8.5/10
40,092
120 user 32 critic

Carnivàle 

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
Reviews
Popularity
775 ( 196)

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



2   1  
2005   2003  
Top Rated TV #225 | 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

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

Quotes

Lucius Belyakov: A dark heart dwells where the branches meet / Anointed dagger plunge thee deep.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Comeback: Valerie Tries to Get Yesterday Back (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Story and Character driven Masterpiece!
4 May 2006 | by snowboarder1957See all my reviews

Carnivale will take you on a journey beyond the normal human boundaries into a world where weirdness and metaphysical wonders will capture your imagination. Once hooked in from the beginning, it is a feast in every sense of the word as you will keep wondering how it will unfold, what course of events will follow. Definitely a story for thirsty adults who are bored with plot driven formulas, and long to enter a world of magic. The acting, visuals, and story delivers!

The story focuses on Ben Hawkins, a young man who knows he has the power to heal set in the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. Ben is "lost" and picked up by a traveling Carnivale where seen by the unseen management who spots what Ben really is. Ben's healing power can bring you back from the dead, not just heal you from being crippled as seen in the very first episode, which completely hooked me and I only saw the last few minutes of the show.

Ben must come to understand how to use his gift and exactly what seems to happen when the "avatar energy" comes through him. There is conflict inside Ben that creates the back drop for the rest of the story as he figures out who he is. The images inside Ben's mind are both artful and intriguing which keep you wanting to know more. In Carnivale the characters grow and develop, each weaving a wondrous part in the tapestry of good and evil.

Some say Carnivale starts out slow, however the level of acting, and story telling delivers past the point fascination, and nothing else out there even comes close!!


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