A new CBS show is coming and it has just booked a slate of talents to integrate its main cast. Rust Belt News is a comedy series that follows the inhabitants of a small Ohio town that are taken by surprise when the only local newspaper goes out of business. That means that the only “reporters” that can work on the town’s stories, gossip, and more sensitive subjects are the members of the high school newspaper, and they decide to live up to the task. What could go wrong?
CBS announced six names that are part of the main cast, starting with Jayma Mays, who will play Rachel. She is the typical housewife and councilwoman with mayoral aspirations, but who also runs a successful Instagram profile. Mays is best known for her role in the long-running Fox musical series Glee, and she was recently on NBC’s short-lived Trial & Error. She also integrated the cast of Bill & Ted Face the Music.
Rich Sommer will be a seasoned journalist who has no choice but to join the underground newspaper with the kids. He probably thinks he’ll teach a thing or two to the high schoolers, but we can see jokes about the old days of newspapers coming a mile away. Sommer is known for his role on AMC’s Mad Men, and was recently on Netflix’s GLOW, Hulu’s The Dropout, and Academy Award nominee King Richard.
Rounding up the adult main cast is Angel Laketa Moore as Wendy, a woman who is forced to leave Manhattan to go to Ohio – and ends up becoming the series’ town’s first Black mayor. Moore integrated the cast of the final seasons of ER and guest-starred in several series, including 9-1-1, Shameless, Southland, and Black-ish. She was recently on Netflix’s Atypical.
The teenage main cast includes Lauren Lindsay Donzis as Mack, a high-schooler who dreams of becoming a big-time New York reporter. She’s the one who decides to start the underground newspaper. Donzis was in Netflix’s No Good Nick and did voice acting for Disney’s 101 Dalmatian Street. She was recently in Peacock’s sequel series Punky Brewster.
Bentley Green plays Lucas, the mayor’s son who moved with his mother from Manhattan to Ohio against his will. Green was in School of Rock (the TV series), Mr. Iglesias and guest-starred on shows like Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor. He was recently in FX’s Snowfall and is also set to integrate the cast of upcoming AMC series 61st Street.
Last but not least, Rust Belt News has Bailey Gavulic as Kelsey, the daughter of Rachel who is learning the fun side of being rebellious while trying to maintain a perfect-girl façade for her mother. Gavulic is booking her first major role after guest starring on At The End of the Day and Fear the Walking Dead.
Rust Belt News is written by Emmy winner Matt Warburton, who has written for The Simpsons, Community, The Mindy Project and The Sex Lives of College Girls. Academy Award nominee Jeff Blitz (American Auto) is attached to direct the pilot.
CBS is yet to announce further details of Rust Belt News, including additional cast and release date.