Lights. Cattle. Action.

The Old West meets the New South when real-life cowboys are featured in new television series

By John Underwood / john@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 8/4/17

By John Underwood

john@gulfcoastmedia.com

ROBERTSDALE — Life continues to be a bit of a whirlwind for Robertsdale’s Cody Harris and friends Bubba Thompson and Chris “Booger” …

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Lights. Cattle. Action.

The Old West meets the New South when real-life cowboys are featured in new television series

Robertsdale’s Cody Harris, left, is set to premiere a new reality series, “The Cowboy Way: Alabama” with fellow ranchers Booger Brown, center, and Bubba Thompson on Aug. 10.
Robertsdale’s Cody Harris, left, is set to premiere a new reality series, “The Cowboy Way: Alabama” with fellow ranchers Booger Brown, center, and Bubba Thompson on Aug. 10.
PHOTOS COURTESY INSP
Posted

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Life continues to be a bit of a whirlwind for Robertsdale’s Cody Harris and friends Bubba Thompson and Chris “Booger” Brown.

It is actually 6:30 a.m. in California when Harris calls to do a phone interview to promote his new show “The Cowboy Way: Alabama,” which is set to premiere at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. locally) Thursday, Aug. 10 on the INSP network.

“I’ve already been up for over an hour and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing off the hook,” he said. It’s been like that for the last couple days.

Later that day, Harris was scheduled to fly back to Alabama to begin filming Season 2 of the series. The network announced the move to schedule more episodes in June, two months before the first episode was set to air.

“We are just so blessed that they would do that for us,” said Harris. “It’s just unheard of for a network to order more episodes before the first episode airs and we are very thankful for that.”

According to a release issued by INSP, The Cowboy Way: Alabama “viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at the adventures of three young and charismatic cowboys: Bubba Thompson, rancher and expert carpenter; Cody Harris, rodeo champion and cattle dealer; and Chris "Booger” Brown, expert cattleman and horse trainer.

“Like the cowboys of old, these three friends ride the open range and live according to an old--‐fashioned cowboy code as they build their cattle business in South Alabama. Their days may not be easy, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.”

The network first introduced the trio with a pilot episode which aired in July of 2016. In December, the network announced that it had ordered nine episodes of the series then – during post-production for the new series – announced that a second season had been green-lighted.

“Cowboys have graced the landscape of America for centuries, but what do we really know about them? In the movies, they are depicted as men who ride in, save the day, and then ride off into the sunset,” according to the release. “But most people never see the reality of cowboy life: the getting up before dawn to work long hours; the business acumen needed to be a successful rancher, including the uncertainty of income; the sprains, broken bones and aching muscles that go along with the job; and the sacrifices they make to spend quality time with their families.”

For Harris, it’s about balancing family life (he and his wife Misty welcomed a son in March. He will turn 5 months old the day the first episode airs) two businesses, and all that comes with shooting and promoting a series.

“This is the longest I’ve been away from home since he was born,” Harris said. “It hasn’t been easy but it’s well worth it to put quality, family-oriented entertainment on the airways.”

According to the bio issued by the network, Harris is a longtime pro-rodeo, calf-roping competitor, with more than a few championship buckles.

“He is deeply rooted in rodeo life,” according to the release. “Now retired from competition, and having sold his prized horse, he keeps his hand in the game as a rodeo producer, including the annual ‘Bulls on the Beach’ rodeo in Orange Beach, Alabama.”

The 10th Bulls on the Beach event will be staged in September at the famed Flora-Bama Lounge. Footage from Bulls on the Beach will be filmed for Season 2, Harris said.

Harris and Thompson first met on the set of CMT’s “Southern Nights,” which was filmed in Savanna, Georgia. Both were alumni of the CMT show “Sweet Home Alabama,” which was centered on the Eastern Shore and filmed in and around the Gulf Coast.

“Like Bubba, (Harris) sought love on the dating show, but he found the woman of his dreams at a different kind of competition – the rodeo,” according to the release. In March, 2014, Harris married Misty, a champion barrel racer from Mississippi.

INSP is available nationwide to more than 83 million households via Dish Network (channel 259), DirecTV (channel 364), Verizon FiOS (channel 286), AT&T U-verse (channel 564) and more than 2,800 cable systems.

The Cowboy Way: Alabama is produced for INSP by Glassman Media. Andrew Glassman is the executive producer.

Glassman Media is an independent Los Angeles-based international television production company whose credits include NBC’s upcoming game show The Wall, produced in partnership with Lebron James and his production company Spring Hill Entertainment; four seasons of CMT’s record-setting series, Sweet Home Alabama; four seasons of the NBC hit dating series Average Joe; the critically-acclaimed Three Wishes (NBC), which was named the “most family friendly show on broadcast television.” Adaptations of Glassman Media original formats have been done in territories around the world.

Comparisons to the show have been made with A & E’s “Duck Dynasty” franchise, which focused on the Robertson family in the relatively small town of West Monroe, Louisiana.

“One of the first things I will do when I get back to the area is to show the producers around and introduce them to the people there who support me,” Harris said. “We want the show to have a wide appeal, but I believe that starts at home. I don’t believe it will work if we don’t have local support and I want to show the producers that we have that.”

For more information on INSP and its programming, visit INSP.com.