OKC to be focus of TNT drama
Here's a post off okmet.org about the series we've been hearing about...I especially love the part about the bad guy being named after Austin, TX.
By Mary Reinauer Funk Special to The Oklahoman
Former Oklahoma City resident Nancy Miller is in town to celebrate the green light from the TNT network on the production of her new series, “Grace,” set in Oklahoma City, which is to begin filming in March. The official word from the network came to Miller, the show’s writer, creator and executive producer, on Dec. 15.
Miller’s other credits include “The Round Table,” “Leaving L.A.” and “Any Day Now.”
“Grace” stars Oscar-winning actress Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) in the title role and is very much about the city Miller calls her hometown.
“I wanted a show set in the Bible Belt and I want people to understand what a great city Oklahoma City is,” Miller said. “I want her (Grace) surrounded by good, honest, solid, fun, Godfearing people, and of course, OU football.”
Miller, who graduated from Bishop McGuinness High School and attended the University of Oklahoma from 1972-77, still is an avowed Sooners football fan. Other Sooners might divine this fact just from watching “Grace” when the show debuts in July.
“All of the last names of the good guys are cities in Oklahoma. But the last name of the bad guy is Austin,” Miller said, in reference to the city of OU’s football rival, the University of Texas.
The lead character Grace, a street-tough detective with the Oklahoma City Police Department, may well need a solid citizenry behind her, as well as some divine intervention.
“The show is very edgy. There is a lot of humor and a lot of raw emotion,” Miller said. “It’s about a woman who doesn’t believe in God. She is visited by an irascible angel who will drag her, kicking and screaming, on a journey of redemption.”
Although Miller’s depiction of Grace’s lifestyle might bother the audience in which the story is set, Miller said it is by no means gratuitous. “I had to start her at a place of complete pain and destructive behavior in order to take her on this journey.”
Miller hopes her audience will be able to relate to the character, perhaps even in a Biblical sense. “Grace is like all of us. She’s a sinner. She has her questions about why bad things happen and has even been angry at God for some of the things that have happened to her.
“But she’s a good person who needs a spiritual focus in her life, just like we all do,” Miller said.
Some of the pilot is shot in Oklahoma City, but most of it was made on location in Canada. The series will be shot in Los Angeles. But that has not stopped Miller from touting her hometown to Hollywood big-wigs.
“Holly (Hunter) and our director, Sergio Mimcama-Gezzan, were here in September for a couple of days,” Miller said. “We ate at Cattleman’s and did Oklahoma City things to try to give them a taste of the unique flavor of Oklahoma City. They loved it. We tried to make it to Johnnie’s (Charcoal Broiler), but we didn’t have time. But we did make it to Sonic for a cherry limeade.”
Hometown folks likewise stepped up for the kickoff, Miller said. “Jill Simpson and Dino Lali from the Oklahoma film board have been spectacular in helping us. We shot here for a day in October and hope to be back when we start shooting in March for a couple of days, at least. Becky Switzer (Barry Switzer’s wife) has been a tremendous help to us as well.”