During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.

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2   1  
2005   2003  
Top Rated TV #186 | Won 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 9 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Samson (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Ruthie (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Brother Justin Crowe (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Lila (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Clayton 'Jonesy' Jones (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Sofie (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Rita Sue Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Libby Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Felix 'Stumpy' Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Iris Crowe (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Ben Hawkins (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Gabriel (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Apollonia (18 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Professor Ernst Lodz (16 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Reverend Norman Balthus (16 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Henry 'Hack' Scudder (15 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Burley (14 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Tommy Dolan (13 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Gecko (12 episodes, 2003)
Karyne Steben ...
 Alexandria (12 episodes, 2003)
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 Varlyn Stroud (12 episodes, 2005)
Sarah Steben ...
 Caladonia (12 episodes, 2003)
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 Osgood (12 episodes, 2003-2005)
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Storyline

1934, America. The Dustbowl. A fugitive named Ben Hawkins finds refuge within a traveling carnival comprised of a tarot card reader and her catatonic/telekinetic mother, a blind mentalist, a bearded lady, and conjoined twins, amongst others. The carnival is owned by the mysterious and unseen Management, who has designs on the young Hawkins, for the boy is concealing an untapped gift: he can heal the lame and raise the dead--at a price. Ben also finds himself disturbed by cryptic and prophetic dreams, which he shares with a Methodist preacher in California, Brother Justin Crowe. Brother Justin, convinced by his dreams he is following God's will, has begun to practice his own extraordinary talents, although the preacher's plans increasingly lead to disturbing and tragic consequences. In this "last great age of magic," Ben Hawkins and Justin Crowe are moving toward a great conflict between Good and Evil, although it not yet clear on which sides these men will stand. Written by matta2k

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Into each generation is born a creature of light and a creature of darkness. See more »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

14 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La feria ambulante  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nick Stahl and John Savage previously appeared together in The Thin Red Line (1998). See more »

Goofs

Whenever "Russian" dialogue is heard, most of it is just gibberish. See more »

Quotes

Ruthie: Honey, everyone has bad dreams. It's the times we live in, its hard to be happy. It's hard to feel safe.
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Connections

Featured in Man Seeking Woman: Gavel (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Give Carnivale a chance, it's worth your time
7 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This show is wonderful - and I've just started watching it this season. Instead of mundane HBO programming out to just woo shallow critics and the usual unimaginative American audiences, this show goes beyond this world to illustrate truth, deception, good and evil. The story is complex for some, since most story lines do not conclude in one episode (then again, it's not a sitcom). The actors are amazing, the writers, brilliant, the creators, well I'm surprised HBO would let this one into their usual thematic dramas (you know what I'm talking about). I can't say enough good things about this show. If you happen to catch it and have no idea what's going on, don't give up - just pay close attention and you'll be utterly enthralled with the brilliance of this show. Carnivale is "out of the box" thinking, which I always love, so unless you enjoy the same old, same old programming, give Carnivale a whirl. It's worth your viewing pleasure!


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