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”).