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 #204 | 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

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Taglines:

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


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

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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

Both John Aylward and Clancy Brown appeared on several episodes of the TV series ER. 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

Charlie Lewis: You always had a beard?
Lila: Ever since I was thirteen.
Charlie Lewis: Me too.
Lila: You come by my tent later, dark and handsome, and I'll show you something else I had since I was thirteen.
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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 See 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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