EXCLUSIVE: Joe Pickett, the Michael Dorman-fronted drama series, is returning for season two.
Spectrum Originals has renewed the show, which follows a dedicated game warden and his family as they navigate the shifting sociopolitical climate of a small rural town on the verge of economic collapse, after it becomes its most-watched series ever.
Katherine Pope, Head of Spectrum Originals, told Deadline that the C.J Box adaptation was watched by over 1M households in its first month after its December launch – making it the company’s most-watched original before the full season was released.
This puts it ahead of series such as Mad About You, Manhunt: Deadly Games and LA’s Finest.
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The series, which is produced by Paramount Television Studios, is currently available exclusively on its Spectrum service and will launch on Paramount+ at a later date. While the network usually employs a model that sees it take a first window with nine month exclusivity, in this case, it ordered Joe Pickett to series and subsequently scored its streaming partner.
“What’s so special about the fact that Joe Pickett connected with the audience is that it’s just a great show,” she told Deadline. “I feel that sometimes our business gets in its own way… [asking] what do we do? How do we reinvent it? Sometimes you just make a great show. We wanted this to be a character drama that spools out over time.”
Season 1 followed the Pickett family as they found themselves in the crosshairs when a murder victim wound up on their doorstep and they were forced to navigate a tangled web of schemes, secrets and conspiracy amidst the scenic vistas of the Wyoming wilderness. Watch the trailer here:
It comes from Waco creators John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, who served as showrunners, directors and exec producers alongside author Box and Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher of Red Wagon Entertainment.
Like Yellowstone, which is set in Montana, Joe Pickett is a fiercely Midwestern show, written by the Minnesota-born Dowdles. “They have a real love of people who want to do the right thing and have a good life,” Pope added. “They know these people, they know the voices, they know what it means to have a marriage where you’re struggling to be a good partner but also want to have ambitions in your life. It’s all about authenticity.”
Box has written more than 20 books in the series, selling millions of copies, so there’s plenty of material to mine for future seasons.
Pope hopes that Joe Pickett can go on “forever.” “It’s an evergreen show,” she said. “There’s an opportunity with this show to continue to grow it and take the journey with these characters.”
Spectrum Originals has a number of other projects coming up including Hitchcockian thriller Angela Black, starring Joanne Froggatt; limited series A Spy Among Friends, starring Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce; George & Tammy, starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon; Beacon 23, a sci-fi thriller starring Lena Headey and Stephan James; and Long Slow Exhale, starring Rose Rollins as a head coach in the high-stakes world of women’s college basketball.
“We continue to just try and be where other people aren’t, that’s really what I think works for us, because we aren’t multibillion-dollar spenders, that’s just not what our model is.” Pope added. “We’re here to really curate shows. We’re always just looking for that show that maybe will scare other people. I think having a small slate [means] you can really be thoughtful about how you’re differentiating the shows from each other and you can really target.”
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