The friendship of two lifelong pals is put to the test in “Rutherford Falls,” a Peacock original comedy from co-creators Ed Helms, Michael Schur, and Sierra Teller Ornelas. The new series was well-received by critics and earned a Rotten Tomatoes score of 94%. Ed Helms stars as the lead character, Nathan Rutherford, the descendant of the town’s white colonial founder. Lead actress Jana Schmieding plays opposite Helms as Reagan Well, Nathan’s best friend who’s also part of the indigenous Minishonka Nation in New York.
Below is a complete guide to the characters we meet in season one of “Rutherford Falls.” We’ve also included info about the next season, the show’s writers, and where you can watch the talented cast perform their work today.
Main Cast and Characters of “Rutherford Falls”
The town of Rutherford Falls is full of interesting characters played by a diverse cast. Here are the main characters from season one:
Ed Helms as Nathan Rutherford:
Nathan runs the town’s heritage museum and is very proud of his ancestry. He believes he’s a descendant of the town’s founder, Lawrence Rutherford. Nathan feels his family’s legacy is being threatened when the mayor wants to remove a statue of Rutherford that’s causing car crashes in the middle of town.
Helms is an American writer, producer, comedian, and actor. He’s best known for his role as Andy Bernard in NBC’s “The Office,” but he’s also been on “The Daily Show” and many movies. A man of many talents, Helms is part of a bluegrass band that he formed with his friends in college (The Lonesome Trio). He plays banjo, guitar, and piano and is the founder of the annual LA Bluegrass Situation festival and co-founder of The Bluegrass Situation music blog.
Jana Schmieding as Reagan Wells:
Reagan is Nathan’s good friend who’s concerned about preserving her people’s heritage, too — the Minishonka Nation. She’s trying to get a cultural center for Native Americans up and running in the Minishonka’s casino.
Schmieding is a Native American comedian, actor, and writer. She’s also the host of the podcast “Women of Size,” which talks about discrimination women face because of their bodies. Schmieding grew up in traditional Lakota ways in Oregon and went on to study theater at the University of Oregon after high school. When her acting career didn’t take off at first, she dedicated herself to her writing. She landed a writing gig with “Rutherford Falls” — and then ended up being cast as a main character.
Michael Greyeyes as Terry Thomas:
Terry is the C.E.O. of the Minishonka’s casino. He’s ambitious and smart and wants to achieve great things for his nation.
Greyeyes is an Indigenous Canadian actor who has had a long career in TV and film. For his role as Terry Thomas in “Rutherford Falls,” he was nominated for the Gotham Independent Film Award 2021: Outstanding Performance in a New Series. As a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School, Greyeyes is also an accomplished dancer and choreographer.
Jesse Leigh as Bobbie Yang:
Bobbie is a hardworking high school student and Nathan Rutherford’s personal assistant.
Leigh is a non-binary young actor from Los Angeles, California. Their previous work includes the TV shows “Heathers,” “Foursome,” “Superstore,” and “Henry Danger.” After Leigh’s audition for Bobbie on “Rutherford Falls,” the character was rewritten as a nonbinary person because they fit the role so well.
Dustin Milligan as Josh Carter:
Rutherford Falls may be a small town, but it has recently stirred up a lot of drama. Josh is a podcaster and out-of-town reporter who travels to Rutherford Falls to cover the story of the removal of “Big Larry,” the town’s famous founder statue.
Milligan is a Canadian actor who has been on the scene since the early 2000s. He’s best known for his role as Ethan Ward on The CW’s “90210” and for his role as Theodore “Ted” Mullens on “Schitt’s Creek.”
Recurring Cast and Characters of “Rutherford Falls”
Below is a full list of recurring characters from season one:
- Dana L. Wilson as Deirdre Chisenhall, the current Mayor of Rutherford Falls who believes the statue of Lawrence Rutherford needs to be moved.
- Ben Koldyke as Dudley ‘Duz’ Rutherford, the brother of main character Nathan Rutherford.
- Mimi Gianopulos as Kaitlyn, the Vice President of Communications at Rutherford Inc.
- Monica Padman as Melanie, Kaitlyn’s assistant at Rutherford Inc.
- Devery Jacobs as Jess Wells, Reagan Wells’s cousin and Terry Thomas’s assistant at the casino.
- Kiawentiio as Maya Thomas, daughter of casino manager Terry Thomas.
- Bobby Wilson as Wayne, an employee at the Minishonka casino.
- Julia Jones as Sally, an employee at the Minishonka casino.
- Beth Stelling as Ms. Fish, a teacher who has a big, obvious crush on Nathan Rutherford.
- Paul F. Tompkins as Professor Tobias James Kaufman, Nathan Rutherford’s old history professor who’s writing a book about the Rutherfords.
- Geraldine Keams as Rayanne, a Minishonka woman.
- Adam Farabee as Charlie Cromwell.
- Jason Grasl as Forest Grant.
- Chevonne Hughes as Bonnie.
- Camille Schurer as Madison.
Who Are the Writers of “Rutherford Falls?”
“Rutherford Falls” is a unique TV series that brings diversity and inclusion to the Hollywood entertainment scene. Half of the show’s writing staff are Native writers to help ensure the accuracy of the portrayal of Indigenous people. The Native writers are also from various tribes across the country and work hard to create a positive representation of Indigenous issues.
The five writers currently working on the show include:
- Teller Ornelas (Navajo)
- Bobby Wilson (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota)
- Tai Leclaire (Kanien’kehá:ka [Mohawk Nation]/Mi’kmaq)
- Jana Schmieding (Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux)
- Tazbah Chavez (Bishop Paiute/Nüümü/Diné/San Carlos Apache)
Other writers for “Rutherford Falls” include the following:
- Ed Helms
- Mike Schur
- Sierra Teller Ornelas
- Eric Ledgin
- Rupinder Gill
- Lauren Tyler
- Marcos Luevanos
- Matt Murray
Two new Indigenous writers will become part of the writers’ room for the second season of “Rutherford Falls,” comedian Dash Turner (Yurok) and Azie Dungey (Pamunkey), known for her work on “Girls5eva” and the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Is “Rutherford Falls” a Real Place?
With all that’s been in the news about removing statutes, it’s possible that “Rutherford Falls” felt like it was based on a true story to some viewers. However, the town of Rutherford Falls isn’t a real place. The show is set in a fictional town in New York state and filmed in Los Angeles. The neighboring Minishonka Nation is also fictional, but dealing with Indigenous-settler relationships — even to this day — is a real-world issue.
Where Can you Watch Rutherford Falls: Season 1?
Season one of “Rutherford Falls” premiered on April 22, 2021, on Peacock. Production was headed by the following executive producers: Michael Schur, Ed Helms, Sierra Teller Ornelas, Mike Falbo, David Miner, and Morgan Sackett. The first season of the show ran for a total of 10 episodes, listed here in chronological release date order:
- Buckheart Lodge
- Aunt Ida’s 90th Birthday
- Terry Thomas
- History Fair
- Rutherford Inc.
“Rutherford Falls” is available for streaming only on Peacock TV at this time.
Is “Rutherford Falls” Canceled?
“Rutherford Falls” fans will be happy to know that the show will be returning for a second season in 2022. Peacock renewed the series on July 8, 2021, but has yet to release a premiere date for the new season. After the shocking twist in episode 10, it’s expected that season two will continue to address the issues of colonialism and progressivism.
Sneak Peak of “Rutherford Falls” Season 2
In a recent interview for Native American Heritage Month, show co-creator and writer Sierra Teller Ornelas revealed some insights into the upcoming season. Viewers can expect a lot of fun, romance, friendship, and some Native-specific stories. Here are a few other tidbits Ornelas shared about the premiere of season two:
- There’s a time jump between seasons.
- Terry’s trying to change the town.
- Reagan is still fighting for her cultural center.
- Where is Nathan?
Ornelas also revealed that there would be two new people joining the “Rutherford Falls” cast in season two. Dallas Goldtooth is set to play Nelson, a new curator at Reagan’s museum and possible love interest. Kaniehtiio Horn will take on the role of Feather, a gym owner with a big personality who really gets on Terry’s nerves (in a funny way, of course).
Read More About Your Favorite New TV Shows and Movies on BuddyTV
We love when fresh shows like “Rutherford Falls” come around because there are so many new and interesting things to discuss. It’s fantastic that Native writers and actors are getting a chance to share more of themselves and their stories on the small screen. We can’t wait to see what else is in store for the “Rutherford Falls” crew in season two.
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