Airdate: Carnivale

CarnivaleOne of the classiest television dramas in the last decade was HBO’s critically acclaimed Carnivale.

It aired in Australia some time ago on the ABC. Now it viewers on Showcase will get a chance to see it from late November.

The atmospheric drama with it sumptuous production values attracted a lot of attention when it aired between 2003 and 2005. But its life was cut short when the network did not renew it for a third season, resulting in unfinished plots and angering its many fans.

Nonetheless, with its attention to detail, dazzling performances, location sets and deep mythology, it remains a defiant series.

Set in the middle of dustbowl Oklahoma, a travelling carnival encounters Ben Hawkins, a young man desperately trying to hold off a bulldozer from the bank-at least long enough for him to finish burying his mother. Seeing that Ben is on his last legs, members of the Carnivale wearily grab shovels and give the woman a half-decent burial.

This outstanding Emmy-winning story follows a travelling carnival as it wends its way across the Dust Bowl, taking place at a time of worldwide unrest, with evil on the rise around the globe and the Great Depression wreaking economic and social havoc here at home, focusing on Ben Hawkins. Nick Stahl (Sin City) stars as the mysterious 18-year-old fugitive with hidden talents who is taken in by the carnival. Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption) stars as Brother Justin; the charismatic, shadowy evangelist who will ultimately cross his path.

Among the cast regulars are Michael J. Anderson (Twin Peaks) as Samson, who runs the show for Management; Clea DuVall (Zodiac) as Sofie, the tarot card reader; Tim DeKay (Swordfish) as Jones Samson’s right-hand man and the rousty manager.

It will air with double episodes Fridays from November 20th at 8.30pm on Showcase.


  1. Carnivale was a fantastic show that had an atmosphere like no other. They actually had six seasons planned out, so axing it when they did was akin to axing Lost after the second season (just imagine the furor that would cause). I still find it hard to watch the DVD’s because every time I do I get really upset about the fact that half the clues will never be anything more than dead ends. The very least HBO could have done was give them a third season so they could give the show a proper ending.

  2. This is by far one of the best TV series ever made.

    Outside of the brilliant production design, superb cast and compelling plot lines, the one aspect that still sets this series apart from any others is that there has never been anything like it. It was in a class of its own and remains there today.

    The only disappointing part was that it only had two seasons. I would have loved to see a third….

  3. This show just draaaaged and draaaaged. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. So slow paced. Could have been so much better with quicker storytelling.

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