American gothic gets a lot of play on TV and film. There’s last year’s mystery drama American Gothic, the upcoming horror film American Gothic, and the 1995 Sam Raimi-produced bug nut crazy TV show American Gothic. Southern gothic, the much more fun and fantastical localized form of the gothic genre, gets much less play. Outside of a few Tennessee Williams adaptations and a rogue season of American Horror Story, the Southern gothic genre often feels ignored.
Maybe that will change with a new pilot ordered by ABC for the 2017-2018 season. According to TVLine, it is currently untitled, but being developed by Marc Cherry, who mined suburbia for some light gothic fare in Desperate Housewives. It’s going to star country legend Reba McEntire—whose acting career to date has included long-running sitcom Reba, as well as horror comedy Tremors.
Unfortunately, apart from the name of the town it’s set in (Oxblood), the official logline leans hard on the drama and light on the gothic aspect of the show.
Ruby Adair, the sheriff of colorful small town Oxblood, Kentucky, finds her red state outlook challenged when a young FBI agent of Middle Eastern descent is sent to help her solve a horrific crime. Together they form an uneasy alliance as Ruby takes the agent behind the lace curtains of this southern gothic community to meet an assortment of bizarre characters, each with a secret of their own.
So far the only clues we have to the nature of the show’s horror bent is the use of the words “horrorific” and “Southern gothic.” For all we know the horrific crime could be someone putting sugar in their cornbread.