ABC Reveals Fate Of ‘Big Sky,’ Starring Reba McEntire And Boyfriend, Rex Linn

The show has come to an end after three seasons.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

May 18, 2023

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Reba McEntire and her boyfriend and frequent co-star, Rex Linn, are saying goodbye to their roles on the Montana-based series, Big Sky. Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that after running for three seasons on ABC, the show has been canceled by the network. 

Seven-day Nielsen ratings revealed that the drama-filled series based on the C.J. Box novels, “The Highway,” declined about 15 percent in total viewers, a significant drop from its Season 2 numbers according to The Hollywood Reporter. In its third season, Big Sky: Deadly Trails, the show also saw its shortest run with only 13 episodes. 

As a result, Big Sky ranks nearly last among the eight other dramas that have aired on ABC this season. The news of the show’s cancellation indicates that the Season 3 finale, which aired on January 18, now marks the series finale. 

McEntire landed a gig as a series regular in the final season of the show developed by David E. Kelley. She played the role of Sunny Brick,  a “successful backcountry outfitter with a secret history of missing customers.” Meanwhile, her real-life boyfriend, Linn, also joined the set as Buck Barnes, the husband of McEntire’s character.

“We’re having a blast,” the country icon previously told Deadline. “We’re still in the middle of shooting. We were on set last night [Aug. 11] and there was a full moon. I think we broke around 12:54 a.m. MT. It was a long night but so beautiful. We are really loving it.”

The country singer and her boyfriend also got the chance to work together on the set of the Lifetime movie, The Hammer. This film cast Linn as “a mysterious cowboy with unknown motives,” while the “Fancy” singer portrayed the Nevada traveling judge Kimberly Wanker.

Rex Linn, Reba McEntire in Big Sky; Photo Courtesy ABC

The show follows a pair of private detectives (Winnick and Bunbury) as they investigate local crimes involving missing women, stolen drugs and money, and more. 

Set in Helena, Montana, the first two seasons had a great deal of obscurity on its own, but the latest and final season took on an even gorier turn as the investigation turned to a deadly car wreck.

At the end of Season 2, Jensen Ackles was introduced as Sheriff Beau Arlen. Together, the investigators worked alongside the new Sheriff in town to uncover the answers to the new mystery that has taken over the town. 

During a previous conversation about his new role, Ackles admitted that he was unsure of the fate of his character if the show were to continue to another season. However, he was willing to make a return if the opportunity presented itself.  

“If there’s a contract in place and that’s where they tell me to go, then that’s where I go,” Ackles told Entertainment Weekly. “But I had a great time there and if that was it, and they end up bringing me back for a couple of episodes just to wrap up my story, or if they bring me back full time or they could easily get rid of me in one fell swoop with Jenny going: ‘Beau left, went back to Houston, and that’s it.’ Boom, moving on, season 4.”

“Anything can happen in this industry, and I wouldn’t be surprised by any of it. So I’m prepared for whatever they decide to do,” he shared at the time. 

In lieu of the recent cancelation, neither McEntire, Linn nor Ackles will make their return to the show. 

Reba McEntire; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC
Reba McEntire; Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC

McEntire is clearly no stranger to television. She starred in her very own sitcom, Reba, for six seasons and later appeared in Malibu CountryBaby DaddyLast Man Standing, and Young Sheldon. For her next venture, she has been tapped to join NBC’s The Voice as a coach. McEntire will be replacing Blake Shelton, who has made the decision to step down after 23 seasons on the singing competition show. 

“There’s a new Coach in town! See you all this Fall! #TheVoice,” she wrote in the announcement on Instagram.

Shelton’s time on The Voice will officially come to an end with a two-night finale airing on May 22 and May 23. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.