WGN America, sister station to 5NEWS, has done it again. The creative minds that brought us original drama series like “Salem“ and “Manhattan” have once again created a new world and filled it with unusual characters.
“Outsiders,” takes place in the Appalachian Mountains, and that’s exactly where it was filmed. Six months of shooting took place in Pittsburgh, PA, although a fictional town - Blackburg, KY - is referenced in the show. It’s a blue collar town, full of law-abiding citizens, with the exception of the Farrell’s – a ritualistic family of misfits, who lives atop the rugged Shay Mountain (also fictitious).
“The world I thought was fascinating, because it’s something we really haven't seen before, especially the life up in the mountain,” David Morse (“Big Foster”) said. “Two worlds existing and a conflict with each other and overlapping - I love that.”
“The script was sent to me through Sony TV, and I certainly had not read anything like it,” executive producer Peter Tolan said. “I thought it was the most compelling script I had read in years.”
It was an exciting time for the cast and crew, until it was time to shoot.
“Creating a world from scratch like this, shooting in the woods and not on a stage - production was very difficult,” writer and creator Peter Mattei said.
“It definitely wasn't high glam. That’s for sure,” Gillian Alexy (“G’Winveer”) said.
For some, the time spent in the mountains was most enjoyable.
“I love going to work. That's where I want to be all day,” Kyle Gallner (“Hasil”) said. “Sometimes you're in river gullies that are really hard to get to, but it looks beautiful. You can’t fake that. It looks great and feels authentic, and it is. You're smack in the middle of the woods. Challenging, but worth it.”
Still others might have preferred a show called “Insiders.”
“Any job where you have to go back to the hotel at night and check yourself for ticks can’t be that much fun, can it?” Tolan joked.
“We shot on a terrain that was [slanted] so nothing was ever flat. We’d sit in chairs and dig our heels in. We were all just trying not to tumble over,” Alexy said.
So, not everyone can handle life in the mountains. It’s one of the main themes of “Outsiders” - just another example of life imitating art.
“I think telling a story in this part of the world is fascinating,” Thomas Wright (“Sheriff Wade Houghton”) said. “To be able to go into that place is incredible.”
Hailing from Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios, “Outsiders” will premiere at 9/8 Central on January 26, 2016 on WGN America.