Peacock’s Rutherford Falls is moving forward with casting. According to Deadline, the initial cast includes First Nations actor Michael Greyeyes and Lakota Sioux actress/writer Jana Schmieding. Jesse Leigh and Dustin Milligan were also announced as part of the cast.

Rutherford Falls is the setting for a new comedy where local legend and town namesake, Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) fights the removal of a historical statue. The town sits on the border of a Native American reservation, so the show will feature Indigenous characters. 

RELATED: GGA Indigenerd Wire: Sierra Teller Ornelas Leads Native Writing Team on Rutherford Falls

Greyeyes is one of the most visible First Nations actors in television right now. He recently starred in Jeff Barnaby‘s Blood Quantum, HBO shows I Know This Much is True and True Detective and AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. He will play Terry Tarbell, the CEO of his tribe’s casino. Terry is described as “shrewd and charismatic” and he has big plans for his tribe and one particular employee, Reagan Wells.

Schmieding plays Reagan, and she’s Nathan’s best friend. She is “incredibly smart and hopelessly principled and dreams of making her tribe’s modest Cultural Center into a world-renowned museum.” Schmieding is also a member of the Rutherford Falls writing room and hosts a podcast called Women of Size

Leigh will portray Nathan’s non-binary teenage intern/executive assistant Bobbie Yang. And fresh out of Schitt’s Creek, Milligan will play reporter/podcaster Josh Cogan. 

Helms co-created the series with Michael Schur and Sierra Teller Ornelas. Ornelas is Navajo and Mexican American, born of the Edge Water Clan, and serves as executive producer and showrunner for Rutherford Falls. The writing room consists of 12 members, of whom five are Indigenous.

Ornelas told Deadline: “What’s great about this show is that there are multiple Native American characters. A lot of times on show, there’s one type of person and they have to represent the whole community. In the writers’ room, we had five Native writers, who all saw things differently. They had different views on casinos, on border relations and it was really great to have that reflected in the show.”

Let’s hope none of the Indigenous characters turn into wolves.  I’m super excited about this show. And I hope we get to see the pilot soon. 

Rutherford Falls will stream on Peacock.

 

 

Noetta Harjo
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