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.

Creator:

Daniel Knauf
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1,100 ( 98)

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2005   2003  
Top Rated TV #212 | Won 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 9 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Michael J. Anderson ...  Samson 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Adrienne Barbeau ...  Ruthie 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Clancy Brown ...  Brother Justin Crowe 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Debra Christofferson ...  Lila 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Tim DeKay ...  Clayton 'Jonesy' Jones 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Clea DuVall ...  Sofie 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Cynthia Ettinger ...  Rita Sue Dreifuss 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Carla Gallo ...  Libby Dreifuss 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Toby Huss ...  Felix 'Stumpy' Dreifuss 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Amy Madigan ...  Iris Crowe 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Nick Stahl ...  Ben Hawkins 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Brian Turk ...  Gabriel 24 episodes, 2003-2005
Diane Salinger ...  Apollonia 18 episodes, 2003-2005
Patrick Bauchau ...  Professor Ernst Lodz 16 episodes, 2003-2005
Ralph Waite ...  Reverend Norman Balthus 16 episodes, 2003-2005
John Savage ...  Henry 'Hack' Scudder 15 episodes, 2003-2005
Scott MacDonald ...  Burley 14 episodes, 2003-2005
Robert Knepper ...  Tommy Dolan 13 episodes, 2003-2005
John Fleck ...  Gecko 12 episodes, 2003
Karyne Steben Karyne Steben ...  Alexandria 12 episodes, 2003
John Carroll Lynch ...  Varlyn Stroud 12 episodes, 2005
Sarah Steben Sarah Steben ...  Caladonia 12 episodes, 2003
Blake Shields ...  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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

HBO

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian | French | German

Release Date:

14 September 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La feria ambulante See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Sofie consistently deals Tarot cards incorrectly. When shown taking cards from the deck and placing them face-up on the table, she always turns them lengthwise, thereby inverting the card from its position in the deck. Since a Tarot card has a different meaning if upside-down, cards should always be turned over sideways, so that if they are right-side-up in the deck, they remain so in the spread. See more »

Quotes

Justin: Vulgarity is not a sin against God, but against polite society. Between you and me, I don't give a shit about polite society.
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Connections

Referenced in Inside Amy Schumer: Tyler Perry's Episode (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brilliant
28 December 2004 | by silmawenSee all my reviews

Carnivale is absolutely brilliant. I am amazed at every episode. The story unfolds with wonderfully colorful layers that constantly change the way you look at it. At times, the acting seems a little forced. With a cast of such talented actors I have to believe that that is the fault of the production itself. Nick Stahl, however, gives an absolutely flawless performance every time. He's really grown into his talent (and looks!). I am most impressed by the writing, the way the human aspect of the characters is so well interwoven with the macabre imagery. A production with this kind of theme and these kind of characters could easily turn campy and yet it doesn't. There's no way a show like this should be believable, but it is.


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