Granite Flats is an American television series, the first original scripted drama series produced by BYUtv. The show is set in a small Colorado town in the early 1960s during the Cold War, and follows several of the town's citizens as mysterious and potentially dangerous circumstances arise. Season 1 launched on April 7, 2013. The cast was joined by actors Christopher Lloyd and Cary Elwes for its second season, which premiered April 6, 2014. Parker Posey and George Newbern joined the cast for season 3, premiered online April 4, 2015, before the TV season launch scheduled for October. It had an audience of approximately 500,000 households per episode.
Cast and logo of Granite Flats, season 1.
|Written by||John Christian Plummer|
|Directed by||Scott Swofford|
|Opening theme||"The End of the World"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Producers||Derek Marquis |
Jeff T. Miller
|Production locations||Salt Lake County and Utah County, Utah|
|Running time||60 minutes each episode|
|Original release||April 7, 2013 –|
April 4, 2015
On April 20, 2015 it was announced that Granite Flats would join Netflix; all three seasons launched on the streaming service on May 15, 2015.
On June 25, 2015, Granite Flats executive producer Scott Swofford announced the end of the series after three seasons, calling it a "huge success."
The show was produced in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a former high school converted into eight dedicated sets recreating early 1960s America. Because BYUtv is intended for a family audience that shares Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint values, there is no smoking, no adult or extramarital content, and all alcohol consumption is portrayed in a distinctly negative light.
During 2010 and 2011, newly appointed BYUtv director of content, Scott Swofford, commissioned focus groups targeting TV viewers who were at least nominally religious, to see what they liked, disliked and wanted in TV. Swofford summarized the results as, "We want to be entertained. Then we'll stick around for the message." This led to the creation of the pilot for Granite Flats, which became BYUtv's first and flagship original scripted television drama series, and went on to significantly expand the channel's audience, eventually attracting about 500,000 viewers per episode, compared to the previous top-rated show, Love of Quilting, which typically drew under 10,000.
Financing and budget
According to Swofford, the show is funded and non-profit: "We're not ad-driven, so we're not looking at the Nielsens the next day and saying, 'Oh gosh, did we do okay?' We're saying 'Did it work? Is it happening? Is it reaching the audience we want?' ... It's a whole different metric, and it is weird to have the opportunity to play in this arena without having to obey some of those rules. It makes it possible to do independent work." Each show cost $800,000, about a third of the industry standard in Hollywood.
On June 25, 2015, Granite Flats Executive Producer and BYUtv Director of Content, Scott Swofford, announced the end of the series after three seasons, calling it a "huge success." According to Swofford, "We look forward to what is on the horizon in the form of additional scripted content at BYUtv and have chosen to concentrate resources on these ideas and forego producing a fourth season of Granite Flats."
- Richard Gunn plays the chief of police John Sanders, a man who's serious about his job and doesn't give up easily to bring justice to Granite Flats.
- Charlie Plummer plays Timmy Sanders, the police chief's son who gets excited about solving mysteries.
- Annie Tedesco (seasons 1 & 2) played Beth Milligan, a young mother who moves to Granite Flats with her son Arthur after the death of her husband. In season 2 she becomes the nurse over the special ward and becomes part of Project Madman. In between seasons 2 and 3 her character is killed in a suspicious car accident.
- Jonathan Morgan Heit plays Arthur Milligan, the new kid in town, who quickly forms a friendship with Timmy Sanders and Madeline Andrews.
- Malia Tyler plays Madeline Andrews, an intelligent girl of Korean descent, friend of Timmy and Arthur.
- Peter Murnik plays Hershel Jenkins, an army sergeant who gets accused of setting off a bomb inside the army base. After John Sanders proves his innocence, Jenkins is let go by the army. He is eventually made a deputy in Granite Flats.
- Ethan Ross Wills plays Wallace Jenkins. Wallace is originally the school bully, but a number of insecurities are shown inside him when his father gets arrested. He gets taken in by Regina and lives with her for a time. In season 3 Wallace moves back in with his father, develops his first crush, and joins Timmy, Madeline, and Arthur to solve mysteries.
- David Naughton plays Dr. Millard Whittison, the head of Granite Flats hospital and the CIA contact for Project Madman, part of Project MK Ultra.
- Tom Wright (supporting seasons 1 & 2, star season 3) plays FBI agent Ezekiel Scott. Originally he comes to Granite Flats searching for the Soviet satellite that crashed, but he is forced to return and lead FBI operatives in the search for possible Soviet spies. He works unofficially with John in the manhunt.
- Scott Christopher plays Lt. Frank Quincy, an officer whose prolonged stay at the army hospital piques Beth's curiosity.
- Jessica Wright plays Regina Clark. Regina is a nurse at the hospital and is co-workers to Beth Milligan and Dr. Millard Whittison. She also acts as the surrogate mother for Wallace Jenkins. She has a strong faith and believes anyone can change but requires seeing some proof before making up her mind.
- Ivan Sergei plays Roy Milligan, father of Arthur and husband of Beth. His wife and son believe him to be dead, but he is actually undercover in Russia, possibly turned to the Russian side of the Cold War.
- Jim Turner plays Dr. Ronald Andrews, the father of Madeline Andrews and the lead doctor on Project Madman.
- Maia Guest plays Dr. Susan Andrews, the mother of Madeline Andrews and one of the doctors working on Project Madman.
- Taryn O'Neill plays June Sanders, wife to John and mother to Timmy.
- Mitchell Fink plays Pastor Todd, the pastor at Granite Flats Church of Christ and the leader of the weekday youth group.
- Brandon Molale played Major Slim Kirkpatrick. Slim was Regina's love interest and also the head of the military police. He was secretly a Soviet spy. He tried to get Hershel executed for blowing up the welding shop, which was blown up because of a gas leak caused by a piece of Soviet satellite debris. The FBI and John eventually begin to suspect Slim of being a spy, so Slim tried to get Whittison to hand him the info on Project Madman. When Whittison refused Slim tried to shoot it out with Police Chief John Sanders and lost.
- Christopher Lloyd plays Professor Stanfield Hargraves, a smart and teasing English teacher with a specialty in Shakespeare.
- Cary Elwes plays Hugh Ashmead, a CIA counter-intelligence officer who threatens to take over Project Madman for his own purposes. In real life, the name "Ashmead" was the cover name for James Angleton who headed the CIA's counterintelligence program during the era the show is set.
- George Newbern plays Scottie Andrews, a civil-liberties attorney from New York City who is an uncle to Madeline Andrews.
- Parker Posey plays Alice White, the aunt of Arthur Milligan who has just been released from prison after spending a decade there for murder. She has visions that sometimes come true.
Season One (2013)
Season Two (2014)
Season Three (2015)
- BYUtv announced on July 16, 2014, that Granite Flats will return for its third season in April 2015.
- Season Three began filming on Monday, September 22, 2014.
- Granite Flats, Season Three, was launched with all 8 episodes available online at graniteflats.com and byutv.org Saturday, April 4, 2015.
- All three seasons debuted on Netflix on May 15, 2015.
- The season 3 episodes will appear on BYUtv in October 2015.
- MKUltra Supported by dozens of universities and hospitals during the Cold War for the CIA.
- Pierce, Scott (April 3, 2013). "5 things to know about 'Granite Flats,' BYUtv's first scripted drama". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Pantera, Gabrielle (April 6, 2014). "Christopher Lloyd Brings Shakespeare to Cold War Drama BYUtv 'Granite Flats'". Hollywood Daily Star. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved May 28, 2014.
- Alison Moore (2014-02-28). "BYUtv 'Granite Flats' welcomes actors from 'Princess Bride,' 'Back to the Future'". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-03-26.
- Truitt, Brian (May 14, 2014). "Cary Elwes pays a visit to '60s-era 'Granite Flats'". USA Today. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
- "Parker Posey, George Newbern To Guest In Third Season Of BYU-TV's 'Granite Flats'". Deadline Hollywood. October 7, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
- Kenner, Kari (April 2, 2015). "BYUtv to release full third season of Cold War drama 'Granite Flats'". Daily Herald. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- Pierce, Scott D. (April 2, 2015). "New season of 'Granite Flats' streams Saturday". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- Freedman, Samuel G. (November 1, 2014). "Pop Culture and Religious Sensibility on a Mormon TV Network". The New York Times. p. A23. Archived from the original on 2014-11-11.
- Pierce, Scott D. (April 20, 2015). "BYUtv's 'Granite Flats' will stream on Netflix". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- Pierce, Scott D. "A special message to Granite Flats fans". Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- Freedman, Samuel G. (31 Oct 2014). of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints-tv-network.html "Pop Culture and Religious Sensibility on a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints TV Network" Check
|url=value (help). New York Times. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- Miller, Liz Shannon (18 May 2015). "Why You Need to Know About 'Granite Flats,' Netflix's Newest Drama". Indiewire. Retrieved 22 May 2015. Note:
- "Granite Flats Season 1 episodes". IMDB. April 5, 2013.
- "Granite Flats Season 2 episodes". IMDB. April 4, 2014.
- Breaking: Granite Flats returns in Spring 2015
- "Granite Flats Season 3 episodes". IMDB. April 2, 2015.