‘Big Sky’ Star J. Anthony Pena Promoted to Series Regular

by Joe Rutland

Look for J. Anthony Pena to appear more as Poppernak as Big Sky is promoting him to a series regular, Deadline reports. Pena appeared in 16 episodes in Season 2 and plays the Sheriff’s Department partner of Jenny Hoyt, played by Katheryn Winnick. But there are more changes afoot in the ABC drama. The show also is making five other stars into recurring roles. They include Seth Gabel, Luke Mitchell, Anirudh Pisharody, Henry Ian Cusick, and Madelyn Horcher.

As for Pena, he’s been quite busy in recurring roles for the FX show Mayans M.C. and Crackle’s The Oath. Pena also had a guest-starring turn on S.W.A.T. on CBS as well as Apple TV+’s The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. This show’s Season 3 starts up on ABC on September 21.

Reba McEntire Will Appear On ‘Big Sky’ As Sunny Barnes

What can we look forward to in Season 3? Hoyt, Cassie Dewell, played by Kylie Bunbury, and sheriff Beau Arlen, played by Jensen Ackles, will oversee issues in Helena, Montana. Yet we also get a Reba McEntire sighting as Sunny Barnes, who was also known as Sunny Brick. Barnes’ backcountry trip does not work out, and it becomes a major part of this show’s storyline.

Mitchell will play Cormac, who is Barnes’ son. Gabel will appear as Walter, who happens to be a recluse in the wilderness of Montana. Cusick stars as Avery, and he’s along for Barnes’ trip with stepdaughter Emily. Pisharody comes on the show as Luke. Horcher pops up as Paige. David E. Kelley created this show based on the books of author C.J. Box.

Longtime fans of Ackles know him from his work on Supernatural opposite Jared Padalecki of Walker. For McEntire, this marks a return to ABC, where her popular sitcom Reba aired. Season 3 of this show is already sizing up to be one worth tuning into each week. Yes, you can expect to see Ronald Pergman, played by Brian Geraghty, show up and cause problems. Other cast members include Dedee Pfeiffer, Omar Metwally, Anja Savcic, and Janina Gavankar.

Here’s a little trivia note about Winnick. Did you know that her first language is not English? The actress’ family emigrated to Canada from Ukraine. “We spoke Ukrainian at home, and obviously English as well,” Winnick said during an appearance on the ABC talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! “We went to Ukrainian school every Saturday, which is always a pain in the butt when you have to go every Saturday!” As you might know, Winnick has been keeping up with the war taking place in her homeland. She has been quite vocal in her support of Ukraine at this time.