“Big Sky” is getting a little bigger.
ABC has issued an order for six additional episodes of the freshman drama, bringing the season 1 total to 16 episodes. News of the additional order comes only three episodes into the season, which premiered back in mid-November.
It comes as no great surprise given that the show has been a strong ratings performer for the Disney-owned network. After seven days of delayed viewing, the series premiere grew to 10.8 million total viewers and a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49, making it ABC’s most-watched and highest-rated series debut since “The Rookie.”
The premiere’s big numbers can likely be attributed in part to the shocking twist at the very end, when one of the lead characters, Cody Hoyt (Ryan Philippe), was shot dead by State Trooper Rick Legarski (John Carroll Lynch). Philippe and fellow stars Kylie Bunbury and Katheryn Winnick addressed the twist during the series’ virtual premiere.
Hailing from “Big Little Lies” creator David E. Kelley and based on the series of novels by C.J. Box, “Big Sky” follows private detective Cassie Dewell (Bunbury) and ex-cop Jenny Hoyt (Winnick), who join forces 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 the killer before another woman is taken.
It also stars Brian Geraghty, Dedee Pfeiffer, Natalie Alyn Lind, Jade Pettyjohn, Jesse James Keitel, and Valerie Mahaffey.
“Big Sky” has also notably been subject to significant criticism from Indigenous groups, who have called it “at best, cultural insensitivity, and at worst, appropriation” due to being set in an area with a disproportionately high rate of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG), yet not having any tribal representation in the show.
The show’s producers responded to the accusations, saying that their “eyes have been opened” by the criticism and that they are now “working with Indigenous groups to help bring attention to this important issue.” However, a spokesperson for the Global Indigenous Council (GIC), the international Indigenous rights advocacy body which is coordinating the groups’ response, told Variety that he has not heard from ABC or the producers.
Alongside Kelley, “Big Sky” is executive produced by Ross Fineman, Matthew Gross, Paul McGuigan, C.J. Box and Gwyneth Horder-Payton.
The series is produced by 20th Television in association with A+E Studios.