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Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

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Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Old 07-25-14, 09:16 AM
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Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

This looks good


Newcomer “Manhattan” takes the real history of the Manhattan Project and retells the story of the creation of the first atomic bomb with fictional characters.


I'm gonna Tivo it..

http://wgnamerica.com/shows/manhattan

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201407240272


V Review/Notes
WGN America retells the story of the Manhattan Project
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jul. 24, 2014

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – It’s difficult to imagine that the more sophisticated, adult drama “Manhattan” (9 p.m. Sunday, WGN America) comes from the same network that just a few months ago debuted the silly, supernatural drama “Salem.”

Perhaps WGN America, new to original scripted series, is pursuing a let’s-throw-anything-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks programming strategy because these two series could not be more different.

Both shows are rooted in history, but “Salem” posits an alternate history where witches were real and masterfully manipulated events in 17th-century Massachusetts.

Newcomer “Manhattan” takes the real history of the Manhattan Project and retells the story of the creation of the first atomic bomb with fictional characters.

“Manhattan” clearly seems to be positioned as a serious cable show, and although it lacks the psychological depth of “Mad Men” or the edgy vibe of “Breaking Bad,” this new drama is easily one of the best new summer series.

John Benjamin Hickey, who played Laura Linney’s brother on “The Big C,” stars in “Manhattan” as fictional Frank Winter, a science researcher on one of several teams trying to develop an atomic weapon under the direction of real-life figure Robert Oppenheimer (Daniel London) in a no-name town in New Mexico (Los Alamos).

Winter’s team is not the team preferred by Oppenheimer and the U.S. Army; they are the underdogs. But Winter doggedly pursues any approach that will shave time off the development of a weapon because he sees every passing hour reflected in an increased number of dead American service members. He’s so worried about ending the war that he even considers sacrificing a rule-breaking colleague in the pilot.

Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman) and wife Abby (Rachel Brosnahan) are new to “the Hill,” and Charlie, although an admirer of Winter’s work, is recruited by the rival team. Charlie is haunted by his own worries: Once America develops this weapon, what’s to stop another, less enlightened country from making a bomb of its own?

One researcher on the same team brags, “We have the highest combined IQ of any town in America and more Jews than Babylon. You’ll be wined and dined by the U.S. Army until Hitler and the Japs say uncle.”

The pilot episode, written by series creator Sam Shaw (“Masters of Sex”) and directed by Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”), offers some beautiful desert vistas and crane shots out of a Steven Spielberg film. It’s easily one of the most beautiful hours of television to come along this year. (As is often the case, a subsequent episode is less cinematic.)

The first hour is a little slow, somewhat pacey at times — it clocks in at 56 minutes, not the usual 42 minutes, and will run one hour and 10 minutes with commercials — but it does a fine job of setting up the story and introducing the characters. “Manhattan” is not just about the scientists, but also their wives.

Winter’s wife, Liza (Olivia Williams, “Dollhouse,” who can’t seem to shake her British accent), is the most anarchic wife, doing anything to ease her boredom. She has a doctorate but has put her career on hold for her husband. She takes newcomer Abby under her wing in episode two and shows her one way to get some kitchen equipment that involves trading tampons for peyote for a hot plate.

In two episodes made available for review, the homefront stories of the wives actually come off better than many of the lab scenes because the wives are better drawn. Winter’s lab is full of scientists, but viewers barely learn their names, let alone personalities, in these early episodes.

But Winter is a compelling character and the stakes of his work are high, which gives “Manhattan” a leg up on another summer workplace drama, AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire,” which began with a strong premiere and immediately grew dull with no interesting places for its stories to go.

But will viewers who tuned in to “Salem” in large enough numbers for that series to get a second-season renewal be likely to come to the more historically plausible, reality-rooted “Manhattan”? If they don’t, WGN America may have an altogether different kind of bomb on its hands.

Producers on ‘Manhattan’

After a “Manhattan” press conference earlier this month, Mr. Schlamme said WGN America executives acknowledged there may not be a lot of crossover between the “Salem” audience and the “Manhattan” audience.

“What they wanted was a great show,” he said. “They’ve been unbelievably supportive. They said, ‘If we can get a quality television show, that is what we want to do.’ And honestly, they’ve never winked. It’s never been, ‘Well, we said that, but what we really mean is the other.’ ”

“Manhattan” was filmed at an old New Mexico U.S. Army hospital that was days away from being torn down. The production came in and took over 12 acres of buildings that were reconfigured for the show. Mr. Schlamme said 85-90 percent of the series is shot on that location and much of it is shot outdoors.

“We created a world,” he said. “And part of that hope was to create a world that [the actors] could walk into that didn’t feel like a soundstage. It’s what it would have felt like for the [real-life] men and women who were transported from their homes on the East Coast, on the West Coast, and just plopped into the desert.”
Old 07-25-14, 11:54 AM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

I'm going to give this one a try. WGNA started off their venture into scripted TV with a surprisingly good Salem and I have a feeling that this one might be another success.
Old 07-25-14, 02:21 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

I was surprised at how much I liked Salem. I'll give this one an extended shot.
Old 07-25-14, 04:53 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

They should make a second series after called "Hiroshima". Not sure how popular it would be but I think It would make for some riveting stories of survival and the aftermaths of radiation. It would have to be very graphic so WGNA is out of the question. Maybe HBO?
Old 07-25-14, 05:07 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Originally Posted by mhg83 View Post
T It would have to be very graphic so WGNA is out of the question.
Did you watch Salem??
Old 07-25-14, 05:50 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Originally Posted by leeta View Post
Did you watch Salem??
No. I just assumed OTA network shows are restricted in how much they can show.
Old 07-25-14, 05:57 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Originally Posted by mhg83 View Post
No. I just assumed OTA network shows are restricted in how much they can show.
WGN America isn't OTA. It's basic cable. It's a super station like TBS.

Salem, which aired on WGN America, was essentially an R rated Witch drama & was TV MA.
Old 07-25-14, 07:01 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
WGN America isn't OTA. It's basic cable. It's a super station like TBS.

Salem, which aired on WGN America, was essentially an R rated Witch drama & was TV MA.
Superstations were OTA networks that were later uplinked to satellite and carried by cable companies.

TBS hasn't been a superstation for a very long time, as it split from WTBS Atlanta.

WGN America has sort of done the same thing, but still shares some common ground with WGN Chicago, which is a CW Affiliate. They still show the WGN News, as well as Cubs and White Sox games, but that's about all they have in common these days.

Salem did not air on the OTA station, and Manhattan will not either, at least not regularly. The pilot will air this Sunday, but the show will not be on there the Sunday after that.
Old 07-25-14, 08:35 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Previews for this look decent. I didn't watch, but heard Salem was pretty good - hopefully the trend continues w/this.
Old 07-25-14, 11:17 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

I'm still getting caught up on several Salem episodes on my DVR. I will probably DVR Manhattan and I'll watch the pilot live on Sunday. I think at some point, WGN America will do a sitcom.
Old 07-25-14, 11:50 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
TBS hasn't been a superstation for a very long time, as it split from WTBS Atlanta.
October 1, 2007. Do you consider 6 years to be a "very long time"?

Originally Posted by TheKing View Post
WGN America has sort of done the same thing, but still shares some common ground with WGN Chicago
That's exactly what TBS did from December 17, 1976 to October 1, 2007.
Old 07-28-14, 09:21 AM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Hulu has picked up streaming rights to the series.
Old 07-28-14, 10:16 AM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

I was going to watch this then realized that Comcast doesn't carry WGN America here in Chicago. I would not have guessed that was the case but there it is.
Old 07-28-14, 10:47 AM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

That's weird, Comcast in Florida carries WGN America, it's like channel 3 (Channel 2 is awkwardly HBO).
Old 07-28-14, 12:35 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

My local NBC station broadcast this last night at 10:35PM. I thought that was odd.
Old 07-28-14, 02:01 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Originally Posted by mugwump View Post
I was going to watch this then realized that Comcast doesn't carry WGN America here in Chicago. I would not have guessed that was the case but there it is.
Yep, that was also the joke when Salem started as well. Pretty ridiculous.
Old 07-28-14, 03:35 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Can't say I was wowed, but I enjoyed the premiere. I like the subject matter, so I'll stick with it.
Old 07-28-14, 05:01 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

A pretty bland pilot, I am not sure how riveting this drama can be made with this subject matter.
Old 07-30-14, 01:52 AM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

If you missed it, VUDU is giving away the pilot for free.
Old 07-30-14, 02:26 AM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

I was pretty bored through it, but I really enjoy the clothing of the era so I guess I'm going to keep watching for that. Oh well.
Old 07-30-14, 05:31 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

I watched the pilot last night. I thought it was ok. I get the feeling this show might be the type of the show that starts off a bit slow and picks up steam within a few episodes. I'll be DVRing this. I need to finish catching up on Salem.
Old 07-30-14, 05:33 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Originally Posted by writer106 View Post
I need to finish catching up on Salem.
Salem =
Old 07-31-14, 06:21 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Gave up after 20 minutes. I just don't think fictional characters work in this case. For this subject done to perfection watch the mini-series Oppenheimer with Sam Waterston.
Old 07-31-14, 11:39 PM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

Originally Posted by Astrofan View Post
Gave up after 20 minutes. I just don't think fictional characters work in this case. For this subject done to perfection watch the mini-series Oppenheimer with Sam Waterston.
The fictional characters didn't work for me, either. Playing off such historically accurate events, it's hard getting invested in fictional creations meant to be stand-ins for real people.
Old 08-02-14, 12:58 AM
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re: Manhattan (WGN America) -- S: William Petersen -- Series Thread

How far does season 1 take us?...certainly not to hiroshima right?

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