‘Rutherford Falls’ Feature Largest Indigenous Writing Staff For An American Television Show

‘Rutherford Falls’ feature the largest Indigenous writing staff for an American television show including Sierra Teller Ornelas. 

Russell Ray

AfterBuzz TV Host & Writer
Posted On: August 12th, 2020 9:39 pm pst

Maria Menounos
Keven Undergaro
AfterBuzz TV Founders

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.

Rutherford Falls is a Peacock TV Original which centers around a small upstate New York town that borders a Native American reservation. The town is turned upside down when local Nathan Rutherford, a town legend, fights the moving of a historical statue. 

During a virtual Television Critics Association press tour, Co-creator of the show, Ed Helms said he got inspiration for the show when they thought about “how we related to historical narratives [and] what happens when those historical narratives get turned on its head.”

Mike Schur and Helms wanted to make the show as authentic as possible they decided they “needed a Native American Voice,” which in turn could help in the writing process and give insight to executives to how the show should be shaped. 

Sierra Teller Ornelas who is an executive producer and show runner, is one of five writers that partake in the creation of Rutherford Falls. Ornelas is of Mexivan American and Navajo descent and noted that indigenous writers in the room together gave perspective and insight to each other. 

In the virtual press tour she spoke about how usually Indians are depicted on television, “You just never see Indians on TV. When you do, it’s one guy and he has to transform into a wolf or something,” she said. She also continued to state that the show has “multiple Native American characters.”


Ornelas is no newbie when it comes to advocating for change towards the Indigenous community. At the beginning of summer She advocated for change for the former Washington Redskins football team now known as Washington Football, with a post to her instagram. It’s not surprising that she wants to portray the Indigenous community in a different light on screen unlike many prior Hollywood productions.  

Afterbuzz TV supports positive change in every way and we love to help lend a hand in reporting the great news!

Filming for the show has been delayed due to COVID-19 and health concerns surrounding the pandemic. The team is expected to begin production in the next month. 

About The Author:

Russell Ray is an outgoing high energy multimedia journalist/ producer, Actor,  writer and AfterBuzz TV host. Russell has accreditations with TMZ and The NAACP Image Awards with a passion to bring you breaking news, entertainment segments and interviews.

Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence

“We don’t just celebrate and cover the top shows, content and stars, we celebrate and cover ALL the shows, content and stars.”

Maria Menounos

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