Big Sky (American TV series)

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Big Sky
GenrePolice procedural
Created byDavid E. Kelley
Based onThe Highway
by C. J. Box
Music byTrevor Morris
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes2
Executive producer(s)
  • Matthew Tinker
  • Cecil O'Connor
Production location(s)Pitt Meadows, British Columbia
CinematographyOliver Bokelberg
  • David Beatty
  • Noah Pontell
Running time42–44 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorDisney Media Distribution
Original networkABC
Original releaseNovember 17, 2020 (2020-11-17) –
present (present)
External links
Official website

Big Sky[1] is an American procedural drama television series created by David E. Kelley and based on the 2013 novel The Highway by C. J. Box. The series premiered on ABC as a fall entry in the 2020–21 television season on November 17, 2020.[2]


Private detectives Cassie Dewell and Cody Hoyt join forces with Cody's estranged wife, ex-cop Jenny Hoyt, to 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 a killer before another woman is taken.



  • Katheryn Winnick as Jenny Hoyt, an ex-cop who, despite being separated from her husband, still does freelance work for his agency
  • Kylie Bunbury as Cassie Dewell, a private detective who co-owns a private investigation agency called Dewell & Hoyt
  • Brian Geraghty as Ronald Pergman, a long-haul trucker involved in several unsolved kidnappings
  • Valerie Mahaffey as Helen Pergman, Ronald's mother
  • Dedee Pfeiffer as Denise Brisbane, Cody's secretary
  • Natalie Alyn Lind as Danielle Sullivan, Grace's sister and one of Ronald Pergman's kidnapping victims
  • Jesse James Keitel as Jerrie, a transfeminine sex worker, an aspiring singer, and one of Ronald's victims
  • Jade Pettyjohn as Grace Sullivan, Danielle's sister, also kidnapped by Ronald
  • John Carroll Lynch as Rick Legarski, a member of the Montana highway patrol with a shady past and Ronald's accomplice
  • Ryan Phillippe as Cody Hoyt,[a] a troubled former cop who runs a private detective agency with his partner Cassie


  • Brooke Smith as Merrilee Legarski, Rick's wife
  • Gage Marsh as Justin Hoyt, Cody and Jenny's son, whom Danielle and Grace were coming to visit when they were abducted
  • Jeffrey Joseph as Joseph Dewell, Cassie's father and Kai's grandfather
  • Gabriel Jacob-Cross as Kai Dewell, Cassie's son and Joseph's grandson


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
U.S. viewers
1"Pilot"Paul McGuiganDavid E. KelleyNovember 17, 2020 (2020-11-17)1DHW014.15[3]
Ronald Pergman, a 38-year-old unmarried long-haul trucker, abducts Jerrie, a sex worker he meets at a truck stop. Later, while driving on the highway, he comes across two teenage sisters, Danielle and Grace Sullivan, and kidnaps them as well after their car breaks down. Danielle's boyfriend Justin contacts his parents, former cops Cody and Jenny Hoyt. Cody, a private detective, reluctantly asks his ex-wife Jenny to assist even though she and his business partner Cassie Dewell despise each other. He also contacts Rick Legarski, a state patrolman who informs him that several other young women have disappeared along the same stretch of highway over the past few years. Danielle and Grace attempt to escape, but Ronald overpowers them and locks them up, along with Jerrie, in an undisclosed location. Cody and Rick meet to begin the investigation, and Cody proposes the possibility that the kidnapper is a trucker who may be involved in human trafficking. As Cody starts his truck, Rick shoots him dead at point-blank range. He then calls Ronald and tells him that he has been "sloppy."
2"Nowhere to Run"Paul McGuiganDavid E. KelleyNovember 24, 2020 (2020-11-24)1DHW024.46[4]
3"The Big Rick"[5]Gwyneth Horder-PaytonDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroDecember 1, 2020 (2020-12-01)TBATBD
4"Unfinished Business"[6]Gwyneth Horder-PaytonAnnakate Chappell & Matthew TinkerDecember 8, 2020 (2020-12-08)TBATBD
5"A Good Day to Die"[7]TBATBADecember 15, 2020 (2020-12-15)TBATBD



The series, based on C. J. Box's novel The Highway and developed by David E. Kelley, was announced as The Big Sky in January 2020 and given a straight-to-series order by ABC.[8] The series is produced by David E. Kelley Productions, A+E Studios and 20th Television. Kelley and Ross Fineman will serve as executive producers, along with Box, Matthew Gross and Paul McGuigan. On June 17, 2020, it was announced that the series would air on Tuesdays at 10:00/9:00c.[9]


John Carroll Lynch, Dedee Pfeiffer, Ryan Phillippe and Katheryn Winnick were the first cast additions announced through February 2020.[10][11][12][13] In March 2020, Brian Geraghty, Kylie Bunbury, Natalie Alyn Lind and Jesse James Keitel were added, with Bunbury in the lead role.[14][15][16][17] On June 24, 2020, it was announced that Jade Pettyjohn joined the cast in a starring role.[18] On August 6, 2020, Valerie Mahaffey joined the main cast.[19] On October 8, 2020, Brooke Smith, Jeffery Joseph, Gage Marsh, and Gabriel Jacob-Cross were cast in recurring roles.[20]


Filming on the series' first season began on August 27, 2020, and is scheduled to conclude on January 13, 2021, in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia.[21] Filming was originally set to take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Las Vegas, Nevada, but the series was moved to Vancouver in July 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[22] The series was one of many American television productions in Vancouver that briefly halted filming in late September 2020, due to delays in receiving cast and crew COVID-19 test results.[23][24]



On September 9, 2020, ABC released the first teaser for the series.[25]


The series premiered on November 17, 2020 on ABC.[2] Big Sky will air in Canada on CTV, simulcast with ABC in the United States.[26] In India, the series will be streamed on Disney+ Hotstar, within 12 hours of its U.S. broadcast.[27]


Critical reception[edit]

For the series, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 62% based on 21 critical reviews, with an average rating of 6.76/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Big Sky's shaky setup doesn't do it many favors, but viewers who can push through may find its fast-paced, twisty mystery compelling enough."[28] Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 58 out of 100 based on 16 critical reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29]


Viewership and ratings per episode of Big Sky
No. Title Air date Rating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Pilot" November 17, 2020 0.7 4.15[3] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "Nowhere to Run" November 24, 2020 0.7 4.46[4] TBD TBD TBD TBD


  1. ^ Phillippe was credited as main cast for the first episode; he was credited as special guest star for the second episode


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 21, 2020). "David E. Kelley's 'Big Sky' & Kari Lizer's 'Call Your Mother' Get ABC Series Orders, Other Pilots Still In Play". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (September 17, 2020). "ABC Sets Fall Drama Premiere Dates; 'For Life' Replaces Canceled 'Stumptown' On Schedule, 'The Rookie' Pushed". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 17, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (November 18, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.17.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (November 25, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.24.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  5. ^ "(#103) "The Big Rick"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  6. ^ "(#104) "Unfinished Business"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  7. ^ "Shows A-Z - big sky on abc". The Futon Critic. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 30, 2020). "David E. Kelley PI Drama 'The Big Sky' Ordered To Series By ABC From A+E Studios". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 17, 2020). "ABC 2020-21 Schedule: 'The Bachelorette' Makes Fall Debut As 'The Conners' Moves To Wednesday, 'Black-ish' Is Benched & Net Goes Down To One Comedy Night". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 17, 2020.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 12, 2020). "'The Big Sky': John Carroll Lynch Cast In David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series For ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 14, 2020). "'The Big Sky': Dedee Pfeiffer Cast In David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series For ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 26, 2020). "Ryan Phillippe Joins David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series 'The Big Sky' On ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 27, 2020). "Katheryn Winnick To Star In David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series 'The Big Sky' On ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2020). "'The Big Sky': Brian Geraghty To Co-Star In David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series On ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 3, 2020). "Kylie Bunbury To Headline David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series 'The Big Sky' On ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (March 10, 2020). "'The Big Sky': Natalie Alyn Lind To Star In David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series For ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (March 10, 2020). "'The Big Sky': Jesse James Keitel To Co-Star In David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series For ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  18. ^ Petski, Denise (June 24, 2020). "'Big Sky': Jade Pettyjohn To Star In David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series For ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (August 6, 2020). "'Big Sky': Valerie Mahaffey Joins David E. Kelley's PI Drama Series For ABC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  20. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (October 8, 2020). "'Big Sky': Brooke Smith, Jeffrey Joseph And Gage Marsh Join Cast Of David E. Kelley Crime Thriller As Recurring". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  21. ^ "DGC BC Production List" (PDF). Directors Guild of Canada. August 21, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 21, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  22. ^ Vlessing, Etan (July 13, 2020). "ABC's David E. Kelley Drama 'The Big Sky' Moving Production to Vancouver". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 29, 2020). "U.S. TV Production In Vancouver Largely On Pause Over COVID-19 Test Results Delays". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 30, 2020). "'Big Sky' Creator David E. Kelley On Test Results Delay That Paused Production On ABC Series In Vancouver". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  25. ^ "Big Sky Coming Soon to Tuesdays on ABC". ABC. September 9, 2020. Retrieved September 12, 2020 – via YouTube.
  26. ^ "CTV Lands Big-Buzz David E. Kelley Thriller Big Sky, Premiering Nov. 17" (Press release). Bell Media. September 17, 2020. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  27. ^ "Laxmmi Bomb, A Teacher, Industry, Big Sky, Black Beauty, and more coming to Disney+ Hotstar this November". OnlyTech. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  28. ^ "Big Sky: Season 1 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  29. ^ "Big Sky: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 21, 2020.

External links[edit]