There will be no fourth season for Big Sky at ABC as the network has opted not to renew David E. Kelley’s drama series. It is unclear yet whether co-studio A+E Studios would seek a new home for the show starring Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury.
Big Sky, which had a straight-to-series order, was a breakout when it premiered in November 2020. It was one of the strongest broadcast series to launch during the pandemic-hit 2020-21 season and set a mini trend for a big-name actor (in this case Ryan Philippe) to be announced as a star of a series and be used heavily in the marketing campaign only to have their character shockingly die in the first episode.
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Ratings for the heavily serialized Big Sky have significantly slipped since the high flying first season, with the drama among the lowest rated scripted series on ABC this season when the show aired 13 episodes vs. 18 for each of its first two seasons. That, coupled with the challenging economics for a drama series in its fourth season and rumors of on-set tensions had made a renewal for the drama a long shot heading into the upfronts.
Still, there was an effort to find a path toward a potential fourth season, with the pitch reportedly featuring a creative reboot and bigger day-to-day involvement by Kelley.
In Season 3, titled ‘Deadly Trails’, private detective Cassie Dewell (Bunbury), undersheriff Jenny Hoyt (Winnick), and newly appointed sheriff Beau Arlen (Jensen Ackles) maintain order in Helena, Montana with their unparalleled investigative skills. But when a local backcountry trip led by charismatic outfitter Sunny Barnes (Reba McEntire) goes awry, the trio faces their most formidable mystery yet – in which no camper can be trusted and where danger lurks around every jagged rock and gnarled tree.
Big Sky is produced by 20th Television in association with A+E Studios. Elwood Reid serves as showrunner, executive producing alongside creator Kelley. C.J. Box, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Paul McGuigan, Matthew Gross, Ross Fineman also executive produce.
This is one of three series cancellations by ABC today alongside Alaska Daily and The Company You Keep. The only drama series at the network whose fate has not been decided yet is Rookie: Feds whose chances have likely improved in light of today’s news.
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