After having enormous success in the romance TV space with Sweet Magnolias, Firefly Lane, and Virgin River, Netflix is expanding further into the space with Ransom Canyon. After a delay in production, filming will be underway in January 2024.
The project was first referenced in an interview with Netflix’s head of drama, Jinny Howe, back in August 2022, where it was cited as one of the big bets Netflix had in its upcoming lineup.
In the interview, Howe said, “It’s a multi-generational family show set on a ranch, and we say it’s Virgin River meets Yellowstone. We think that it’s going to deliver on all the romance and again it will be a really beautiful vista and setting, very escapist. It is in development in the early stages, but we’re very excited about it; it feels very promising.”
What’s on Netflix can reveal that Netflix has been developing the project since at least September 2021, when it optioned all 11 book entries. Season 1 will consist of 10 60-minute episodes.
What are the Ransom Canyon books about?
As mentioned, Netflix has optioned the entire library of the Ransom Canyon book series, which was released between 2015 and 2019 and includes:
- Ransom Canyon
- Winter’s Camp
- Rustler’s Moon
- Lone Heart Pass
- Sunrise Crossing
- Wild Horse Springs
- Indigo Lake
- Mistletoe Miracles
- A Christmas Affair
- Christmas in Winter Valley
Courtesy of GoodReads, here’s what you can expect from the adaptation should it largely follow the first book:
“Rancher Staten Kirkland, the last descendent of Ransom Canyon’s founding father, is rugged and practical to the last. No one knows that when his troubling memories threaten to overwhelm him, he runs to lovely, reclusive Quinn O’Grady… or that she has her own secret that no one living knows.
Young Lucas Reyes has his eye on the prize—college, and the chance to become something more than a ranch hand’s son. But one night, one wrong decision, will set his life on a course even he hadn’t imagined.
Yancy Grey is running hard from his troubled past. He doesn’t plan to stick around Ransom Canyon, just long enough to learn the town’s weaknesses and how to use them for personal gain. Only Yancy, a common criminal since he was old enough to reach a car’s pedals, isn’t prepared for what he encounters.
In this dramatic new series, the lives, loves and ambitions of four families will converge, set against a landscape that can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful, where passion, property and pride are worth fighting—and even dying—for.”
Jodi Thomas is behind the series, has over 100 book credits, and is a New York Times bestseller. Thomas’s most recent book series began in April 2023, with Strawberry Lane described as a “heartwarming new series that’s the epitome of comfort reading.”
Who’s behind Ransom Canyon for Netflix?
April Blair will be fronting the show as creator, writer, and executive producer. Best known for her work as creator of the hit The CW series All American, Blair has also worked on Netflix’s Wednesday and You.
Amanda Marsalis (Ozark, The Umbrella Academy) is on board to direct the first two episodes.
Ahead of the reveal of Blair and Marsalis being attached, we know Dan Angel is serving as a producer on the project through Fezziwig Studios, which lists the series in their upcoming projects. Active in Hollywood since the mid-1980s, the producer worked recently on Netflix’s Rescued by Ruby but is best known for titles like Goosebumps, The X-Files, Gifted Hands, and Door to Door. Other projects Angel has in development at the time of publishing include Out of My Mind for Disney+, If I Run and In 27 Days Sony, and Julie of the Wolves for Warner Bros. Brian Gott also serves as producer.
Who’s Starring in Ransom Canyon?
In December 2023, Netflix announced its main two cast members for the upcoming series.
“Josh Duhamel (The Lost Husband, Transformers, Love, Simon) will play Staten Kirkland, owner and sole occupant of the sprawling Double K Ranch. Steadfast and stoic, Staten leads the charge to resist outside forces threatening his way of life and the land that he loves.
Minka Kelly (Euphoria, Friday Night Lights) Quinn has often found herself in the shadow of others, but after a stint in New York pursuing her career as a concert pianist, she has returned to Ransom Canyon to carve out a new path for herself.”
Further cast members have been revealed. Joining the cast as series regulars are;
James Brolin (Traffic) as Cap Fuller, Lizzy Greene (A Million Little Things) as Lauren Brigman, Eoin Macken (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter) as Davis, Jack Schumacher (Top Gun: Maverick) as Yancy Grey, Marianly Tejada (One Of Us Is Lying) as Ellie Estevez, Garrett Wareing (God is a Bullet) as Lucas Russell.
Actors confirmed for recurring roles are;
Justin Johnson Cortez (Walker) as Kai, Kate Burton (Big Trouble in Little China) as Katherine Bullock, Jennifer Ens (Chapelwaite) as Ashley, Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider) as Senator Samuel Kirkland, Niko Guardado (Party of Five) as Tim O’Grady, Casey W. Johnson (For All Mankind) as Kit Russell, Jaren K. Robledo (Rez Ball) as Jack Yellowbird, and Kenneth Miller (12 Strong) as Freddie
When will production start on Ransom Canyon?
According to ProductionWeekly Issue 1354, the series was initially scheduled to begin filming on September 12th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is expected to be filmed at Albuquerque Studios, owned by Netflix as of October 2018, with the complex currently being expanded.
Due to the writers’ and actors’ strikes in Hollywood in 2023, production was delayed and pushed back by several months. We recently learned of the new filming dates, which will commence on January 30th, 2024, and last for five months, ending by June 27th, 2024.
We’ll be keeping you posted on everything we know about Ransom Canyon as and when we learn more.
Are you excited about the upcoming Netflix family drama? Let us know in the comments below.