What if a serial killer escaped from prison and it is discovered that he had amassed quite a following of fellow serial killers and others while incarcerated and those people are now willing to help him evade the authorities trying to capture him once again? Well then we’d have the show premiering on January 21st, on Fox, called The Following.
Kevin Bacon stars as Ryan Hardy, a former FBI agent who was instrumental in the search and eventual capture a serial killer named Joe Carroll played by James Purefoy. Since the capture, Hardy has stepped out of the spotlight and is living his own life with the mental and physical scars left by the hunt for Carroll. Put in prison for murdering 14 co-eds who attended the Virginia college at which he taught literature, Carroll has spent his time in prison reaching out to and connecting with his fellow serial killers. They form a network that not only puts into motion his escape from prison, but also aide him in finishing what he started years earlier.
The story picks up with Carroll’s escape and the FBI reaching out to Hardy in hopes that his intimate knowledge of the killer will help them track him down again. Hardy is no longer the top dog which takes some getting used to by not only him but by the team now working the case, including a “young, razor-sharp” Mike Weston who idolizes Hardy, and the investigation lead, Specialist Debra Parker who along with everyone else (minus Weston) isn’t too keen on Hardy being around, seeing him as more of a hindrance than a help.
The ensuing investigation leads Hardy and the team back to Carroll’s ex-wife and young son. It appears as if not all was kosher in the “investigator/wife of serial killer” relationship in the past
Well don’t let me tell you all about it, check out the trailer-
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Looks rather promising. I’ll admit that I’d hoped this one was on cable, but Fox has had success in the past with good crime(ish) dramas before- 24, Prison Break, New York Undercover– so perhaps my concern will be for naught.
This is Kevin Bacon’s first serialized TV stint (not counting guest spots) since he appeared on Guiding Light way back in 1980. I, for one, hope this doesn’t turn into a movie actor vs. TV actor thing when people start talking about the show. Just because someone who has predominantly worked in film decides to tackle a television project does not mean they’ve given up on life and spend their downtime wearing sweatpants and eating cheese puffs.
James Purefoy (who had a Bacon score of 2 before this show) on the other hand, has gone the TV route more recently with the short-lived but still really good, The Philanthropist. He also played Marc Anthony in the incredible BBC/HBO series, Rome.
In addition to two great actors, The Following is created and written by a man who is no stranger to TV hits. Even though he has had some shows that sucked, Hidden Palms being a good example, Kevin Williamson has been the creative force behind two shows that are undeniably TV classics. Okay, so The Vampire Diaries might be just more popular than classic right now, but there is no one that can deny that Dawson’s Creek is a television benchmark for an entire generation. If you are a member of that generation and want to have a nostalgic, if not tear-jerking moment (I cried. Pathetic, I know.), check out James Van Der Beek’s letter to Dawson Leery.
As for Williamson’s latest outing, I’m hoping that The Following has the ratings that lead to a longer run because I’m interested in seeing how he and the writing staff tell this cat and mouse story.
If you can’t wait and just need more footage of Bacon and Purefoy playing that game, I am more than happy to oblige.
A bit more of an in-depth look at the upcoming show:
James Purefoy and Kevin Bacon talk to The Hollywood Reporter at Comic-Con:
The Following will premiere on Fox, on January 21st at 9 Eastern/8 Central.
[Ed. Note – Also, Natalie Zea left Justified for this, so it better not suck…]