What is Saving Grace?:
Starring Academy Award-winner Holly Hunter and set in Oklahoma City, the crime drama Saving Grace premiered July 23, 2007 on cable station TNT. Hunter plays OKC detective Grace Hanadarko whose destructive ways will be addressed by her tobacco-chewing guardian angel Earl. Though it's largely filmed in Los Angeles and Canada, the metro has made and is expected to occasionally make appearances.
What is it about?:
Viewers should not go in expecting a family show in the vein of Touched by an Angel or Highway to Heaven. Though it focuses on spirituality and includes an angel as a major character, the pilot episode showed that Saving Grace is an adult-themed program. With a TV-MA rating, the opening had an unclothed Holly Hunter in a fairly graphic-for-television love scene with a married co-worker.
Hanadarko is scarred by a past in which her sister was killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing
. She has become a sarcastic and cynical heavy drinker and smoker who hits a man during a drunken high-speed ride in her Porsche. As the man dies, she asks for God's help, and Earl appears.
It's her last chance, says the guardian angel. She must change her ways. But much resistance to that change is sure to follow.
How can I watch it?:
The show airs on Monday nights at 9pm CST
on TNT. On Cox Cable, TNT is channel 31. On Directv, it's channel 245, and you'll find it on Dish Network's channel 138.
Why Oklahoma City?:
Saving Grace was created by writer/producer Nancy Miller, an Oklahoma City native. Miller attended Bishop McGuinness High School and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.
In addition, Miller felt like show, which centers on spiritual and religious themes "needed a Bible Belt setting."
What will we see of the metro?:
The pilot episode was filmed, for the most part, in Canada, but producers did film a bit in Oklahoma City, including an extensive closing scene at the OKC National Memorial
. Future episodes will be shot in Los Angeles, and it is unknown how much, if any, will be filmed in the metro.
That said, in October of 2007, a group of show producers, cast members and writers will visit Oklahoma City for "research" purposes. They will attend an OU game
, the Oklahoma Centennial Parade
and a couple of other metro events. They will also be trying to raise $3 million from OKC businesses to shoot in Oklahoma City for future episodes.
Also, Miller has colored up the show with plenty of Oklahoma references. Various items of OU merchandise are prominently displayed in the police station, and several characters have names of Oklahoma towns such as "Ham Dewey," "Butch Ada," "Bobby Stillwater," "Lt. Yukon" and "Cpt. Perry." Hunter's character name is an adaptation of "Anadarko."
Is it any good?:
According to Nielsen Media Research, the Saving Grace pilot episode was the most-watched basic cable series premiere of the year with 6.4 million viewers. Viewer retention, a much better indicator of quality, was encouraging as well, prompting TNT to order 15 new episodes for a 2nd season.
What do you think of the show? Post your thoughts in the comments section here
or on the OKC Discussion Forum