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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1,073 ( 27)

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2   1  
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:

Their journey. Their battle. Our future. 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
See full technical specs »
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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: I'm reminded of the phrase "making a deal with the devil".
Tommy Dolan: Aw, come on. I'm not that bad.
Justin: No. You're not.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Man Seeking Woman: Scepter (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Waiting with bated breath...don't-ya-know!
8 January 2005 | by nanetteSee all my reviews

We just finished watching all of the first season episodes in a two-day marathon of 'Carnivaling.' All this watching done in wonderful anticipation of Sundays new episode. We love this kind of story telling - convoluted, curious, brain-worthy and fun. The characters are mysterious, interesting, and yet familiar at the same time. We have found fellow Carnivale followers in unexpected places. You never know who might be an admirer.

There can't be enough of this style of entertainment on TV. Don't let anyone say consumers don't appreciate storytelling with panache. Thanks to Daniel Knauf and everyone involved. Continue the GREAT work! Just a note from some of your devoted 'audience' in Albany, NY. We couldn't be the RUBES could we? Naw......LOL!


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