Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The TV Series ‘Outsiders’ Finds a Home in Millvale

Go behind the scenes to meet set and production designers and artisans who work magic, transforming neighborhoods into rural Kentucky.



(page 1 of 2)


Photos by Douglas Duerring

 

Linda Lang didn’t know it, but her Millvale home was ready for its close up.

Location scouts for the WGN America, filmed-in-Pittsburgh series “Outsiders” left a letter in Lang’s door in April 2015. They wanted to consider using the exterior of the white, clapboard house as the home of Ledda Dobbs (played by former Pittsburgher Rebecca Harris), the sister of the show’s sheriff, Wade Houghton (Thomas M. Wright).

“Don’t even think about it,” said John Kelly, Lang’s partner of 20 years.

Too late.
 


Set crews duplicated a stained glass window during filming of WGN America’s “Outsiders.” Inset: Linda Lang and John Kelly of Millvale
 

“When I read it, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ and I started to get excited,” Lang recalls a year and a half later, an “Outsiders” ball cap perched proudly atop her head.
“I just called them to see what it was about before I said no,” Lang says.

The next day, 35 people from the “Outsiders” production were on her doorstep with cameras.

“Do you mind if we look inside?” one of the crew members asked. By the time they left, “Outsiders” location manager John Adkins was sold on casting Lang’s house – exterior and interior – in the show’s first season.

“I said, ‘Why would they pick out my house?’” Lang asks. “And they said because it was homey, and that just melted me.”

Kelly says producers liked the home’s location on a hill with hills in the background, which suits “Outsiders.” The show is set in the fictional eastern Kentucky town of Blackburg.
 


A Millvale police vehicle parked by the education wing of Holy Spirit Parish, which depicts the Crockett County Sheriff’s Department on “Outsiders.”
 

Adkins returned to talk to Kelly, who explained his concerns. At the time the scouts arrived, he was in recovery from throat cancer and didn’t want the disruption of a film crew while his prognosis remained uncertain.

“At the same time, Linda was born and raised in Millvale,” Kelly says. “Her family goes back five generations here. This house was built in 1899 by her grandparents, and she was raised in this house. This was like the ‘Hollywood Minute’ for Linda and bragging rights at least until the day she dies and maybe after, so I said to Adkins, let’s go ahead and do this for the hell of it.”

Kelly got a good report from his doctor, and soon the “Outsiders” cameras were rolling inside and outside the Lang house in 12 of the first season’s 13 episodes.
 

 
(left) actor David Morse and actor Kyle Gallner

“Outsiders” returns for its second season on WGN America on Jan. 24, and Millvale, playing Blackburg, will be even more heavily featured than in season one, according to series creator and executive producer Peter Mattei.

“We have a lot of big things happening in Millvale, and we’re very grateful to that town and the cops and the citizens because we have big marches, car chases, a big, huge parade scene where we utilize all of the people from Millvale Days who came in and helped us,” Mattei says. “Without Millvale, we would not have a show. That town has been so generous to us.”
 

 
(left) actor Thomas M. Wright and (in sheriff’s uniform) and Kerry Patton
 

In season two, the Farrell clan of Shay Mountain — a location played by the woods on the grounds of the Jewish Community Center of Henry Kaufmann Family Park in Monroeville — come into greater conflict with Blackburg townies and the coal company that wants to evict the Farrells to exploit the mountain’s natural resources. Blackburg’s Sheriff Houghton is stuck in the middle.

Creating eastern Kentucky in suburban Pittsburgh can be tricky in some respects — but in others, it’s easy.

“Basically, we’re the Paris of Appalachia anyway, right?” says Elizabeth Township native Barbie Pastorik, a buyer in the show’s set-decorating department. “When I drive into work, I’m driving past hollers, and it’s basically just the Appalachian chain and we’re just part of it.”
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

You'll save money and have an easier time hopping between neighborhoods on a Healthy Ride bicycle.

America’s “Gratest” Celebration of Cheese is Coming to Pittsburgh

Sample cheese of every rind during the American Cheese Society’s annual Festival of Cheese.

The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

If you want "Die Hard" with half the brains but three times the building, the new Dwayne Johnson flick will do a passing job.

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

Empath provides the vibe and social space of a bar, as well as stepped up beverage service ... without the alcohol.

Watch: 12 Questions with WTAE's Sally Wiggin

The WTAE anchor was voted Best Journalist by readers of Pittsburgh Magazine. She answers 12 random questions ranging from her most memorable vacation to who should portray her in a movie.

Tax Credit Brought Mister Rogers Flick to Pittsburgh

The granting of the credit means the majority, if not most of the movie starring Tom Hanks, will indeed be shot in the Pittsburgh area.

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

The competition is as fierce as the fans are passionate and both can be appreciated without a firm grasp of the details.

Jeff Goldblum Day is Causing a Stir in the ’Burgh

Local venues will be celebrating the native actor Friday with Goldblum-themed merchandise and events.

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Aaron Allen comes to Willow by way of 2-star Daniel in New York City. Plus, Greta Harmon joins the staff of the Ohio Township hideaway as the restaurant's new bar manager.

Pittsburgh Developer Offers Location for Riverfront Swings

A developer in the South Side may fulfill KDKA anchor Ken Rice’s wish for shaded benches along the city’s riverfronts.

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

The Wexford Garden and Pond Tour and the Southern Butler County Garden Club tour both take place this weekend.

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

A five-course meal doesn’t fit with every wedding. These laid-back couples opted for casual — and delicious — cuisine perfect for their outdoor and barn receptions.

Expert Opinions on How HQ2 Could Change Pittsburgh

From jobs to housing to technology, six areas which would be impacted if Amazon chose Pittsburgh for its HQ2.

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The Netflix exclusive Josh Brolin flick is pleasant enough, but light on laughs.

The 400-Word Review: The First Purge

The prequel to the horror series has plenty to say. It's just no good at saying it.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


America’s “Gratest” Celebration of Cheese is Coming to Pittsburgh

America’s “Gratest” Celebration of Cheese is Coming to Pittsburgh

Sample cheese of every rind during the American Cheese Society’s annual Festival of Cheese.

Comments

Watch: 12 Questions with WTAE's Sally Wiggin

Watch: 12 Questions with WTAE's Sally Wiggin

The WTAE anchor was voted Best Journalist by readers of Pittsburgh Magazine. She answers 12 random questions ranging from her most memorable vacation to who should portray her in a movie.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

A Pop-Up Bar in Pittsburgh that Serves a Sober Alternative

Empath provides the vibe and social space of a bar, as well as stepped up beverage service ... without the alcohol.

Comments

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Willow Restaurant in the North Hills Lands a New Chef

Aaron Allen comes to Willow by way of 2-star Daniel in New York City. Plus, Greta Harmon joins the staff of the Ohio Township hideaway as the restaurant's new bar manager.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Six Underrated Kennywood Rides You Need to Try Again

Leave enough time in your next visit to Kennywood to revisit some old favorites and these underrated gems.

Comments

The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

Looking to show off your Pittsburgh love? Get your favorite city printed on basically anything at these local shops.

Comments


Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

Stop Using Uber and Lyft, Renting a Bike is Better

You'll save money and have an easier time hopping between neighborhoods on a Healthy Ride bicycle.

Comments

Five Essential July Events in Pittsburgh

Five Essential July Events in Pittsburgh

Parking-lot punk, polished Potter and other July attractions.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

Compelling World Cup Worth a Periodic Embrace

The competition is as fierce as the fans are passionate and both can be appreciated without a firm grasp of the details.

Comments

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

The 400-Word Review: Skyscraper

If you want "Die Hard" with half the brains but three times the building, the new Dwayne Johnson flick will do a passing job.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The Netflix exclusive Josh Brolin flick is pleasant enough, but light on laughs.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

I Do, Now Let’s Have Some BBQ

A five-course meal doesn’t fit with every wedding. These laid-back couples opted for casual — and delicious — cuisine perfect for their outdoor and barn receptions.

Comments

Want Unique Wedding Photos? Track Down the Furries

Want Unique Wedding Photos? Track Down the Furries

Anthrocon returns this weekend for its 22nd annual convention. Here’s the story of one local couple who took advantage of the fact their wedding coincided with the annual gathering.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

Head to the North Hills for Two Blooming Garden Tours

The Wexford Garden and Pond Tour and the Southern Butler County Garden Club tour both take place this weekend.

Comments

Cocktails in the Garden: How to Plant a Happy Hour

Cocktails in the Garden: How to Plant a Happy Hour

Plant and grow the ingredients you need to make a fresh summer drink.

Comments