May 28th will see the start of NBC’s next big mini-series event, Aquarius. The series will follow David Duchovny returning to his television investigative roots as a Los Angeles police officer on the hunt for cult leader and passionate lover Charles Manson. From The Wrap:
“Aquarius,” which follows a police detective chasing Manson in the period before the infamous Sharon Tate murders, will have a two-hour premiere on May 28 at 9 p.m. before moving to its Thursday timeslot June 4 at 9 p.m. “Aquarius” stars David Duchovny as LAPD Sgt. Sam Hodiak and “Game of Thrones’” Gethin Anthony as Manson.
This news leads into the announcement of Hannibal’s new time slot and premiere date, giving us all plenty of time to get in the mood for serial killers by the time the summer actually hits.
The road to this point was an interesting one for creator John McNamara. The project started life as a book, but a few twist and turns later ended up with him pitching it on television. From The Hollywood Reporter:
McNamara and Adelstein quickly sold the idea for Aquarius to a cable network — “I’d prefer not to say which one,” says McNamara — but the project stalled. When it finally went into turnaround, Adelstein took a different approach and pitched the idea to Duchovny’s manager Melanie Green.
“I said ‘I have a script that is the perfect evolution for David and his career,’” says Adelstein. “(Duchovny) showed up two days later to meet with John and I, and said ‘I’m in.’”
With the star attached, McNamara and Adelstein pitched the show again, this time as a 13-episode, straight-to-series order.
“Every network had a chance to bid on it and, strangely, one of the few networks that didn’t bid was the original network that bought it,” says McNamara, “my understanding is they regret that massively today because they’ve seen it. In the end, we went with NBC because they said: ‘If you make it within this budget you have total freedom. Make a cable show.”
According to McNamara, television networks are tired of “sitting at the Emmys and having to clap politely for everyone else.” Hence the riskier shows you see popping up like American Crime and The Slap, right next to hit serialized dramas like The Blacklist.
I’m excited for this one and it features a lot of things I’ve enjoyed. I can only hope that the talk about this being more like a cable show isn’t just smoke and mirrors made to sell it to the audience. I’m not expecting blood and gore, but give me a story that isn’t slowing itself down for an audience living between commercials.