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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2005   2003  
Top Rated TV #205 | Won 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 9 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Their journey. Their battle. Our future. See more »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

HBO

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Release Date:

14 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La feria ambulante  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael J. Anderson, who plays the head of the carnival, was previously a guest star on The X-Files "Humbug"The X-Files: Humbug (1995) in which he played a hotel owner who was offended when Mulder mistook him for a worker at the nearby carnival. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Samson: On the heels of the skirmish man foolishly called The War to End All Wars, the dark one sought to elude his destiny, and live as a mortal. So he fled across the ocean to the empire called America. But by his mere presence, a cancer corrupted the spirit of the land. People were rendered mute by fools who spoke many words but said nothing... for whom oppression and cowardice were virtues... and freedom, an obscenity. And into this dark heartland, a prophet stalked his enemy. Until, dimished by ...
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Connections

Referenced in (500) Days of Summer (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Give Carnivale a chance, it's worth your time
7 February 2005 | by 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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