Sierra Teller Ornelas on ‘Rutherford Falls’ – deadline
Sierra Teller Ornelas introduced us to the world of Rutherford Falls and we are totally on board.
The freshman comedy Peacock marks a reunion between Ornelas and Michael Shur who previously worked on Brooklyn nine-nine together. Ornelas’ resume also includes work on acclaimed comedies such as Happy endings,Separate, andHypermarket. On top of all this, Ornelas signed a global agreement with Universal Television in 2019. She’s on the move.
Co-created by Ornelas, Shur and Ed Helms, Rutherford Falls follows best friends Nathan Rutherford (Helms) and Reagan Wells (the hilarious Jana Schmieding), who find themselves at a crossroads – literally – when their sleepy town receives an unexpected awakening. Nathan is a descendant of the founder of the city who is proud of his family history; and Reagan is a member of the Minishonka Nation, who dreams of standing up for their own history. From there, things get wonderfully complicated. An announcement on the show’s premiere date is coming up, but I wanted to put it on your radar.
Ornelas, who is Navajo and Mexican, serves as showrunner for the series, which marks one of the first times television has seen a native-centric sitcom – and is not stereotypical. In fact, it gives a new and thoughtful perspective on the Indigenous community that helps us unlearn the problematic media portrayal of the community we have been nourished with for decades. Deadline’s new Hollywood podcast spoke with Ornelas about how this groundbreaking show strengthens the representation of Indigenous creatives in the entertainment industry. Listen to the episode below.