Before he created Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan worked on a number of failed pilots. One of them was for a show called A.M.P.E.D; which apparently involved a police squad fighting monsters in the shady streets of Minnesota. It was shot for Spike TV and (thankfully) never picked up. Why I am mentioning it is that Gilligan co-wrote that pilot with a man named Frank Spotniz, a writer he worked with on his time on The X-Files. After A.M.P.E.D failed to go to series, Gilligan went off and created Breaking Bad and Spotniz took the reigns of Cinemax’s Strike Back sequel series which was meant to be that network’s flagship series. Thank god they split up because Spotniz was clearly dragging Gilligan down. Strike Back: Project Dawn as it was called ended up being a horrible mess but somehow it has come away with two additional series (god knows how that happened). However, Spotniz is now taking his try at doing something wholly original which I only hope means he will not be constrained by story elements established before he got his hands on Strike Back.
His new show, debuting tonight on Cinemax, marks Cinemax’s second original (non-erotic) series and marks a departure for the male skewing network. Starring Melissa George and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Ecko from Lost), Hunted is a cross between Taken and 24. The show follows an agent who, after surviving an attempt on her life, goes on the run to figure out who is trying to kill her which ultimately leads her to uncover a vast conspiracy. Though the logline sounds extremely run of the mill, I must give Cinemax credit for putting out stylish trailers that at least make the show seem compelling. The show has a nice and distinctive British flair to it with production qualities that are only seen on the most popular of British shows (Dr. Who, Spooks) and it is a nice change of pace to see that. The only thing that will make me be warry of going into it with much expectations is that Spotniz has a spotty track record when it comes to manning his own shows and that the trailers, though arthouse in feel, do leave me skeptical about whether not this show will be as compelling as spy stories of the past. I’m calling this one as I see it and I’ll be proceeding with caution.
Official Episode Description, “Pilot”: Pregnant Sam Hunter is part of a team from Byzantium, a private security company completing the rescue of a doctor imprisoned in Tangiers when later in the day, alone, she is ambushed and badly wounded. A year later after recovering in Scotland she returns to her company in London, who thought she was dead, to take up her old job determined to find who betrayed her.
The series premieres tonight on Cinemax at 10:00pm. Don’t get Cinemax? Well, there are a lot of other shows to watch tonight…
ABC: Shark Tank (reality)
FOX: Baseball Playoffs (sports)
CW: America’s Next top Model (reality competition)
SYFY: WWE SmackDown (wrestling)
ANIMAL: Monsters Inside Me (docu)
DISNEY: Make Your Mark (teen reality)
NBC: Grimm (supernatural drama)
ABC: What Would You Do? (hidden camera)
CBS: CSI: NY (crime drama)
CW: Nikita (action drama)
TBS: For Better or Worse (comedy)
HGTV: Home Strange Home (docu)
TRAVEL: Ghost Adventures (docu)
ABC: 20/20 (news showcase)
CBS: Blue Bloods (crime drama)
NBC: Dateline NBC (news showcase)
PBS: Voces on PBS (docu)
E!: Fashion Police (entertainment news)
FX: The Ultimate Fighter Fridays (fighting)
SYFY: Haven (supernatural drama)