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NBC's new thriller series American Odyssey follows the fallout after a revelation that a major U.S. corporation has been funding an Islamic terrorist group. The soldiers who make this discovery abroad are then killed by mercenaries, except for one unlikely survivor: Sergeant Odelle Ballard (Anna Friel). Odelle then begins her long and difficult journey to try and get home to her family, while being hunted down by the private militia, the terrorist group, and even her own government, who is playing a key role in convincing the public that she is dead. On the homefront, the coverup and the details of the military conspiracy are being investigated by former U.S. Attorney Peter Decker (Peter Facinelli), who now works in the private sector, and Harrison Walters (Jake Robinson), a political activist. In the clip below, from American Odyssey's third episode, "Drop King," Harrison and his father confront Colonel »
- Allison Keene
Exclusive: Staff, slate segue to existing UK sales and production outfit.
UK sales and distribution outfit High Point Films & TV has merged with existing UK production and sales company Starline Entertainment in a bid to grow and bring fresh impetus to both companies.
Key staff to transition to Starline as part of the rebrand include High Point MD Carey Fitzgerald, Julie Delaney, who becomes director of worldwide distribution, and Piers Nightingale, who assumes the role director of acquisitions.
Industry veteran Fitzgerald will remain MD of High Point, whose catalogue will be managed by Starline, while Delaney and Nightingale will work closely with existing Starline MD Ronald de Neef, himself a non-executive chair of High Point. All four will be shareholders in Starline.
In its new guise Starline will continue to handle features for international sales but will also take on more alternative content such as transmedia and web series and will look to pursue more direct and event-based »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
More4 has acquired the rights to air Norwegian series Heavy Water War.
The drama - known in Norway as Kampen om tungtvannet - tells the true story of how Norwegian saboteurs destroyed Nazi Germany's hopes of developing an atom bomb during the Second World War.
The series covers key events in the 1930s and 1940s, which saw the Nazis come close to developing a nuclear weapon to use on their enemies.
The opening episodes of Heavy Water War were seen by more than 1.2 million Norwegians when they premiered on Nrk in January.
Heavy Water War will air on More4 later this year. »
No good deed goes unpunished, as seen in this sneak peek from Episode 2 of NBC’s American Odyssey (Sunday, 10/9c).
RelatedNBC’s American Odyssey: Will You Continue on Odelle’s Journey?
In the midseason thriller’s premiere, corporate litigator Peter Decker (played by Peter Facinelli) grew suspicious about his client Societel’s payoff to Danny Gentry — a drone pilot who launched the strike on Sgt. Odelle Ballard’s unit in Mali. Gentry then was poised to tell all about the shady deal when he got mowed down in a hit-and-run.
This Sunday, Peter, reeling from Gentry’s death, sticks »
TV Guide Magazine’s "Fan Favorites Showrunners" panel was one of the most exciting events I attended at WonderCon this year. It featured an all-star panel of TV’s hottest showrunners whose work reflects the best cross section of what’s going on in TV these days. Moderated by TV Guide magazine executive editor Michael Schneider, the session brought together top producers for a look behind the scenes of our favorite shows. Panelists included Brannon Braga (Salem), Kerry Ehrin (Bates Motel), Adam Goldberg (The Goldbergs), Dan Harmon (Community), Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls), Peter Horton (American Odyssey), and Graeme Manson (Orphan Black). The panel discussed what it means to be a superstar showrunner; making noise and pushing boundaries; Harmon’s big move to Yahoo; how Hirsch gets away with a show that’s one of the most dense animated series ever seen on a children’s network; how social media has »
- Sheila Roberts
It's been quite awhile since NBC had a successful drama on Sunday nights. Will American Odyssey change that and become a hit in the ratings? Cancelled or renewed for a second season? Stay tuned.
On the American Odyssey TV show, an international cover-up explodes when the lives of a female Special Forces soldier, a disillusioned corporate lawyer, and a political activist from a privileged family unexpectedly collide. The cast includes Anna Friel, Peter Facinelli, Jake Robinson, Jim True-Frost, Sadie Sink, Omar Ghazaoui, Nate Mooney, Elena Kampouris, Daniella Pineda, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Treat Williams.
American Odyssey, which premiered last night on NBC, centers on an international military conspiracy and the three American citizens who suss it out. After eliminating a terrorist leader in North America, Sergeant Odelle Ballard (Anna Friel) discovers evidence that a major American corporation is funding terrorist cells, but before she can tell anyone her team is killed, and she’s taken prisoner. Back in the states, former U.S. attorney turned corporate litigator Peter Decker (Peter Facinelli) and trust-fund baby turned social activist Harrison Walters (Jake Robinson) discover the military-industrial conspiracy on their own terms. The series follows the three characters as they join forces to save their country and expose the forces behind the conspiracy. Saturday, at WonderCon in Anaheim, California, series creators Peter Horton, Kay Foster and Adam Armus joined series-star Peter Facinelli on stage to chat about their inspiration for the new series and what to expect from season one. »
- Haleigh Foutch
Episodes: Ongoing (hour)
TV show dates: April 5, 2015 -- Tbd
Series status: Has not been cancelled
TV show description:
This action drama series is a journey through global politics, corporate espionage, and military secrets. It revolves around three strangers who have one thing in common -- the truth. An international cover-up explodes when the lives of a female Special Forces soldier, a disillusioned corporate lawyer, and a political activist from a privileged family unexpectedly collide.
After a team of American soldiers battles jihadists in North Africa, they're shocked to learn that they've stumbled upon and killed Al Qaeda's top commander. Sergeant Odelle Ballard (Anna Friel) »
The midseason drama stars Friel (Pushing Daisies) as Sergeant Odelle Ballard, an American soldier who, in the midst of an unplanned takedown of Al Qaeda’s top commander, stumbles across enormously volatile intel — the transfer of $30 million from the American company “Soc” to a terrorist cell. Soon afterwards, private military contractors, Osela, arrive to take out Odelle’s entire unit, though she secretly survives, the only witness to the massacre. »
From writer/director Peter Horton and writers Adam Armus & Kay Foster, the NBC drama series American Odyssey is a complex journey through global politics, corporate espionage and military secrets. When the lives of female Special Forces soldier Odelle Ballard (Anna Friel), disillusioned corporate lawyer Peter Decker (Peter Facinelli) and a political activist named Harrison Walters (Jake Robinson) unexpectedly collide, a cover-up with lethal implications threatens to come to light. During this exclusive interview with Collider, actor Jake Robinson talked about how he got involved with this show, what drew him to the story and character, being given a clear idea of where the story would be headed, how thrilling it is to be involved with such a quality project, and the action-packed twists and turns. [caption id="attachment_438069" align="alignright" width="360"] Image via NBC[/caption] Collider: How did this come about for you? Jake Robinson: I got a script, over a year ago. I was »
- Christina Radish
American Odyssey, which recently added the "American" to its title, succeeds not by redefining the international conspiracy genre, or bringing anything particularly avant-garde to its telling of military malfeasance, but in reverting back to the idea of White Hats and Black Hats. In a TV landscape filled with muddled motivations, NBC's American Odyssey feels -- at least, at its start -- like a saga that's easy to root for. That sensibility is built into the show's very landscape, as things begin to take off immediately after an American Special Forces team brings down Al Qaeda's top commander. The group's lone female member, Odelle Ballard (the always likable Anna Friel), notices something peculiar with the records kept at the bunker, in that there is a paper trail leading back to a major American corporation. After securing the data on a flash drive, the unit is attacked, and reportedly killed. [caption id="attachment_436689" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via NBC[/caption] Back home, »
- Allison Keene
This review is based on the first episode, which was made available to us prior to broadcast.
One of the more notable trends in recent television has been putting powerful women on the frontlines of the war against terror. From Showtime’s Homeland to CBS’ Madam Secretary and NBC’s State of Affairs, network execs seem caught up on a certain character type: a tough-as-nails, proudly female protagonist who’s strong-willed enough to go it alone whenever she’s as obstructed by people on her own team as the ones she’s fighting against. NBC’s American Odyssey isn’t exactly revolutionary in that aspect – and it owes a lot more than just its hero’s characterization to Homeland – but by casting Anna Friel in the lead role of a betrayed soldier finding her way home, it does set itself apart.
Friel, you see, brings an intelligence and intensity to her part that, »
- Isaac Feldberg
But make no mistake, the midseason thriller (premiering Sunday at 10/9c) is inspired by the epic poem.
RelatedApril Calendar: Justified’s Finale, Mad Men‘s Return and 54 More Dates to Save
As series co-creator Peter Horton explains, “Three-and-a-half years ago, I had been working with my writing partners, Adam Armus and Kay Foster, on a different project that didn’t work out, so we were looking for something else to do. [British producer] Simon Maxwell came to us and said, »
ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy on this conspicuously quiet Thursday drew 6.6 million total viewers and a 1.8 demo rating, down 20 and 18 percent week-to-week to hit series lows.
Scandal led out of that with 7.2 mil and a 2.1, down 11 and 9 percent to its lowest numbers since early Season 2.
RelatedGrey’s Anatomy Recap: It’s Raining Men
RelatedScandal Recap: The Line to Help David Destroy B613 Forms Here
American Crime closed ABC’s night with 4.7 mil/1.1, down 16 percent and two tenths.
Fox | Bones (4.7 mil/1.1) was down 19 percent and two tenths (to season lows/its lowest numbers in a while), while Backstrom (3.2 mil/0.8) dipped 11 percent and one tenth. »
“Nurse Jackie” enters its seventh and final season April 12, but even though the Showtime dramedy is wrapping, Peter Facinelli is staying plenty busy with NBC’s political thriller “American Odyssey,” which debuts Easter Sunday.
“After doing a movie like ‘Twilight’ where it was very fantasy-orientated, which I loved, and after ‘Nurse Jackie,’ which for me was a comedy that I love, I was kind of itching to do something more dramatic,” Facinelli tells Variety of his move to drama. “This show came along and it’s just so meaty and the stakes are so high that I felt like this would be something that is fun to tackle.”
“American Odyssey” revolves around an American female Special Forces soldier, Odelle Ballard (played by Anna Friel), who comes across computer files that prove a major corporation is funding jihadists in North Africa. However, before she can tell anyone, her unit is killed, »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Much as the horror genre is deeply rooted in the evolving culture that creates it, NBC‘s latest “action-drama,” American Odyssey, builds itself from the conspiracy fears that are now equally laughed off and assumed to be obviously true.
Sgt. Odelle Ballard (Anna Friel, “Pushing Daisies”) is part of a group that stumbles upon an Al Qaeda’s top commander, but she quickly discovers intel that suggests an American corporation is funding the group. A private military company comes to clean up, and Odelle’s company is killed to cover things up. She escapes, but now she’s on the run, and a long way from home, and doesn’t have anyone she can trust.
- Marc Eastman
American Odyssey, NBC’s new political conspiracy drama starring Anna Friel, debuts April 5, right after A.D. The Bible Continues. But as I say in my video review above, this conspiracy drama is very different fare for an Easter Sunday evening. It’s an ambitious effort from NBC that in its best moments feels like those much-revered 1970s political dramas. It’s worth giving the show chance to grow, but I have to say that for most of the time American Odyssey… »
NBC’s new drama American Odyssey, about a female Army ranger (Anna Friel) who uncovers the mother of all military-industrial-financial conspiracies, wants to be A Thriller for Our Time. Even when it becomes too busy, silly, or opportunistic to take seriously, you give it points for ambition, because how can you not? At its worst, it’s dumb and pandering. At its best, it’s like peak Homeland, only louder and faster, and with the courage to go all the way with its more paranoid notions (as well as with Homeland’s ingrained xenophobia, alas — but we’ll get to that). Created by Peter Horton, Adam Armus, and Kay Foster, Odyssey is a globetrotting potboiler, one-stop shopping for torn-from-recent-headlines melodrama. If you became obsessed with a major American political topic during the last eight years, it’s probably in here: the drone strikes, state-sanctioned torture, black-ops treachery, and Blackwater arrogance »
- Matt Zoller Seitz
Peter Horton may have launched his Hollywood career as an actor, but his real passion is for writing and directing. And he’s never prouder of any project than NBC’s “American Odyssey” (premieres April 5th), on which he serves as co-creator/writer (along with Adam Armus and Kay Foster) and director.
Horton talked to Variety about the challenges of wearing multiple hats — as well as filming in Morocco. “We had great fun riding camels,” he says. “When they stand up, that’s a thrill!”
How did you come up with the idea for “American Odyssey”?
My writing partners, Adam, Kay and I, had been working on a pilot for NBC that didn’t work. We had kind of bombed it. We were trying to figure out what to do next, and a producer came to us and suggested a modern take on the Odyssey. We didn’t want to »
- Debra Birnbaum
NBC describes “American Odyssey” as “’Traffic’-like,” which might explain the lack of inspiration permeating this multi-pronged drama, which, much like sibling USA’s “Dig,” hinges on a vast (and tedious) conspiracy. The intersecting threads involve a U.S. soldier in North Africa, a corporate lawyer and an Occupy-type political activist, each embroiled in a monstrous plot reaching up and into government. First-rate casting — including Anna Friel, Peter Facinelli and Treat Williams — can’t obscure the been-there, seen-that sensation, which doesn’t spur much curiosity about how these tentacles connect or offer much hope the show will last long enough to find out.
Friel (“Pushing Daisies”) plays the soldier, Sgt. Odelle Ballard, who while on a mission in Mali pursuing a wanted terrorist stumbles across computer files revealing a major corporation is providing money to the Jihadists. When she offers an inkling of what she has learned to higher-ups — namely, »
- Brian Lowry
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