Nancy Miller and Leon Rippy (Photo by Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman Archives)
The Oklahoman’s George Lang spoke Friday with Nancy Miller, the Oklahoma City-born creator, executive producer and writer on the TNT drama “Saving Grace,” about the news that the show will end next summer.
Miller told George that TNT wanted another full-season order for the series, but the show’s studio, Fox, declined for fiscal reasons.
Instead, word came down that the show will end next summer with a shorter nine-episode season.
“Saving Grace” is set in Oklahoma City and stars Oscar winner Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko, a hard-living police detective who in a moment of crisis asks for God’s help. The answer to her prayer is a rather unusual angel named Earl (Leon Rippy) who is sent to offer Grace her final chance at redemption.
Miller’s ultimate hope – which many of the cast members, including Hunter, also expressed – was for the series to eventually be filmed in Oklahoma instead of Los Angeles. It was a big longshot, and now it will never happen.
Though it was filmed elsewhere, the show incorporated many references to Oklahoma, including OU-Texas-OSU football rivalries, character names taken from Oklahoma town names and Grace’s frequent cravings for a Johnnie’s burger.
Miller told George she would have liked to continue the show beyond 2010 but she’s glad she got to tell the story of Grace.
“Here’s the deal. Ultimately, I’m glad I got to tell these stories,” she told George. “I got to set a show in Oklahoma City, my hometown, tell the story of Grace Hanadarko and explore God. No one can take that away. I’m thrilled I got three years out of this. I wish we could go on creatively, but I can’t be that mad at Fox, you know? They’re losing money, and it’s a business.
“Now I just want to send Grace out in a great, great way,” she said. “Honor this character, these people and this city.”
Click here to read the rest of George’s interview with Miller.