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Series debut: Kings, Sunday at 8 p.m. ET

In television on 03/15/2009 at 9:28 am

Series name
Kings

Debuts
Sunday, March 15, 8-10 p.m. ET on NBC

Regularly airs
Sundays at 8 p.m. ET

Premise
The NBC site describes this “alternative universe” “event” this way: “King Silas Benjamin is the well-entrenched king of Gilboa, whose flag bears a divine butterfly symbol. Gilboa has its capital in Shiloh, a clean new city that is unspoiled by time or litter. Silas must deal with the tensions rising between Gilboa and neighboring nation Gath. When several prisoners of war are taken, a young soldier, David Shepherd, defies orders and crosses enemy lines to save them. Unknown to David, the soldier he saves is Jack Benjamin (Sebastian Stan, “The Covenant”), the son of the king. From that day forth, David’s life will never be the same.”

Primary cast and crew
Ian McShane (Deadwood) is the king. Kneel.

Chris Egan (Eragon) is David. His life is about to change. Can he take it?

Sebastian Stan (The Covenant) is the king’s son, Jack Benjamin. His life is also about to change. I’m guessing sharing the spotlight and happily ever after are not the crux of this drama.

Susanna Thompson (Once & Again) is Queen Rose Benjamin. One to watch. Just a hunch.

Allison Miller (Lucy’s Piano) is the king’s daughter and soon the apple of David’s eye. Ah, the pawn. Or?

Wes Studi (Comanche Moon, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee) is the king’s cappo, General Linus Abner. Don’t care if his role is cardboard. One of the most underrated and underused actors in the U.S.

Eamonn Walker (Oz) is Reverend Ephram Samuels. Interesting.

Dylan Baker (Spider-Man 2″) is William Cross, the king’s brother-in-law.

Michael Green, Erwin Stoff (I Am Legend) and Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) are all exec producers, with Lawrence also directing the March 15 pilot.

Buzz buzz
Ian McShane does not suffer fools.

Will he play nice on the talk show circuit? Daily Show Tuesday and The View on Wednesday should pretty much run the gamut.

But what do I know anyway? After NOT having seen the pilot I predict…
I’m truly looking forward to this, despite overamped promotion (What’s a “movie event”?) that makes me worry about why they’re selling it so hard. But still, Ian McShane. Looks like all the regal bearing of his Deadwood kingpin Al Swearengen, probably without the expletives (not that there’s anything wrong with expletives).

Trailer

Other reviews
Metacritic’s sampling of reviews shows an average rating of 60 out of 100, ranking down from Entertainment Weekly’s 83 to Hollywood Reporter and Baltimore’s harsher judgments of 30 apiece.

Official website
Games, exclusives, “King’s Domain” are all empty, frustratingly. Court Historian has video of a press conference with the main cast and producers, which includes this from Walker: “It’s about god.” Good to know.

Can’t wait for the next new-series preview?
It’s a little late, but still coming: next series debut is The Line.

Wondering when the other new series and returning series are kicking off?
Click here for the complete and updated list of mid-season premieres and other important dates. Who am I to tell you what to do, but you could consider bookmarking it…

— Denise Duguay

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