'Urban Cowboy' Inspires New TV Show - Rolling Stone
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‘Urban Cowboy’ Inspires New TV Show

New series will be based on the 1980 cult classic film, but set in present day

Urban Cowboy

Debra Winger and John Travolta starred in 1980's 'Urban Cowboy,' now being adapted for TV.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Urban Cowboy is getting a 21st century reboot at Fox.

At their presentation to reporters at the summer edition of the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, Fox Television CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman discussed the development of a series based on the 1980 film starring John Travolta and Debra Winger. “There will be elements from the film that are there, but it’s definitely current day,” said Newman.

The show, created by Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer, who is also directing the pilot, has just started the casting process so there are no actors yet attached to the project. “In terms of the timing, we are going to be shooting that pilot in September, and we have put it on a fast track,” Newman explains. “We’re leaving open the possibility of bringing this back at midseason as a series. Otherwise, it would be something that we’d be considering for either summer or fall [of 2016].”

The original film was set in Houston, Texas, at the famous Gilley’s bar and music venue. The new series will also shoot in the Lonestar state, but in the Austin area, as previous shows like The Leftovers and Friday Night Lights have done. 

The Urban Cowboy movie soundtrack went on to be an enormous success spawning several hits including “Lookin’ For Love” by Johnny Lee and “Could I Have This Dance” by Anne Murray. No doubt the producers of the new show hope to have the same success, following in the footsteps of other successful musical shows on Fox like Glee and Empire. “I think it’s a continuing trend to try, especially on broadcast, to have shows that are loud, that incorporate a lot of different elements where you can look to the music side for promotion and to elevate a show,” said Walden.

No word on whether the new show will feature a mechanical bull.

In This Article: John Travolta


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