A Manhattan Community
Sunday 10:00 PM on WGN America

With nearly every TV network, streaming-video service, YouTube user, and probably even the CIA creating original programming these days, it's understandable if you occasionally find yourself overwhelmed by the question of what to watch. What do you view live? What do you DVR? What do you save to binge on later? What do you skip all together? It's a difficult road to navigate, which is why we like put together these handy new-show previews. Next on the docket is WGN America's second original series, the atomic-bomb drama Manhattan: Is the brand-new period piece explosive and compelling, or is it a big misfire? Read on to find out!


Manhattan, so this is another show about the Big Apple?

Nope! Good guess, though. The title refers to the Manhattan Project, America's top-secret research-and-development initiative to create the world's first atomic bomb in the 1940s. Set in Los Alamos, New Mexico—a city that exists on no map—the series explores the personal and professional lives of a team of scientists who spend their days developing the bomb, but don't really know the true extent of what they're tirelessly working on, or how it might be used. Meanwhile, they're racing to beat Germany to the punch, as well as competing against several other teams of scientists who're working on their own versions of the bomb. And because they're forbidden from telling their families what they do all day, their lives in Los Alamos, as you might expect, are full of secrets and lies. 


Who stars in Manhattan? And who invented the show?

Manhattan stars Tony Award-winner John Benjamin Hickey (The Big C) as lead scientist Frank Winter, Olivia Williams (Dollhouse) as his wife Liza (who's also a scientist, but not involved in the project), and Daniel Stern (Home Alone!) as Glen Babbitt, who acts as a mentor for Frank's team. 

They're joined by Ashley Zukerman (The Pacific) and Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards) as married couple Charlie and Abby Isaacs, who arrive in Los Alamos in Manhattan's series premiere and find themselves thrust into a world of deception. 

Rounding out the cast are Katja Herbers (a ton of stuff in the Netherlands) as Helen Prins, the lone female scientist in Frank's group; Alexia Fast (The Secret Circle) as Callie Winter, the 16-year-old daughter of Frank and Liza; Harry Lloyd (Game of Thrones) as ambitious British scientist Paul Crosley; and Christopher Denham (The Following), Michael Chernus (Orange Is the New Black), and Eddie Shin (Men of a Certain Age) as scientists Jim Meeks, Louis "Fritz" Fedowitz, and Sid Liao, respectively.

Manhattan was created by Sam Shaw (Masters of Sex), who also serves as one of the show's executive producers. Thomas Schlamme—the myth, the man, the legend responsible for the "walk and talk"—will direct and executive-produce.



When does the first bomb drop?

Manhattan premieres Sunday, July 27 at 9pm on WGN America.


Who might enjoy Manhattan?

Manhattan looks and feels like a series that AMC wishes it had right now. A thought-provoking period drama, the show will probably appeal to fans of The AmericansMad Men, and Masters of Sex. History buffs might also want to tune in. 


What's the bomb about Manhattan?

Manhattan's pilot is so sleek and high-quality that one has to wonder why WGN America didn't launch its scripted programming slate with Manhattan instead of the supernatural series Salem; it's certainly got the look and feel of a drama that will eventually carry the words "critically acclaimed" on its DVD packaging. The characters who populate Manhattan arrive fully developed, and their struggles and conflicts feel relatable despite the 1940s setting.

What's more, Manhattan shoots on location in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which means it often showcases the sweeping landscapes that Breaking Bad fans know so well—a gorgeous plus. 



What's not to like about Manhattan?

There's very little to complain about in the show's pilot, but history majors might find it annoying that the series takes a few liberties with real-world facts. The characters at the heart of the series are fictional, and outside of big names like J. Robert Oppenheimer, who feels more like a myth than a man during his very brief appearance in the pilot, there likely won't be many familiar names attributed to developments and breakthroughs in the making of the bomb. As long as you don't mind a bit of revision for the sake of drama, you should be okay.


So, should I watch it?

Yes, the series is definitely worth figuring out whether you have WGN America as part of your cable package.


Let's take a look at a trailer!

Okay!



thekaitling:list:manhattan-will-you-watch/


Manhattan premieres Sunday, July 27 at 9pm on WGN America.


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/15/2015

Season 2 : Episode 10

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Leaning towards giving it a shot. Looks bomb.
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A thought provoking period drama? Sounds good to me. I'll be watching.
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Finally a show about Manhatn project, I hope they well say the true story, I am going to watch it for sure......
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I will surely give it a try!
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Definitely watching ! John Benjamin Hickey was wonderul on the Big C. Hope he does well here too.
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I am a history buff, born way after the time period of this show, and I think I will love it.
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Rachel Brosnahan. Boom. Done. Sold. Love Her.
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I would love to check this show out, but I do not have access to WGN America. Would have liked to catch Salem, as well.
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'Manhattan's pilot is so sleek and high-quality that one has to wonder why WGN America didn't launch its scripted programming slate with Manhattan instead of the supernatural series Salem'

So lets do a review of a show and for no rational reason, bash the show that SUCCESSFULLY premiered before it - and then just leave the slap against 'Salem' sitting there without any justification for making it. 'Salem' was pretty damn good and this looks very good as well. 'Salem' was renewed when it instantly found an audience, despite being the first original drama on WGN America. When you have the performance Janet Montgomery gave in the lead, why wouldn't that be what you give to the public.. to see if they are interested in WGN producing original dramas? Witches are always going to be an easier sell than scientists. That's a pretty simple fact to deduce. I bet WGN is very glad you weren't the one making the decision about which to launch first. 'Salem' brought the most important thing - eyes to the network. And those people attached to those eyes kept coming back because they loved with this new player put out there. 'Salem' made everyone at this network, that has been available for a lot of people forever, very happy about their initial offering. Why suggest 'Salem' first was a mistake when if it wasn't for 'Salem' not many people would even be aware of or be coming to 'Manhattan'?

Kind of irrational to suggest a show that hasn't premiered should have aired before the one that was successful at putting WGN America on the public's radar. That makes no sense at all. Why make a comment like that. .because personally you feel a show about making bombs is more impressive because the landscape reminded you of 'Breaking Bad' and because of a name attached? Schlamme's last four projects: 'Pan Am' - crash and burn, 'Mr. Sushine' - crash and burn, 'Studio 60' - crash and burn and now he's also producing 'Murder in the First' - crashing and burning over on TNT. Yeah, lets launch our network with a show from someone whose last 3 big ticket projects tanked out of the gate. Guess what, the Shreveport set for 'Salem' looks just fine. Your 'Salem' comment kind of lacks perspective and just seems sort of rude.
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If you go back far enough, you'll find that I gave Salem a favorable review when it premiered. I watched the first season, and the reason I didn't go into detail here is because this is a preview of Manhattan, not an article debating the merits of each series. Because WGN America isn't completely established as an original programming destination yet, it makes sense to compare the network's only other drama to this one. And having seen the first two episodes of Manhattan it's definitely the better of the two.
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If WGN was kicking off in the fall, 'Manhattan' may have made more sense but when you are kicking off when school is out; maybe you can get an audience in the coveted demographic with a supernatural show rather than a science project whose viewer numbers are, by nature, going to skew older. You brought up the other show in comparison in Your preview and then just left it sitting there, not I. If you are going to say one would have made more sense to premier first, an answer to WHY should at least be attempted. Have strength in your sentiment.


Peace and Love!
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I've never really been a big fan of period drama's but Masters of Sex was so good that I'm a lot more willing to give them a chance and I've been keeping an eye out for this one for a while. I'm actually looking forward to "testing" this one, which I can't say about most of the shows I've been trudging through over the last two months.
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Kaitlin likes it AND Tim actually commented about it, he does that what, twice a year? I don't think I have the time to take this show on at the moment but I'll file it under things to check out when I finally get some free time and I read about it again on some random web article.
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I had no idea WGN was producing original content. Going to have to check this out.
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I guess I'd just like a clarification: in the "Who Should Watch Manhattan?" you say that history buffs will enjoy it, but in the "What's Not to Like about Manhattan?" you say history majors might find it annoying. From a viewing audience standpoint, I don't think there's any difference between a history major and a history buff, so I'd like to know what's with all the contradiction, and which sentence should I believe?
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Good question, but the answer both ways is: don't believe a critic, just go see it and decide for yourself. ;) .... And perhaps a difference between a major and a buff is that majors would take this stuff too seriously and wanted it followed exact, to the letter of historic facts, whereas a buff just like it and enjoys it, even knowing some drama is thrown around for effect and there are shortcuts and misquotes and can still appreciate the whole as a lesson/message.
I'm a buff. Only thing I get edgy about is if costumes are done poorly. That really annoys me beyond my otherwise ability to say 'it's just a TV show, just chill'...
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I've already made up my mind to go ahead and watch the show, I'm just curious if it's going to be available digitally anywhere.
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I watched the preview, which included interviews with past residents of Los Alamos. They commented that the housing set was pretty much identical to the ones they lived in. I'm not a fan of AMC shows. I'm more of a history buff, which is why I'll be tuning in.
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After seeing those terrible, cheap looking promo photos, I'm surprised this show is being called "sleek and high-quality". If I had only seen those photos, no way I'd check it out, but based on this review, I'll give it a go.
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So you don't think Manhattan is going to bomb. (six comments already and No one made that joke?)
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Well, after a quick search in the old tv guide it seems I will be watching this live.
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Eww, commercials too? I am recording to watch later!
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Toootally going to watch this. And I'm pretty sure WGN America is the basic-est of basic cable, like, Comcast is just handing that channel out like candy at a parade. A WGN America for you, and for you, and you! Everyone can watch!
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I need to see if I have WGN America.
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I have been looking forward to this since I heard about it. I had a relative in the project and I can't wait to see if it is anything like the stories he use to tell. It looks like it is going to be great.

However, Kaitlin, Salem is a great show and was a fantastic lead off for this new network. I regret none of the time I watched the first season and I can't say that about a lot of shows, especially this year. It was a breath of fresh air compared to some of the dreck that was released this season. And a great supernatural show that involve teenage plots and mess that more recent supernatural shows have been beating to death.

Are you, by chance, going to be reviewing the show, is the site going to reviewing this show?
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Staff
Highly recommend this! It's really really good.
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Well with Tim's and Kaitlin's recommendation I'm all in. These are pretty much the most relevant people for me on TV.com.
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Staff
So very excited about this.
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That's 3 recommendations. Who's next ?
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My comment, sadly, is not a recommendation. I didn't get to see this one in advance. Le sight.
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