You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Flyover’ has ABC aboard

Former feature film finds new life as skein on Alphabet

Now that the media have discovered the Heartland, it was bound to happen: ABC is developing the drama script “The Flyover States.”

Drama revolves around a New York woman who moves back to her Arkansas hometown, with two teenage kids in tow, after her husband dies. Sudser follows the lead character as she rediscovers how things aren’t just tawdry in the big city.

Novelist Clint Catalyst (“Cottonmouth Kisses”), an Arkansas native, originally came up with the story.

Catalyst originally conceived of “The Flyover States” as a feature, and brought it to his pal, filmmaker Darren Stein. Stein then showed the treatment to producer Jon Marcus (“Party Monster”), who thought the idea would be better suited as a TV series.

“Our show is literally set on the gravel roads where I grew up,” he said. “Some characters are a composite of people I know.”

And referring to the post-election discussion over the power of the so-called Red States, Catalyst admits that, “For once in my life, the timing was right.”

Catalyst, Stein and Marcus — all of whom come from an indie background — then pitched the concept to Vertikal Entertainment’s Marla Ginsburg.

“Flyover States” is set up at Touchstone TV, where Ginsburg has an overall deal.

The producers see “The Flyover States” as a natural companion to ABC’s megahit “Desperate Housewives,” both of which cover quirky ground and are character driven.

“We wanted to take it one step beyond the suburbs,” Stein said. “One of the show’s themes is we’re all outsiders in America, whether we’re in a red state or a blue state. Americans are trained to be insecure, to be not sure what we want.”

Catalyst’s other credits include the recent anthology “Pills Thrills Chills and Heartache: Adventures in the First Person.” Marcus, meanwhile, runs the indie production shingle The Story Department; before that, he was an exec at Killer Films (“One Hour Photo,” “Boys Don’t Cry”).

More TV

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

  • Ken Jeong TV Take Podcast

    Listen: Ken Jeong on His Return to Stand-Up and New Netflix Special

    Welcome to “TV Take,” Variety’s television podcast. In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway, talks with Ken Jeong about his Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho,” and being a judge on Fox’s “The Masked Singer.“ Jeong started working on his new standup act after ABC canceled his show “Dr. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content