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September 18, 2014

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TV's Freakiest Small Towns: Bon Temps, Sunnydale, Twin Peaks and More

by Sharon Knolle, posted Apr 27th 2010 4:30PM
Happy TownWe've seen the promos for ABC's new series 'Happy Town' (premiering April 28, 10PM ET) and you don't have to convince us: Small towns can be pretty damn scary.

Sure, a lot of crazy things go down in the big city, but if you want the really, really weird stuff, you've got to get out to the boonies. You know, those wide spots in the road where the locals all know there's something strange going on but they're not about to tell you. Or save your hide when you stumble across their deep, dark secret. So bring your flashlight, a map and the sense your mama gave you, as we tour some of the strangest towns TV has ever seen.

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Gone Too Soon: Carnivàle

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 17th 2009 10:02AM
CarnivaleLong-time readers of this site might remember the recurring feature "Short-Lived Shows." While this column may bear a resemblance to that beloved early TV Squad staple, there are notable differences. In particular, I'll be going much more in-depth about the show's fate, its cast, continuing fan support, and possible story continuations in different mediums.

Also, to make this column, a show must have actually been good. Shows that are canceled and deserve it certainly aren't "Gone Too Soon." They're perhaps not gone soon enough. Furthermore, a GTS could just as easily have been on the air for years before ending abruptly. If I'm sitting here wondering what happens next and now I'm never going to find out, that's gone too soon.

Which brings us to our first entry. HBO is known for groundbreaking television, but even they didn't know how much ground they broke with Carnivàle in September 2003. On the surface, it was yet another brilliantly produced period piece, perfectly capturing the look and feel of the Great Depression era United States. Underneath, it was nothing short of the epic struggle between good and evil.

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Fear Itself: Family Man

by Jason Hughes, posted Jun 20th 2008 1:08AM
Fear Itself: Family Man
(S01E03)
Nope, this isn't Eureka, and that isn't the friendly Sheriff Carter up there. But it is Eureka's Colin Ferguson, and with Clifton Collins Jr. he has created a truly chilling installment in NBC's increasingly "must see" horror anthology Fear Itself. Well, much of the credit to the success of this episode belongs at the feet of Dan Knauf, who proved himself an absolute master of the macabre with his darkly brilliant HBO series Carnivále. He's also been a writer for Supernatural, so this stuff is clearly old hat for him.

And I'm pleased to say that the "old pro" really came through with "Family Man." Easily the best episode of the young season so far and one of the best stand-alone hours of any anthology series I think I've ever seen. Ferguson, who we've come to know and love for playing the nice guy really shines here. And due to the complexity of the story, both he and Collins get a real chance to flex their acting muscles to brilliant effect. From the chilling scenes at home to the overwhelming drama in the prison, each moment propelled the story forward. The only thing that blows me away is that director Ronny Yu, who does wonderfully here, has Freddy vs. Jason and Bride of Chucky as his horror directing pedigree.

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All Jason wants for Festivus

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 20th 2007 10:18AM

FestivusIt's that festive time of year when children put tinsel on the television antennas and hang mistletoe over their favorite DVDs. Where celebrities check into rehab to spend the holidays with all their celebrity friends. And where the rest of America is invited to corporate non-specific, non-religious, non-alcoholic generic winter holiday luncheons where they can mingle with their co-workers and say things like "Remember when this company used to have real Christmas parties?"

But while political correctness may have ruined most holiday functions, nothing can ruin Festivus! That magical season in which TV Squadders hope and pray for televisions dreams come true. And I know just what I want...

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HBO not whacked without Sopranos

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 26th 2007 6:23PM

HBO hasn't been able to replicate the success of its biggest hit to date, The Sopranos, but that doesn't seem to bother its subscribers. According to Reuters, even experts such as senior analyst Deana Myers, who's been tracking premium cable viewing patterns for the past decade, are surprised. While she says "it did seem like it was going to go down," those numbers in fact increased slightly. Apparently the viewers weren't hanging onto HBO just to see how the saga of mobster Tony Soprano turned out after all.

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Is Carnivale coming back?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 23rd 2005 9:09AM

CarnivaleHBO wants to do a two hour movie to wrap up all the loose ends left unresolved when the show was canceled last spring. But the show's creators don't think that there's enough time to do a movie that will be satisfactory, since there is still a lot of story to cover. However, the story might continue as...a comic book!

At any rate, there will actually be a Carnivale convention in California next year.

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It's official: Carnivale leaves town

by Keith McDuffee, posted May 11th 2005 9:55AM
carnivaleFollowing up on previous rumors, HBO officially announced the end has come for its original series Carnivale, leaving fans in the dust after only two of the show's planned six seasons aired. I for one will miss the show and its fantastic cast of characters, its incredible writing and compelling stories. After a questionable first season, the show took a dramatic leap with its engaging story in its second and now final season, though didn't increase its viewership. Sunday nights won't be the same knowing the Carnivale won't ever pull into town again.

All may not be lost if Carnycon has its way, asking fans to send paper telegrams directly to HBO CEO Chris Albrecht, pleading for the show's return. I wish them good luck with their efforts.

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Is the show over for Carnivale?

by Keith McDuffee, posted May 8th 2005 11:51AM
carnivaleI'm really hoping this is all just a big rumor, and a bad one at that. There's preliminary word on the street that HBO's Carnivale has not been renewed and therefore will not see a third season. The second season ended what Daniel Knauf considered the first book of three in the series, so I guess it's not all bad. Wait a minute, yes it is! Let's hope this rumor's squashed soon.

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Daniel Knauf chats up Carnivale

by Keith McDuffee, posted Mar 29th 2005 7:17AM
dan knaufThis may be old news for some, but I think it's still worthy of mention to any die-hard Carnivale fans out there. Writer/creator Daniel Knauf was cool enough to join in on an online chat with fans at the CarnyCon Chow Tent on March 1st, answering many questions about the show and its characters while possibly creating more questions in the process. A key quote: "...this story is NOT done. I have four more seasons arced out. You might call the end of this season the end of the first 'book.'"

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Carnivale: New Canaan, Ca

by Walter J. Keegan, Jr., posted Mar 27th 2005 10:55PM

CarnivalePlenty of flashbacks bring us closer to who Sophie really is and a better understanding of Ben’s earlier visions of the Usher. A successful suspense-filled chase leads to an anti-climatic fight between Ben and Justin, but it was Sophie that was really the climax. I guess we figured out why she is the Omega now. I almost feel gypped, I was hoping for more of a finale. The Sophie/Justin link will lead to an interesting third season, if there is to be one. The episode left me empty; I still love the story, but something was missing.

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Carnivale Creators Defecting to Showtime?

by Karina Longworth, posted Mar 22nd 2005 12:28PM
vert.carnivale.hbo.jpgShowtime is scouring HBO's talent pool for creatives. Daniel Knauf, creator of "Carnivale," and Tracey Torme, that show's consulting producer, are developing a Showtime comedy series that digs under the surface of the 1950s suburban idyll, in the tone of Todd Haynes' "Far From Heaven." "Carnivale" has failed to increase its viewership in its second season - is the announcement of the Knauf/Torme project a sign that a third season is not going to happen? No decision has been made by HBO yet.

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Carnivale: Outside New Canaan

by Walter J. Keegan, Jr., posted Mar 20th 2005 11:02PM
CarnivaleOne last episode left for this season. Can you believe it? Mutiny is afoot in the traveling Carnivale with Lila at the lead and I can’t say I blame them, being pipered into the revival camp without knowing the world is at stake. The new limp-free Jonsey spills the beans on Hawkins to an emotional crowd (and viewers). I’m still questioning Iris, she’s had the most enigmatic role in the whole show. Eleanor sure knew how to break up a good ole baptizin’. Sophie’s choice is the key – you know she is the Omega and all. And any uncertainties about her true origins have been cleared up for those that didn’t catch on. Brother Justin is just plain creepy (Clancy Brown is perfect). Put on your hats and pack clean underwear kids, Armageddon’s coming!

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