Left to right, actor David Morse as Big Foster and Gillian Alexy as G’Win Farrell.
By Rob Owen / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Cable’s WGN America renewed the shot-in-Pittsburgh drama “Outsiders” for a second season with production expected to resume in Western Pennsylvania by early summer, most likely in June.
The series, about the mountaintop-dwelling clan the Farrells and their fight with an energy company, was based at 31st Street Studios in The Strip.
The renewal of “Outsiders” marks the first time in the modern Pittsburgh production era that a scripted prime-time drama has made it to a second season. Spike TV’s “The Kill Point” and A&E’s “Those Who Kill” were canceled after their initial runs.
“Outsiders” premiered its first season in January to strong ratings relative to original series averages on newcomer cable outlet WGN America, improving the channel’s average prime-time ratings. In ratings that take into account DVR and on-demand viewing through seven days after a show’s premiere broadcast, “Outsiders” averages 2.8 million total viewers weekly. The show stars David Morse (“Concussion”) and Ryan Hurst (“Sons of Anarchy”).
Series creator Peter Mattei and executive producer Peter Tolan released a statement on the renewal, saying, “It’s a dream to bring this combustible mashup of fairy tale, hillbilly gothic, epic drama, current headlines and good old mayhem to life.
“We are thankful to the extraordinary cast, crew and our supportive partners at WGN America and Sony Pictures Television, and the wonderful Farrell fans who tune in each week,” he added. “We look forward to getting back to Blackburg and Shay Mountain and continuing this journey for a second season — ged-gedyah!”
Millvale plays the fictional Kentucky town of Blackburg in the series, with scenes on Shay Mountain filmed in the woods of Monroeville’s Henry Kaufmann Family Park, owned by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh.
The “Outsiders” writers are back at work creating new stories for season two, although as is often the case in TV, there has been some turnover on the writing staff. Swissvale native William Schmidt, who wrote for the show’s first season, now is writing on DirecTV’s “Rogue” and won’t return for “Outsiders” season two.
In addition to “Outsiders,” at least one other TV series, Netflix’s “Mindhunter,” will film in Pittsburgh in 2016 with two more possible.
ABC will make a decision by May whether to move forward with the comedy series “Downward Dog,” which filmed its pilot locally in December with the intent to return to Pittsburgh to film the series.
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