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12 Miles of Bad Road is a television show originally created for HBO[1] centered on a Texas matriarch who must reconcile her booming real estate business and immense wealth with the day-to-day struggles of her dysfunctional family life.



The cast includes:[2][3]

Actor Role
Lily Tomlin Amelia Shakespeare
Mary Kay Place C.Z. Shakespeare
Leslie Jordan Kenny Kingman
Gary Cole Jerry Shakespeare
Katherine LaNasa Juliet Shakespeare
Eliza Coupe Gaylor Shakespeare
David Andrews Saxby Hall
Kim Dickens Jonelle Shakespeare
Cameron Richardson McKenna Hall
Ivana Milicevic Montserrat
Sean Bridgers Lyle Hartsong
Leigh Allyn Baker Marilyn Hartsong
Tara Karsian Deputy Deborah Falcon
Ron White Spain Dollarhyde


12 Miles of Bad Road was created by writer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, creator of television hits Designing Women, Hearts Afire, and Evening Shade. The production company is Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason's Mozark Productions, as well as HBO. The pilot was shot in 2007.[3] Set in Dallas, but shot in Los Angeles, the characters live in the wealthy north Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow.

Ten episodes of the series were ordered by HBO, but because of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, only six episodes were shot.

On 17 March 2008, HBO confirmed that it was not planning to air the show and the creators were shopping the episodes around to other networks.[4]

The title refers to a bad road which is 12 miles (19 km) long.

As of April 2008, HBO has passed on the show and the producers are looking for distribution.

Critical reception

Newsweek called it "a scabrously funny satire of real-estate magnates in Dubya's Texas".[5]

The Los Angeles Times reported that after HBO passed on the show, "despite its price and pedigree" of prestigious actors and producers, the critics got a look:[6]

Sent out to critics by its creators, who hoped to prove that HBO was making a grave mistake, 12 Miles is a nightmare tug of war between the bold, the brilliant and the really, truly terrible. The tale of a Texas real estate dynasty, it cries out not for a review but a psychiatric diagnosis -- schizophrenia? Bipolar disorder? Never have so many Emmy-deserving performances been trapped in such a muddled mess of a more than occasionally offensive storyline.

From the June 2008 issue of Texas Monthly:[7]

Critics be damned, 12 Miles of Bad Road is a blast, a hair-spray-spritzed, bourbon-soaked mash-up of Dallas, Desperate Housewives, and MTV’s Cribs...12 Miles is post-camp, a knowingly sincere (or sincerely knowing) attempt to resuscitate a genre that was long ago drowned out by our über-ironic qualifies as the most underrated show of the decade that almost no one has had the chance to see.

On the producers' decision to send the un-aired episodes to critics, the Toronto Star wrote:[8]

A risky proposition, depending on prevailing opinion, with one thin-skinned critic having already weighed in, objecting to the show's somewhat cynical characters and tone. I beg to differ. The show is beyond hilarious, cleverly written and flawlessly cast.


  1. Pilot
  2. The Dirty White Girl
  3. Tremors
  4. Collateral Verbiage
  5. Texas Stadium
  6. Moonshadow




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