Upfronts 2015: First Look At ABC’s ‘Oil’

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Oil (FT)

TVWise continues our Upfronts coverage with a first look at ABC’s new drama series Oil.

From ABC Studios, Oil tells the story of the town of Winslow, North Dakota, after the biggest oil discovery in American history. People are coming from all over the country to strike it rich.  Heading there with big dreams and sky-high ambition are the young married couple of Billy and Cody Lefever (Rebecca Rittenhouse), pulling their truck full of washers and dryers to start their first laundromat. Their plan: to lever-up, and step-by-step, build their fortune from scratch. The growing boomtown of Winslow, ND has 100% employment with oilrig jobs paying $100/per hour. While the champagne is flowing and the clubs and restaurants are packed, living here is shockingly expensive and everyone is too ambitious for a normal paying job. Just ask Sheriff Tip Hamilton — whose department is understaffed as the crime rate is rising — not a good thing in a town full of roughnecks, grifters and newly made millionaires with cash to burn on anything.  This really is a modern-day Wild West. The town’s wealthiest and most powerful man is Hap Briggs.  This iconic self-made oil baron has made billions and lost them too, and he’s married to Carla Briggs, as brilliant in business as she is beautiful. Together, they have the inside track on everything oil, turning that world to their advantage.  This power couple is out to charm Oil And Gas Commissioner, Myron Stipple, a Mormon and not easily seduced by the decadence of the Briggs’ lifestyle.

Hap’s children, Wick (Scott Michael Foster) and Lacey, have their major challenges with stepmother Carla, but it is Wick’s complicated relationship with his successful father that leads to the ultimate showdown between father and son. In the pilot, Hap cuts Wick off, taking him out of his will. Wick gets help from his lover, and ambitious businesswoman, Jules Jackman. Spurned by his father, Wick’s choice is to become a dangerous wild card in the oil game, building his own Cowboy Mafia from scratch. Hap’s daughter, Lacey, is on the opposite side of the oil business: a fracktivist. She’s a bleeding-heart environmentalist — with a brain. Job one is to stop the drilling before it destroys the land, which includes sacred Native American burial grounds the oil is buried two miles under.  Billy and Cody’s dreams are derailed right from the jump when their truck is hit and their washers and dryers are destroyed, strewn like tumbled dice across the highway.  But oil fever is contagious, and after hearing a tip, they leverage everything they have to make a last-ditch play to be become part of the boom, putting them squarely in bed with the Brigg’s family, way over their heads.

Check out the trailer below: