Unt. Marc Cherry
Logline: The sheriff of colorful small town Oxblood, KY, finds her red-state outlook challenged when a young FBI agent of Middle Eastern descent is sent to help her solve a horrific crime. Together they form an uneasy alliance as the sheriff takes the agent behidn the lace curtains of this Southern gothic community to meet an assortment of bizarre characters, each with a secret of their own.
Cast: Reba McEntire, Saamer Usmani, Jack Coleman, Ryan McPartlin, Ben Esler, Natalie Hall, Saidah Ekulona, W. Earl Brown, Roslyn Ruff
Creators: Marc Cherry (W / EP / SR), Sabrina Wind (EP), Reba McEntire (EP), Mindy Schultheis (EP), Michael Hanel (EP), Michael Offer (D)
Studios: ABC Studios
Apparently, when Archer meets Fargo, we get a Southern Gothic soap. This is the odd couple I’ve been waiting for.
The combination of the 50+, small-town Sheriff Ruby, and a disgraced, Prada-wearing Middle Eastern FBI agent Tag creates a story world that is quite unique. The writing is smooth and unobtrusive. Cherry is no stranger to creating soapy intrigue in incestuous communities, and his characters are sympathetic and believable. There’s a strong central mystery for Ruby and Tag to resolve, and our knowledge of the killer’s identity only makes things more tense and exciting.
Like This is Us last year, this pilot stands out as being quite unique in its approach, and I’m rooting for it. My only concern is that the show might actually be a bit too dark for network television (necrophilia, anyone?), but there’s nothing an editor can’t fix in post.
I think the “Ten Days in the Valley” page is mixing up two pilots: the logline and Paula Patton are from “Somewhere Between,” a different series. Ten Days in the Valley is about an overworked TV producer and is led by Kyra Sedgwick.