You probably haven't heard of BYUtv before, but the channel — operated by Brigham Young University — is found in more than 50 million households across the country (including on DirecTV and various cable systems). Now, BYUtv is looking to get into the scripted series game, starting with the Cold War-era Granite Flats.
The show, which airs Sundays at 9/8c, centers on a group of unlikely young heroes in the town of Granite Flats, Colo., where they uncover a secret bigger than anyone expected. Executive producer Scott Swofford says the show was inspired by the real-life Project MKUltra, a human research project conducted by the CIA. With Season 2 of the series underway, Swofford answered our showrunner survey to explain why Granite Flats shouldn't stay a secret much longer.
TV Guide Magazine: I've got room in my life to watch just one more show. Why should it be yours?
Scott Swofford: There's simply nothing else like it. 70% of people who watch the show watch it as a family. Sophisticated, period intrigue for adults, and adventure and romance for kids.
TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?
Swofford: Everyone who is weary of dramas, which simply try to pair up the cast in various intimate combinations until they get cancelled.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch your show?
Swofford: You'll either miss the opportunity to watch something remarkable with your significant child, niece, grandchild, or you'll eventually tire of TV altogether.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said or written about your show?
Swofford: "If they're aliens, at least they wont be naked." — The New York Times.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst thing?
Swofford: Not enough episodes. Eight a year is robbery. Who do you think you are, Downton Abbey?
TV Guide Magazine: Who was right?
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Swofford: Truth, stranger than fiction.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for your show.
Swofford: Homeland minus nudity and the "F" word, plus The Wonder Years, divided by The Goonies.
TV Guide Magazine: Come up with a premise for the spin-off.
Swofford: The Chief takes his family to D.C. and becomes the FBI's most strong silent type.
TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you prefer we forget?
Swofford: The ButterCream Gang in Secret of Treasure Mountain
TV Guide Magazine: Tell me one thing about your cast.
Swofford: They love the show, and come out of devotion for the cause, because we sure aren't getting them here with money.
TV Guide Magazine: If you weren't producing this show, what series would you most like to be an executive producer on?
Swofford: To Kill a Mockingbird, the series.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it on to the screen.
Swofford: There was actually some talk of aliens. Thank goodness we passed.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."
Swofford: Grey vs. Black and White.
TV Guide Magazine: Pick another show, any show, to start a fake feud with.
Swofford: The Walking Dead.
TV Guide Magazine: What other show would you like to do a cross-over episode with — and how would that go?
Swofford: The cast of The Americans could arrive in Granite Flats, and take over MKUltra. It would be bumpy.
TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV as we know it?
Swofford: If the "we" above is under 30, you've never seen this kind of intense, but enlightening fare.
Here's a look at Sunday night's episode of Granite Flats.