‘Big Sky’ Returns with Reba McEntire and Jensen Ackles in the Third Season

Photo: EW

Big Sky returns. This time with Reba McEntire and Jensen Ackles.

With the TV season culminating in the fall, it’s just the right time to return to Helena, Montana, and Dewell and Hoyt’s private detectives.

On Wednesday night, ABC’s Big Sky will officially release its third season at 10pm. Plus, they’ve got a dose of new mystery with some flashy and fresh series regular characters.

Currently renamed Big Sky: Deadly Trails, the third season chronicles the journey of policewoman Jenny Hoyt (Katheryn Winnick), Beau Arlen (Ackles) – temporary sheriff, and Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury) – a private investigator, as they dive into a group of new mysteries, most notably the case of a missing backpacker.

In the midst of their investigation, they come across Sunny Barnes (McEntire), the director of a family business in the outback who appears to have an intriguing number of missing persons links.

Ahead of the series’ return, EW asked producer Elwood Reid for an update on what to expect when things get worse in the Montana wilderness.

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‘Big Sky’ Mystery

In an interview with EW, Reid revealed the central mystery of the third season. 

“There’s a glamping outfit in Montana that is run by Sunny Barnes and Buck Barnes [Rex Linn]. In this family-run glamping outfit, a bunch of guests come up missing. We begin to realize, as the season progresses, that the Barnes family has a lot of secrets. They may or may not have something to do with some of these disappearances, and in true Big Sky fashion, the people that disappear also have some secrets and may not stay disappeared,” he shared. 

“This season we are also doing little runner mysteries, case-of-the-week formatting, in addition to our big mystery. One of the biggest reasons we’re doing that is we’ve Jensen Ackles. He’s an amazing asset and we wanted him and Jenny Hoyt to get out there and be solving cases the week of, and also, get involved in a big mystery for the season.” 

Additionally, Reid shared how he decided to cast McEntire and Ackles. 

“Jensen is one of those guys that I’ve always wanted to work with. He’s one of those guys that I’ve always loved. He’s someone my daughter and my wife likes, and a lot of guys like. There’s not a lot of people out there that tick all those boxes. And I’d heard nothing but raving from people who worked with him — what an amazing guy he was, what a professional he was,” he said. 

“Mutual friends put us in touch. He’s from Texas. So, I pitched this Texas-type character that finds himself up in Montana. I can’t say enough good things about him. He walks on the set and it changes.”

He added, “Reba is someone who a lot of us grew up with. I had written a character, and I described her as ‘Reba McEntire, circa Tremors.’ I always loved that character. So, I called her and pitched her the character.”

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