Should ABC's Big Sky Be A Limited Series?

big sky abc cassie kyle bunbury
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoilers ahead for the second episode of ABC's Big Sky, called "Nowhere to Run."

Big Sky made a splash with its series premiere last week by ending the hour with leading man Ryan Phillippe being brutally killed off. The show dispelled any doubts that Phillippe's Cody could have possibly survived early in "Nowhere to Run," with Legarski and Ronald disposing of Cody's truck (and presumably body) by burying them in a field. With Cody dead, the danger rising for Cassie, time possibly running short for the abducted young women, and the plot thickening, I find myself wondering: should Big Sky be a limited series that ends after one season?

The first season of Big Sky is slated to run for ten episodes, and it's down to Katheryn Winnick's Jenny and Kylie Bunbury's Cassie to try and find the missing sisters and Jerrie now that Cody is no longer among the living. Jenny and Cassie have their suspicions that something happened to Cody, but they don't yet know that he's dead. Legarski and Ronald's trafficking operation has been very successful on a large scale for a long time, but Ronald has already made the kinds of mistakes that can definitely end in getting caught... and wrapping the case that is driving the entire series.

The mystery is very compelling at this point, and I'm already concerned about Cassie now that Legarski knows that she's onto him, but it's arguably also not sustainable. Whatever the fates of Danielle, Grace, and Jerrie ultimately are on Big Sky, I'm guessing that the resolution one way or the other will come by the end of the first season. The show is also based on C.J. Box's 2013 novel The Highway. While every TV adaptation takes liberties with the source material, the original story has a beginning, middle, and end, and it might be for the best that Big Sky goes down as a one-off limited series.

A lot of plot pieces had to come together just the right way for Jenny and Cassie to begin working together for this case. After all, they literally came to blows in the series premiere after Jenny found out that Cassie and Cody were sleeping together. They're working to find these girls who are connected to Cody and Jenny's son, and now to find Cody.

Would it make sense for them to continue to work together once the case is solved? And how many huge mysteries are going to come to the same small community of Montana? I would love to see a show of Jenny and Cassie investigating together, but Big Sky isn't setting itself up as the next network TV crime procedural. A limited series might be for the best.

That said, C.J. Box actually wrote three more books featuring Cassie Dewell and set in the same universe as The Highway, so Big Sky does have more source material to draw from for future seasons if ABC wants to keep the show created by David E. Kelley running beyond the first season. Interestingly, Kelley created HBO's Big Little Lies, which was based on a book and originally debuted as a limited series before receiving a renewal.

Find out what the future holds (or doesn't hold) with new episodes of Big Sky on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. For some viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule and our 2021 winter and spring premiere guide.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).