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Oscar-nominee Jeremy Renner stars in a gritty new series about a family of prison profiteers
Yellowstone has been such a success for Paramount Network, it’s yielding another dark family thriller from the same creative team.
As that aforementioned Kevin Costner-led western continues its fourth season, it’ll be joined this Sunday by Mayor of Kingstown, co-created by Yellowstone‘s Taylor Sheridan and Canadian actor Hugh Dillon (Flashpoint). It casts Jeremy Renner as Mike McLusky, the for-profit prison magnate, power broker, part-time gangster and unofficial mayor of a small Michigan town where the law doesn’t always rule. A delicate balance results among politicians, police officers, guards and convicts—not to mention McLusky and his own relatives.
We’re both just ecstatic with how this has transpired, says Dillon, who channelled his own upbringing in making Mayor of Kingstown with old pal Sheridan. We were two broke actors in L.A., he was my acting coach, and we just had this concept and created this world and these characters. And 10 years later, here we are. We’re just thrilled.
Renner, who worked with Sheridan on the 2017 film Wind River, is also a producer on Mayor of Kingstown. He explains: I love the strength of this character. I love the strength, really, of all the characters. It all starts with the limited, bleak surroundings they are surrounded by. That’s what we all share, the good guys and the bad guys [in this], the ugly of it all. We are… I don’t want to say ‘victims,’ but ultimately products, of our environment.
The cast also includes Emmy-winner Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) as Mike’s brother/partner-in-crime Mitch and two-time Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest as their mother, as well as Taylor Handley, Emma Laird, Tobi Bamtefa and Game of Thrones‘ Aidan GIllen. Training Day‘s Antoine Fuqua directs the pilot.
Regarding what drives his Mayor of Kingstown alter ego, Renner reasons: Morality comes from somewhere. You can have your experiences and try to identify and define the morality that’s been set before you within family, but then we all grow up and have our own life experiences, and how we choose to overcome them or [are] victimized by them… A lot of things define Mike McLusky, and it all starts with the family.
That, I think, will separate this show and widen it to be not just a prison drama, Renner concludes. It really expands itself into a much more poetic and emotional context of the family and sacrifices.
Note that, after this week’s premiere, episode two will air on Paramount Network next Sunday, before the show moves over to streaming service Paramount+ exclusively, where it’ll roll out weekly for the remainder of its 10-episode run.
Mayor of Kingstown airs Sundays at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. & 10 p.m. on Paramount Network