“Rutherford Falls,” a comedy coming exclusively to NBC’s streaming platform channel Peacock, will be premiering on April 22, Earth Day.
The show is about two lifelong friends, Nathan Rutherford, played by Ed Helms (known for his role as Andy on “The Office”) and Reagan Wells who is played by Jana Schmieding, Cheyenne River Lakota.
The friends, as the show’s description describes, “find themselves at a crossroads – quite literally – when their sleepy town gets an unexpected wakeup call.”
The full synopsis is as follows:
A small town in the Northeast and the Native American reservation it borders are turned upside down when local legend and town namesake, Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms), fights the moving of a historical statue.
The show also stars Cree actor Michael Greyeyes (“I Know This Much Is True” and “Blood Quantum”) as one of the tribal leaders of the fictional Minishonka Nation, Jesse Leigh (“Heathers”), Dustin Mulligan (“Schitt’s Creek”) and a multitude of Native actors who play various Minishonka Nation citizens.
Indian Country Today received the latest and exclusive "Rutherford Falls" cast photos and poster art along with the new cast character descriptions from Peacock TV.
Nathan Rutherford (Ed Helms) is a descendant of the town’s founder who takes pride in his family history. Maybe too much.
Reagan Wells (Jana Schmieding, Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux) is Nathan’s best friend and a member of the Minishonka Nation, who has dreams of championing the history of her people.
Terry Thomas (Michael Greyeyes, Nêhiyaw from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation) is CEO of the Minishonka’s casino, who envisions big things for both Reagan and the success of their Nation.
Bobbie Yang (Jesse Leigh) is a driven high school student and Nathan’s personal assistant.
Josh Carter (Dustin Milligan) is a passionate journalist looking for the real story of Rutherford Falls.
New Rutherford Falls promotional series poster
One of the largest Native writer’s rooms ever to have been on television
In addition to the Native actors, the show also boasts one of the largest Native writer’s rooms ever to have been on television. Native writers on the show include co-creator and executive producer Sierra Teller Ornelas, Navajo, Bobby Wilson, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, Tai Leclaire, Kanien’keha:ka who is Mohawk and Mi’kmaq, Jana Schmieding, Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux, and Tazbah Chavez, Nüümü (Bishop Paiute Tribe,) Diné/Navajo and San Carlos Apache.
The trailer for Rutherford Falls
Indian Country is already hitting social media with voices of support and excitement and many of the actors and writers on the show have also voiced their excitement and support.
Actors and writers on social media galore
Michael Greyeyes and one of the show’s co-stars Jesse Leigh introduced social media to the film's creative opening credits. Leigh called them ‘the cutest opening credits evaaa.” Actor Dustin Mulligan concurred with Leigh, and wrote on Twitter, “What this? Just a little something called #FrigginCuteAsHell, maybe you've heard of it?”
Jana Schmieding — who wrote on Twitter her last name is pronounced “Shmee-ding” — and Ed Helms both expressed their excitement with the new Rutherford Falls trailer.
Helms proclaimed, “I’m beyond proud to be a part of this project with my co-creators Mike Schur and Sierra Teller Ornelas and to share this breakthrough moment in Native representation in television.”
Crystal Echo Hawk told Indian Country Today's newscast that she is "excited" for the show.
“I am so excited for Rutherford Falls. I mean t's unreal, right? It's finally happening. This has been such a long, hard-fought battle over decades to get that level of representation," she said.
"In a lot of groundbreaking breakthrough moments, Sierra Ornelas is one of the first Native American woman showrunners, a Navajo showrunner. More than half of the writer's room is Native," she said. "It's going to be one of the first opportunities where the greater American public is really going to see contemporary, Native representation that’s really authored by Native peoples."
The Peacock Original comedy series is set to premiere on Thursday, April 22.
About Rutherford Falls
“Rutherford Falls” is from co-creators and executive producers Michael Schur (“Parks and Recreation,” “The Good Place”), Ed Helms and Sierra Teller Ornelas (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Superstore”). Mike Falbo, David Miner and Morgan Sackett also serve as executive producers. “Rutherford Falls” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Fremulon, 3 Arts Entertainment and Pacific Electric Picture Company.