there’s a million TV channels and streaming services. But with this network show, that will get a lot of eyeballs and hopefully some of those people will be interested in reading the book.”

Executive Producer of the upcoming series, David E. Kelley told Variety that “…the series is described as a procedural thriller about private detective Cassie Dewell, who partners with ex-cop Jenny Hoyt on a search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana. But 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.”

C.J. Box has been outspoken about luring production companies into Wyoming. Last year, he was disappointed with the Wyoming State Legislature for its failure to pass a bill which would provide incentives for companies to shoot films in Wyoming.

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