The Full Wiki

Kings (U.S. TV series): Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to Kings (American TV series) article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kings
Kings-title-card.jpg
Kings intertitle
Genre Serial drama
Speculative fiction
Created by Michael Green
Starring Christopher Egan
Ian McShane
Allison Miller
Susanna Thompson
Macaulay Culkin
Sebastian Stan
Eamonn Walker
Dylan Baker
Wes Studi
Theme music composer Trevor Morris
Composer(s) Trevor Morris
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English.
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Michael Green
Francis Lawrence
Erwin Stoff
Producer(s) Erik Oleson (supervisor/consulting)
Barry M. Berg (producer)
Margot Lulick (producer)
Kate Gordon (associate producer)
Dara Schnapper (associate producer)
John A. Smith (associate producer)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run March 15, 2009 (2009-03-15) – July 25, 2009 (2009-07-25)
External links
Official website

Kings is a television drama series which aired on NBC and Citytv. The series' narrative is loosely based on the Biblical story of King David, but set in a kingdom that culturally and technologically resembles the present-day United States.[1][2][3]

Advance showings received mostly positive critical reviews.[4] The March 15, 2009 premiere placed 4th in network television ratings for that evening.[5][6] After four episodes aired, NBC moved it to a Saturday slot,[7] but only showed one more episode before pulling the series until summer.[8] The remaining seven episodes were aired on Saturdays in June and July.

Kings was canceled after failing to find a sufficient audience.[1][9]

Contents

Plot

Kings is set in the fictional Kingdom of Gilboa, a modern absolute monarchy. Gilboa is ruled by King Silas Benjamin, who originally formed the united kingdom two decades prior from the three warring countries of Gilboa, Carmel, and Selah. He believes that he has been divinely anointed king, and often cites the day when a swarm of butterflies once landed on his head in the form of "a living crown" which called upon him to form the kingdom.

All is not well for Silas: his policies and actions are being manipulated by his queen's brother, William Cross, who holds substantial control over the royal treasury and also appears to be the major stakeholder as CEO/Chairman of Crossgen (which appears to have a large stake in the economy of Gilboa); his heir, Prince Jack, is a closeted homosexual, which could undermine the royal family; and Silas himself has a secret mistress, as well as a young son with her.

Events of the series are set into motion when young David Shepherd, a Gilboan soldier in a war against the Republic of Gath, single-handedly rescues a captive soldier from behind enemy lines, and destroys a "Goliath-Class" tank with a hurled anti-tank mine. The captive soldier is Prince Jack, and David not only becomes an instant star in the national media, but also earns the gratitude of King Silas, much to the chagrin of the prince.

King Silas brings David into the capital city of Shiloh where he is promoted to Captain and then maneuvered into the plum position of military liaison to the media. He soon finds himself in the midst of royal court politics with little initial awareness of the forces acting behind them. He also develops feelings for Silas's daughter, Princess Michelle, which she privately reciprocates.

In the pilot episode, David, much like Silas years before, is set upon by a living "crown" of butterflies, as Silas witnesses the event from a discreet distance. Silas has already been told that God no longer supports his reign, and this then implies that David is the divine choice as his successor. This troubles the King so much that he initially plots to have David killed. Silas, however, soon comes to interpret the reappearance of the butterflies as an omen that David is meant to serve him, and young David accepts this, thereby being drawn deeper into the court. Through the series, David and Michelle's romance blossoms, first secretly and then publicly when Michelle informs King Silas. Silas falsely accuses David of being a traitor because David lied to Silas about his relationship with Michelle. During David's imprisonment, Michelle learns that she is pregnant with David's child.

In the two-part finale, William Cross orchestrates a coup with the intention of placing Jack on the throne as his puppet. Silas is shot, but survives. Although Silas has framed David for treason, David helps return him to power. Reverend Samuels is killed under William's orders, but appears in posthumous visions to both David and Silas (neither of whom is aware that Samuels is dead), informing them that God has chosen David to be the next king. David flees to Gath on Samuels' advice, and Michelle is sent into exile to bear his child in secret. Silas declares that he is now God's enemy.

Cast

  • Christopher Egan as David Shepherd, a counterpart to the biblical David.[2][10] David is an idealistic young soldier who finds himself in the unfamiliar world of court intrigue.[11]
  • Ian McShane as Silas Benjamin, King of Gilboa, a counterpart to the biblical King Saul.[2][10] Silas has united the kingdom of Gilboa and built its capital city, Shiloh, but now fears that God has forsaken him.[11]
  • Susanna Thompson as Rose Benjamin, Queen of Gilboa, a counterpart to the biblical Ahinoam, is the wife of King Silas. The queen claims to abhor politics, but ruthlessly manipulates court life from behind the scenes.[3]
  • Allison Miller as Michelle Benjamin, Princess of Gilboa, a counterpart to the biblical Michal.[10] Silas's daughter and crusader for improving the kingdom's health care system, Michelle finds herself drawn towards David.
  • Sebastian Stan as Jonathan (Jack) Benjamin, Crown Prince of Gilboa, a counterpart to the biblical Jonathan.[10][12] Jack is Silas's ambitious and frustrated son, who initially sees David as a rival at court. Jack plays the role of a dissolute, womanizing rake in front of the kingdom's press, but is secretly gay. The king knows that Jack is gay, and challenges him to restrain his desires if he wishes to become king.[12]
  • Eamonn Walker as The Reverend Ephram Samuels, a counterpart to the biblical prophet Samuel.[10][13] Reverend Samuels was instrumental in Silas's rise to power, but his relationship with the king has since become strained.[11]
  • Dylan Baker as William Cross, industrialist and brother to Queen Rose. William finances Silas' Royal Treasury, but withdraws his funds when, contrary to his wishes, Silas seeks an end to the war with neighboring Gath.[citation needed]
  • Wes Studi as General Linus Abner, a counterpart to the biblical Abner, is the head of Gilboa's military.[3] Though initially loyal to the king, Abner eventually betrays Silas as he believes the king has become too 'soft'; in the episode "Brotherhood" Abner is killed by Silas for his betrayal.[11]
  • Sarita Choudhury as Helen Pardis, King Silas's mistress and mother of his illegitimate son. Silas attempts to offer up his relationship with Helen as a sacrifice to God in order to save his son's life, but eventually returns to her.[14]

Minor characters

  • Andrew Cross (Macaulay Culkin), the son of William Cross and nephew to the king, who was exiled from Gilboa for unspecified reasons, but has returned as part of a deal between Silas and William
  • Jessie Shepherd (Becky Ann Baker), David's mother
  • Damien Shaw (Mark Margolis), Premier of Gath
  • General Mallick (Miguel Ferrer), Head of Gath military
  • Chancellor Marcus Hanson (Michael Crane)
  • Vesper Abedon (Brian Cox), the former King of Carmel
  • John Greenway, chief economist at Shiloh National Bank
  • Press Minister Forsythe (Reed Birney)
  • Thomasina (Marlyne Afflack), the efficient palace secretary and aide-de-camp
  • Perry Straussler (Steve Rosen), court historian and biographer of King Silas
  • Joseph Lasile (Michael Arden), Jack's clandestine boyfriend
  • Katrina Ghent (Leslie Bibb), socialite and new Minister of Information
  • Klotz (Joel Garland) and Boyden (Jason Antoon), members of the Royal Guard
  • Seth (Kobi and Kadin George), King Silas' illegitimate son
  • Paul Lash (Michael Stahl-David), Michelle's partner in her health care plan
  • Lucinda Wolfsen (Kathleen Mealia), one of Jack's girlfriends from a famous upper class family.

Episode list

# Title[15] Director(s) Writer(s) Original Airdate
1 "Goliath (Part 1)" Francis Lawrence Michael Green March 15, 2009 (2009-03-15)
King Silas Benjamin (Ian McShane) confronts escalating tensions with a neighboring country in the premiere episode of this drama set in a modern-day monarchy. Meanwhile, a young soldier (Christopher Egan) inspires the nation after a bold rescue mission in which he unknowingly retrieved the king's son (Sebastian Stan) from an enemy camp. 
2 "Goliath (Part 2)" Francis Lawrence Michael Green March 15, 2009 (2009-03-15)
David goes to the frontlines of the renewed conflict to see his wounded brother. In doing so he reveals the truth of the Goliath encounter to him before he dies. Filled with anguish he crosses no man's land to plead for peace which is ultimately successful. Gath agrees to discuss a possible treaty with Gilboa. 
3 "Prosperity" Francis Lawrence Michael Green March 22, 2009 (2009-03-22)
Silas and Abner plot against David, whose absence from a treaty signing with Gath prompts concerns from Gath's leader. Meanwhile, William uses his power over the treasury to undermine Silas, and Jack goes on a shopping spree to spite his parents. 
4 "First Night" Francis Lawrence Michael Green March 29, 2009 (2009-03-29)
Silas ducks out of an event to be with his ailing illegitimate son. Elsewhere, Jack takes David out for a night on the town in hopes of tarnishing his image, and Reverend Samuels continues to clash with Silas. 
5 "Insurrection" Adam Davidson Erik Oleson April 5, 2009 (2009-04-05)
David's loyalties are tested after Silas leverages Port Prosperity during negotiations with Gath. Elsewhere, Michelle takes action when Gilboa's citizens rebel against Silas' decision, and William tries to persuade Jack to help him overthrow his father. 
6 "Judgment Day" Clark Johnson Julie Martin April 18, 2009 (2009-04-18)
Silas presides over 10 cases during an annual tradition called Judgment Day. The event drives a wedge between David and Michelle, who compete against each other for the 10th case spot. Elsewhere, the king's nephew (Macaulay Culkin) returns from exile, and Jack and Katrina grow closer during their quest for power. 
7 "Brotherhood" Tucker Gates Kamran Pasha June 13, 2009 (2009-06-13)[8]
Jack and David go to Gath to shore up the peace treaty, which is threatened by Gath's dangerous request. Elsewhere, Michelle encounters problems stemming from her health-care bill, and Silas takes steps to prevent a plague from ravaging the city, and end the plague that exists in his own house. 
8 "The Sabbath Queen" Akiva Goldsman Michael Green June 20, 2009 (2009-06-20)[16]
King Silas' birthday celebration is interrupted by a citywide blackout that puts the royal family in danger. The blackout gives Michelle and David a chance to be alone, and provides Jack with an opportunity to engage in his secret double life without being noticed. Meanwhile, a decision from Silas' past catches up with him and threatens his future. 
9 "Pilgrimage" Ed Bianchi David Schulner June 27, 2009 (2009-06-27)[16]
King Silas goes on a pilgrimage and takes a surprised David with him. While out in the country, David is introduced to the king’s hidden life outside the palace walls. Meanwhile, Michelle and Jack’s respective secret love lives are under the threat of being exposed, forcing Queen Rose to take protective action. 
10 "Chapter One" Adam Kane Bradford Winters July 4, 2009 (2009-07-04)
King Silas sends David on a quest to recover a national treasure, the Charter of Gilboa. While on the mission, David discovers shocking information about his father’s death. Meanwhile, Jack’s engagement to Katrina brings grief from Queen Rose and generosity from Silas. 
11 "Javelin" Clark Johnson Seamus Kevin Fahey July 11, 2009 (2009-07-11)
David is arrested for treason and Silas puts the trial in Jack’s hands. Meanwhile, an unexpected medical condition pulls Michelle away from David’s trial and brings her closer to Rose. 
12 "The New King (Part 1)" Ed Bianchi Kara Corthron July 18, 2009 (2009-07-18)
After imprisoning Jack and David for treason, Silas continues with his plan to hand over Port Prosperity to long-time enemy Gath. Meanwhile, Michelle seeks a way to keep David alive. 
13 "The New King (Part 2)" Tucker Gates Story: Julie Martin & Erik Oleson
Teleplay: Michael Green & David Schulner
July 25, 2009 (2009-07-25)
Jack and William make plans for Jack to take his father's place as King of Gilboa. To everyone's surprise, Silas is alive and David escapes Shiloh to warn Silas about the chaos to come. 

Development

On November 5, 2007, NBC ordered the two-hour pilot of Kings; the last pilot NBC ordered before the 2007 Writer's Strike. Michael Green (Heroes, Everwood) penned the script and Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) was set to direct.[17] When Green pitched the series to NBC, he told them:

I want to take one of the classic stories that no one has ever retold and find a way to re-conceive it while still being faithful to the original material but at the same time exploring the themes, modernizing it in every way.[18]

NBC officially ordered the show to series on May 19, 2008.[19] Green planned out the entire first season, which was to consist of thirteen episodes.[18]

'Kings' was also the beneficiary of an unusual advertising arrangement; insurance company Liberty Mutual sponsored Kings with US$5 million.[20] Liberty Mutual had approached ABC and CBS about such an arrangement, previously.[20] A report in Forbes magazine said that Liberty Mutual was involved in the show's creative development — including "the right to go over the show's scripts", and even "clean[ing] up dialogue".[20] However, show creator Michael Green denied that Liberty Mutual controlled or censored the show in any way.[21]

The series was filmed partially in New York City at the New York Public Library, the Time Warner Center, and the Apthorp building, on Broadway between 78th and 79th streets,[22] the Brooklyn Museum, on Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue,[23], Union Theological Seminary on Broadway and 121st St, as well as in and around the The Capitale Building in Downtown New York City on Grand Street and Elizabeth Street, and soundstages in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.[citation needed] Filming for the pilot was also done at Hempstead House, part of the former Guggenheim estate at Sands Point Preserve on Long Island.[24] The script for the first episode, "Goliath", was leaked some time prior to broadcast.[25]

NBC did not advertise Kings during its broadcast of the 2009 Super Bowl, although it did advertise several other programs.[26] In interviews with NBC executives, Television Week described a three-phase marketing push on behalf of Kings, and stated that NBC was "going out of its way since November to market Kings to so-called cultural tastemakers, hoping they’ll help spread the word to the masses".[27]

Green said that although NBC was editorially supportive of Kings and its religious themes, the network's marketing division shied away from mentioning the drama's Biblical roots and themes of faith in advertising:

I talked extensively with them about this. It was a very bizarre divide. I found that in the development of the show, on the creative level of what the episodes and their content would be, I got nothing but support and interest in the religious or magical or somehow belief-inspired storytelling.

When the time came for the marketing, there was a very deliberate, outspoken, loud desire articulated by them that, 'We are not going to say King David.' They were scared to say King David. They just felt that that would be detrimental to the show. I thought it was the clearest way to express what the show was about, and I thought it might actually generate interest. But there was a fear of either backlash or marginalizing or pigeonholing. There were a lot of reasons they had. They wouldn't go near it in the marketing, but they never had a problem with it on the creative level, which is why I was so baffled.[21]

Green also expressed disappointment that Kings was not marketed to religious audiences:

…[my] experience was that they didn't know about it. The marketing stayed away from it. To their detriment, they spent their money on a campaign that tried to sell the sci-fi aspects of a monarchy. And that utterly failed to generate any interest in the show. So nobody knew what it was.[21]

Green attributed the decision to avoid mentioning the show's Biblical roots in promotion to "fear of reprisal from the religious audience".[9]

Casting

The role for King Silas was originally written for Ian McShane, but Green thought that it would be unlikely to get him to play the lead. McShane was sent the script and enjoyed it, and was very open to returning to television after the critically acclaimed HBO series Deadwood.[18] "Probably two or three hundred" actors auditioned for the role of David Shepherd, before producers came across Chris Egan, "who was a real find," according to Lawrence.[28] Allison Miller was also cast late in the process, joining Sebastian Stan and Susanna Thompson.[28] Brian Cox joined the series in a recurring role, playing a rival to King Silas.[29] Macaulay Culkin also appeared in a multi-episode arc, playing King Silas's nephew, who was exiled for mysterious reasons.[30] Miguel Ferrer (Crossing Jordan), Michael Stahl-David (The Black Donnellys), and Leslie Bibb (Crossing Jordan) were also cast for multi-episode arcs.[30] Saffron Burrows appeared in one episode as Death.[30]

Reception

An early review of Green's pilot script called the show "bold, bizarre, fun."[31] NBC pre-released the first four episodes of the series to critics and garnered mostly positive reviews.[32] Edward Douglas of ComingSoon.Net stated that "the writing is sharp and the acting is excellent, as Green has assembled a cast that's almost unprecedented for a television show. Ian McShane is as riveting in the role of King Silas as he was as Al Swearengen, giving the sort of loquacious speeches that he's great at giving."[33] Brian Ford Sullivan of The Futon Critic commented that "Kings is ultimately a show you're either going to dismiss as silly and pretentious or fall in love with because of its silliness and pretentiousness. I find myself in the latter category because I'm always a sucker for swing-for-fences serialized shows like this, especially when it looks ... and feels unlike anything on television right now."[34] In a glowing review of the series' pilot, Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com praised the series' themes, scope, art direction, cinematography and Ian McShane's performance, concluding: "The dialogue is just so artful and poetic, the characters are so appealing, the whole damn package is so original and daring and lovely, that after watching the first four hours, it's impossible not to feel inspired and cheered by the fact that a drama this ambitious and unique could make it onto network TV."[35] Young adult book author Brent Hartinger said, "The new NBC series Kings ... is top-notch television — smart, original, and thoroughly engrossing — and it will end up reshaping the television landscape in much the way fantasy-esque shows such as Lost and Buffy the Vampire Slayer did."[36] However, writing for gay entertainment website AfterElton.com, Hartinger argued that the show "de-gayed" the romantic aspect between David and Jack — David and Jonathan in the Biblical telling — as well as turning Jack into a stereotypical villain.[12]

Other reviewers were less positive. In a scathing review, Ray Richmond of The Hollywood Reporter said that Kings "takes an utterly straight-faced and painfully earnest approach to the kind of broad nighttime soap opera that once fueled Dallas and (especially) Dynasty through the 1980s, but to watch something so anal-retentive and full of itself in the new century can't help but play as unintended farce."[37] Nancy deWolf Smith of The Wall Street Journal also compared the series unfavorably to the work of Aaron Spelling, and accused the series of "deadening pretentiousness" and "a failure of imagination".[38] However, many reviewers, while criticizing the drama's stylized dialogue[2][39] or calling its Biblical themes "pretentious"[39], praised Ian McShane's kingly performance and the show's ambitions.[2][13][39]

The March 15, 2009 NBC premiere of Kings "was the lowest-rated program between 8 and 11 p.m. on a major broadcast network", garnering a 1.6 rating/4 share, below ABC, CBS, and Fox.[6] This was significantly lower than the ratings for NBC's programming on the previous Sunday, a Saturday Night Live clip show and a segment of Celebrity Apprentice.[32] Mediaweek magazine noted that "one year earlier in this block, the second half of a two-hour edition of Dateline and a repeat of Law & Order was considerably stronger at an average 6.3/10 in the overnights."[40] TV.com speculated that NBC underpromoted the show causing the lackluster pilot episode rating.[41]

Due to the unexpectedly rocky start, several media commentators predicted that Kings would be canceled[42] or have the already-filmed episodes "burned off" on another night, such as Saturday.[43] NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman was optimistic about the series' prospects:

I’m hoping because intent [to view] went up and awareness went up after it aired, clearly people responded to it, and it grew over its two hours. That gives me some hope. It's just hard to launch things that are not obvious. We may get nailed for it, but I'm proud of the show, and we need to keep taking chances like that.[44]

However, commentators pointed out that Silverman's remarks about the audience growth were "misleading"[45] and noted that the show cost "$10 million [for] Sunday's two-hour debut and is [costing] another $4 million per episode, an extravagant sum for any show and especially so given the program drew only 6 million viewers overall."[46]

The first hour-long episode of the series was broadcast on March 22, 2009, and endured further degradation in the ratings (1.3 rating /3 share), "down another 19% in the 18–49 demo"[47] and "running a distant fourth among the [four] broadcast net[work]s".[48] Kings scored 0.60 on Bill Gorman's Renew/Cancel Index ratio, significantly below the 1.0 threshold for viability, prompting Gorman to speculate that Kings was "certain to be canceled".[49][50]

After airing only four episodes, Kings was officially pulled from NBC's Sunday schedule.[7] The remaining episodes were to air on Saturday evening. On its first post-Kings Sunday, NBC aired a two-hour episode of Dateline NBC, enjoying an immediate near-doubling of their Sunday audience (from 3.6 million viewers to 6.4 million viewers).[51] After only one Saturday broadcast, NBC announced that the remaining episodes will air in the summer, from June 13 to July 25.[8]

Michael Green suggested that confused marketing and a weak launch contributed to the show's demise.[1][9] He also described the move to Saturdays as "the first step of cancellation".[9]

Episodes of the program are available on Hulu. Kings is now No. 33 in Hulu's all-time ranking.[52]

U.S. Nielsen ratings

Order Episode Rating Share Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
Rank
(Night)
Rank
(Timeslot)
Rank
(Week)
1 & 2 "Goliath" 3.9 6 1.6/4 6.07[5] 9 3 55
3 "Prosperity" 2.9 5 1.3/2 4.60[53] 13 4 67
4 "First Night" 3.0 5 1.9/3 4.51[54] 13 5 61
5 "Insurrection" 2.5 4 1.1/3 3.61[55] 13 4 59
6 "Judgement Day" 1.5 3[56] 0.6/2 2.41[57] 7 4 64
7 "Brotherhood" 0.9 2 0.3/1 1.59 10 4 39
8 "The Sabbath Queen" 1.2 3 0.5/2 1.94 11 4 28
9 "Pilgrimage" 1.0 3 0.4/2 1.54 11 4 41
10 "Chapter One" 1.1 3 0.3/1 1.30 10 4 34
11 "Javelin" 1.2 2 0.4/2 1.64 11 4 36[58]
12 "The New King (Part 1)" 1.0 2 0.4/2 1.57 11 4 38
13 "The New King (Part 2)" 1.3 3 0.4/2 1.80 10 3 38

DVD

A 3-disc DVD set, entitled Kings – The Complete Series, was released on September 29, 2009.[59] The DVD contains deleted scenes from the show's finale; the scenes were cut because they "created intrigue" for a second season, which by that point the producers knew would not be realized.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b c Alston, Joshua (July 17, 2009). "Losing Their Religion". Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/id/207059. Retrieved July 27, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Lloyd, Robert (March 13, 2009). "'Kings': An ambitious but puzzling take on the Old Testament". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/reviews/la-et-kings13-2009mar13,0,6940089.story. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  3. ^ a b c Maloni, Joshua (March 12, 2009). "Kings bows Sunday on NBC: Series loosely based on Bible’s King David". Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni (Niagara Frontier Publications). http://www.wnypapers.com/news/2009/03/a12_kings.html. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  4. ^ "Reviews from Metacritic – Kings". March 19, 2009. http://www.metacritic.com/tv/shows/kings. Retrieved March 19, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (March 17, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 9–15, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/17/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-9-15-2009/14720. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Hibberd, James (March 16, 2009). "NBC's 'Kings' dethroned in ratings". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/03/kings-nbc-premiere-ratings.html. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Hibberd, James (April 7, 2009). "NBC pulls 'Kings' from Sundays". The Hollywood Reporter. The Live Feed blog. http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/04/nbc-pulls-kings.html. Retrieved April 18, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (April 21, 2009). "NBC moves 'Kings' to summer". The Hollywood Reporter. The Live Feed blog. http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/04/nbc-moves-kings-to-summer.html. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Green, Michael (July 26, 2009). "Thank you and good night". Court Historian. NBC. http://www.courthistorian.com/2009/07/the-new-king-part-2.php. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Tugend, Tom (March 13, 2009). "Yeshiva vet aims to make King David must-see TV". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. http://jta.org/news/article/2009/03/13/1003687/yehsiva-vet-aims-to-make-king-david-must-see-tv. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  11. ^ a b c d The series itself
  12. ^ a b c Hartinger, Brent (March 16, 2009). "“Kings” Warps the Story of David and Jonathan". AfterElton.com. http://www.afterelton.com/TV/2009/3/kingswronggaypart. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  13. ^ a b Blanco, Robert (March 13, 2009). "Mishmash that is 'Kings' often overpowers an interesting idea". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/reviews/2009-03-12-kings-preview_N.htm?csp=34. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  14. ^ Kings, Season 1, Episode 3
  15. ^ "Kings". NBC Universal Media Village. http://nbcumv.com/entertainment/storylines.nbc/kings.html. Retrieved April 18, 2009. 
  16. ^ a b "Kings TV Listings". TV Guide. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/kings/tv-listings/293766. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  17. ^ "NBC Hastily Crowns 'Kings". Zap2it. November 5, 2007. http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-nbckingspilot,0,1755776.story. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b c Douglas, Edward (February 25, 2009). "EXCL: Kings Creators Michael Green & Francis Lawrence". Comingsoon.net. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/tvnews.php?id=53204. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  19. ^ Schneider, Michael (May 19, 2008). "NBC crowns 'Kings' for second time". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117986134.html?categoryid=1060&cs=1. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  20. ^ a b c Pomerantz, Dorothy (October 22, 2008). "Kings Gambit". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/1110/106.html?feed=rss_business. Retrieved March 25, 2009. 
  21. ^ a b c Rogers, Vaneta (May 15, 2009). "God Complexity: 'ELI', KINGS, the Almighty & Network TV". newsarama.com. http://www.newsarama.com/tv/090515-guggenheim-green-god.html. Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  22. ^ NBC Universal Media Village (April 2, 2008). "NBC Reveals Complete 52-Week Program Strategy, Earlier Than Ever, That Gives Advertisers the Opportunity to Create Unique Marketing Solutions". Press release. http://www.nbcumv.com/nbcunitv/release_detail.nbc/nbcuniversaltelevision-20080402000000-nbcrevealscomplete.html. Retrieved May 14, 2008. 
  23. ^ Brown, Lane (February 10, 2009). "NBC Invades Brooklyn Neighborhood With Tank". New York. http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/02/nbc_attacks_brooklyn_museum_wi.html. Retrieved April 18, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Sands Point Preserve featured Sunday on NBC's Kings". newsday.com. http://www.newsday.com/news/local/nassau/ny-lisand146068694mar14,0,381793.story. Retrieved March 14, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Script to New NBC Series KINGS leaked". .DocStoc Beta. http://www.docstoc.com/docs/3236354/Script_Kings_1x01_-_Goliath. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  26. ^ Hibberd, James (February 2, 2009). "Huh: NBC didn't promote 'Kings'". The Hollywood Reporter (The Live Feed blog). http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/02/huh-nbc-didnt-promote-kings-.html. Retrieved April 18, 2009. 
  27. ^ Adalian, Josef (March 1, 2009). "NBC Plays the ‘Kings’-maker". Television Week. http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/nbc_plays_the_kingsmaker.php. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 
  28. ^ a b Lee, Patrick (January 20, 2009). "The creators of NBC's Kings reveal the magic behind the realism". Sci Fi Wire. http://scifiwire.com/2009/01/the-creators-of-nbcs-kings-reveal-the-magic-behind-the-realism.php. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  29. ^ "'Kings' Stages a 'Deadwood' Reunion". Zap2it. October 17, 2008. http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-briancoxjoinskings,0,2043380.story. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  30. ^ a b c Ausiello, Michael (October 23, 2008). "Exclusive: NBC's Kings Courts Macaulay Culkin". Entertainment Weekly. http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2008/10/macaulay-culkin.html. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  31. ^ Hibberd, James (June 19, 2008). "NBC's 'Kings' script: bold, bizarre, fun". The Hollywood Reporter. The Live Feed blog. http://www.thrfeed.com/2008/06/nbcs-kings-scri.html. Retrieved June 23, 2008. 
  32. ^ a b Kissel, Rick (March 16, 2009). "Slow start for NBC's 'Kings'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001266.html?categoryid=14&cs=1. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 
  33. ^ Douglas, Edward (February 25, 2009). "A Sneak Preview of NBC's New Drama Kings". ComingSoon.net. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/tvnews.php?id=52794. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  34. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford (February 12, 2009). "The Futon's First Look: "Kings" (NBC)". The Futon Critic. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/rant.aspx?id=20090212_kings. Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  35. ^ Havrilesky, Heather (March 15, 2009). "I Like to Watch". Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/ent/tv/iltw/2009/03/15/kings/. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 
  36. ^ Hartinger, Brent (March 13, 2009). "Review: All Hail "Kings," TV's Terrific New Fantasy Show!". TheTorchOnline. http://thetorchonline.com/2009/03/13/review-all-hail-kings-tvs-terrific-new-fantasy-show/. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 
  37. ^ Richmond, Ray (March 12, 2009). "TV Review: Kings". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/tv-reviews/tv-review-kings-1003951110.story. Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  38. ^ Smith, Nancy deWolf (March 13, 2009). "A Dream of Kings". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123689429215111987.html. Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  39. ^ a b c Poniewozik, James (March 12, 2009). "NBC's 'Kings': The New Old Testament". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1884818,00.html. Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  40. ^ Berman, Marc (March 16, 2009). "NBC's Kings Left at the Starting Gate". Mediaweek. http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/community/programming-insider/newsletters/e3ibf6e058ce581c10790dbbbb8f1c4d533. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 
  41. ^ Surette, Tim (March 16, 2009). "Kings rules, but not in ratings". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/story/13132.html?tag=show;latest_news;title;0. Retrieved March 16, 2009. 
  42. ^ Hinman, Michael (March 16, 2009). "'Kings' Likely Won't Live Long After Premiere Stumbles". Airlock Alpha. http://www.airlockalpha.com/news426166.html. Retrieved March 17, 2009. 
  43. ^ "Kings: Is the New TV Show As Good As Cancelled Already?". TV Series Finale. March 16, 2009. http://tvseriesfinale.com/articles/kings-is-the-new-tv-show-as-good-as-cancelled-already/. Retrieved March 17, 2009. 
  44. ^ Hibberd, James (March 20, 2009). "Ben Silverman on Obama, Leno and 'Kings'". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/03/ben-silverman-on-obama-leno-and-kings-.html. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  45. ^ "Kings: NBC’s Silverman Still Has Hope for Low-Rated Drama". TV Series Finale. March 20, 2009. http://tvseriesfinale.com/articles/kings-nbcs-silverman-not-canceled/. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  46. ^ Picchi, Aimee (March 18, 2009). "NBC's Silverman Backed Expensive Kings". TV Week. http://www.tvweek.com/blogs/tvbizwire/2009/03/nbcs_silverman_backed_expensiv.php. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  47. ^ Gorman, Bill (March 23, 2009). "Sunday Ratings: NCAA Tourney, Obama Give CBS 18–49 Win, Fox Grabs 18–34 Demo". TV By The Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/23/sunday-ratings-ncaa-tourney-obama-give-cbs-18-49-win-fox-grabs-18-34-demo/15000. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  48. ^ Kissell, Rick (March 23, 2009). "Hoops, Obama lift CBS in ratings". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001533.html?categoryid=14&cs=1. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  49. ^ Gorman, Bill (March 31, 2009). "Which Shows Will Survive The NBC Cage Match?". TV By The Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/31/which-shows-will-survive-the-nbc-cage-match/15650. Retrieved April 1, 2009. 
  50. ^ Gorman, Bill (March 17, 2009). "Kings Reign To Be Short". TV By The Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/17/kings-reign-to-be-short/14764. Retrieved April 1, 2009. 
  51. ^ Armstrong, Jennifer (April 13, 2009). "Ratings: NBC Better Off Without 'Kings' On Sunday". Entertainment Weekly. http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2009/04/ratings-nbc-bet.html. Retrieved April 14, 2009. 
  52. ^ Fast Company (November 2009)
  53. ^ Seidman, Robert (March 24, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 16–22, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/24/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-16-22-2009/15108. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  54. ^ Seidman, Robert (March 31, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 23–29, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/31/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-23-29-2009/15602. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  55. ^ Seidman, Robert (April 7, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 30 – April 5, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/04/07/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-30-april-5-2009/16172. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  56. ^ "Broadcast TV Ratings for Saturday, April 18, 2009". 2009-04-19. http://yourentertainmentnow.com/2009/04/19/broadcast-tv-ratings-for-saturday-april-18-2009/#more-13132. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  57. ^ Gorman, Bill (April 19, 2009). "Saturday Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Beats Slow Field, Kings barely registers". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/04/19/saturday-ratings-nascar-sprint-cup-beats-slow-field/16988. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  58. ^ Gorman, Bill (July 12, 2009). "Saturday Ratings: Harper’s Island & Eli Stone Bow Out With A Whimper, As Fox Crime Wins". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/07/12/saturday-ratings-harpers-island-eli-stone-bow-out-with-a-whimper-as-fox-crime-wins/22631. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  59. ^ Kings – The Complete Series (2009)

External links


Kings
Genre Serial drama
Speculative fiction
Created by Michael Green
Starring Christopher Egan
Ian McShane
Allison Miller
Susanna Thompson
Macaulay Culkin
Sebastian Stan
Eamonn Walker
Dylan Baker
Wes Studi
Theme music composer Trevor Morris
Composer(s) Trevor Morris
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13[1]; 11 aired (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Michael Green
Francis Lawrence
Erwin Stoff
Producer(s) Erik Oleson (supervisor/consulting)
Barry M. Berg (producer)
Margot Lulick (producer)
Kate Gordon (associate producer)
Dara Schnapper (associate producer)
John A. Smith (associate producer)
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run March 15, 2009 – present
External links
Official website

Kings is a television drama series airing on NBC and Citytv, based on the Biblical story of King David in a kingdom that culturally and technologically resembles the present-day United States.

Advance showings received mostly positive critical reviews.[2] The March 15 premiere placed 4th in network television ratings for that evening, with 6.07 million viewers [3] (1.6 rating / 4 share in the 18-49 demographic).[4] After only four episodes on the air, however, NBC announced it was pulling the series from its Sunday slot. The network initially scheduled the remaining eight episodes to air Saturdays,[5] but after only one Saturday airing, pulled the program until summer.[6]

NBC did not order a second season of Kings for its 2009–2010 season, effectively canceling the program.[7]

Contents

Plot

Kings is set in the Kingdom of Gilboa, which technologically and culturally resembles the present-day United States; the government, however, is an absolute monarchy. Gilboa is ruled by King Silas Benjamin, who originally formed the united kingdom two decades prior from the three warring countries of Gilboa, Carmel, and Selah. He believes his power to be divine, often citing a day when a swarm of butterflies once landed on his head in the form of "a living crown" which called upon him to form the kingdom.

All is not well for Silas: his policies and actions are being manipulated by his Queen's brother, William Cross, who holds substantial control over the royal treasury and also appears to be the CEO/Chairman and/or a major stakeholder of Crossgen (which appears to have a large stake in the economy of Gilboa); his heir, Prince Jack, is a closeted homosexual, which could undermine the royal family; and Silas himself has a secret mistress as well as a young son with her. He ostensibly abandons his covert family because he believes it is the cost that God requires of him to save his illegitimate son from an illness.

Events of the series are set into motion when young David Shepherd, a Gilboan soldier in a war against the Republic of Gath, single-handedly rescues a captive soldier from behind enemy lines, and destroys a "Goliath-Class" tank with an anti-tank missile. The captive soldier is Prince Jack, and David not only becomes an instant star in the national media but earns the gratitude of King Silas as well, much to the chagrin of the Prince.

King Silas brings David into the capital city of Shiloh where he is promoted to Captain and then maneuvered into the plum position of military liaison to the media. He soon finds himself in the midst of royal court politics with little initial awareness of the forces acting behind them. He also develops feelings for Silas's daughter, Princess Michelle, which she privately reciprocates.

In the pilot episode David, too, is set upon by a living "crown" of butterflies as Silas witnesses the event from a discreet distance. Silas has already been told that God no longer supports his reign, and this then implies that David is the divine choice as his successor. This troubles the King so much that he initially plots to have David killed. Silas, however, soon comes to interpret the reappearance of the butterflies as an omen that David is meant to serve him, and young David accepts this, thereby being drawn deeper into the court.

Cast

  • Christopher Egan as David Shepherd, a counterpart to the biblical David. [8][9] David is an idealistic young soldier who finds himself in the unfamiliar world of court intrigue.
  • Ian McShane as King Silas Benjamin, a counterpart to the biblical King Saul.[8][9] Silas has united the kingdom of Gilboa and built its capital city, Shiloh, but now fears that God has forsaken him.
  • Susanna Thompson as Queen Rose Benjamin, a counterpart to the biblical Ahinoam, is the wife of King Silas. The Queen claims to abhor politics, but ruthlessly manipulates court life from behind the scenes.[10]
  • Allison Miller as Princess Michelle Benjamin, a counterpart to the biblical Michal.[9] Silas's daughter and crusader for improving the kingdom's health care system, Michelle finds herself drawn towards David.
  • Sebastian Stan as Prince Jonathan (Jack) Benjamin, a counterpart to the biblical Jonathan.[9][11] Jack is Silas's ambitious and frustrated son, who initially sees David as a rival at court. Jack plays the role of a dissolute, womanizing rake in front of the kingdom's press, but is secretly gay. The king knows that Jack is gay, and challenges him to restrain his desires if he wishes to become king.
  • Eamonn Walker as Rev. Ephram Samuels, a counterpart to the biblical prophet Samuel.[9][12] Reverend Samuels was instrumental in Silas's rise to power, but his relationship with the king has since become strained.
  • Dylan Baker as William Cross, industrialist and brother to Queen Rose. William finances Silas' Royal Treasury, but withdraws his funds when, contrary to his wishes, Silas seeks an end to the war with neighboring Gath.
  • Wes Studi as General Linus Abner, a counterpart to the biblical Abner, is the head of Gilboa's military.[13] Though initially loyal to the King, Abner eventually betrays Silas as he believes the King has become too 'soft'; in the episode "Brotherhood" Abner is killed by Silas for his betrayal.
  • Sarita Choudhury as Helen Pardis, King Silas's mistress and mother of his illegitimate son. Silas attempts to offer up his relationship with Helen as a sacrifice to God in order to save his son's life, but eventually returns to her.

Minor characters

  • Andrew Cross (Macaulay Culkin), the son of William Cross and nephew to the King, who was exiled from Gilboa for unspecified reasons, but has returned as part of a deal between Silas and William
  • Jessie Shepherd (Becky Ann Baker), David's mother
  • Damien Shaw (Mark Margolis), Premier of Gath
  • General Mallick (Miguel Ferrer), Head of Gath military
  • Chancellor Marcus Hanson (Michael Crane)
  • Vesper Abedon (Brian Cox), the former King of Carmel
  • John Greenway, chief economist at Shiloh National Bank
  • Press Minister Forsythe (Reed Birney)
  • Thomasina (Marlyne Afflack), the efficient palace secretary and aide-de-camp
  • Perry Straussler (Steve Rosen), court historian and biographer of King Silas
  • Joseph Lasile (Michael Arden), Jack's clandestine boyfriend
  • Katrina Ghent (Leslie Bibb), socialite and new Minister of Information
  • Klotz (Joel Garland) and Boyden (Jason Antoon), palace servants
  • Seth (Kobi and Kadin George), King Silas' illegitimate son
  • Paul Ash (Michael Stahl-David), Michelle's partner in her health care plan
  • Lucinda Wolfsen (Kathleen Mealia), one of Jack's girlfriends from a famous upperclass family.

Episode list

# Title Director(s) Writer(s) U.S. Viewers
(in millions)
U.S. Ratings/Share Airdate
1 "Goliath Part 1" Francis LawrenceMichael Green6.07[14]1.6 / 4March 15, 2009
King Silas Benjamin (Ian McShane) confronts escalating tensions with a neighboring country in the premiere episode of this drama set in a modern-day monarchy. Meanwhile, a young soldier (Christopher Egan) inspires the nation after a bold rescue mission in which he unknowingly retrieved the king's son (Sebastian Stan) from an enemy camp. 
2 "Goliath Part 2[15]" Francis LawrenceMichael Green6.07[16]2.1 / 4March 15, 2009
David goes to the frontlines of the renewed conflict to see his wounded brother. In doing so he reveals the truth of the Goliath encounter to him before he dies. Filled with anguish he crosses no man's land to plead for peace which is ultimately succesful. Gath agrees to discuss a possible treaty with Gilboa. 
3 "Prosperity[15]" Francis LawrenceMichael Green4.60[17]1.7 / 2March 22, 2009
Silas and Abner plot against David, whose absence from a treaty signing with Gath prompts concerns from Gath's leader. Meanwhile, William uses his power over the treasury to undermine Silas, and Jack goes on a shopping spree to spite his parents. 
4 "First Night[15]" Francis LawrenceMichael Green4.51[18]1.9 / 3March 29, 2009
Silas ducks out of an event to be with his ailing illegitimate son. Elsewhere, Jack takes David out for a night on the town in hopes of tarnishing his image, and Reverend Samuels continues to clash with Silas. 
5 "Insurrection[15]" Adam DavidsonErik Oleson3.61[19]1.5 / 3April 5, 2009
David's loyalties are tested after Silas leverages Port Prosperity during negotiations with Gath. Elsewhere, Michelle takes action when Gilboa's citizens rebel against Silas' decision, and William tries to persuade Jack to help him overthrow his father. 
6 "Judgment Day[15]" Clark JohnsonJulie Martin2.41[20]1.6/2April 18, 2009
Silas presides over 10 cases during an annual tradition called Judgment Day. The event drives a wedge between David and Michelle, who compete against each other for the 10th case spot. Elsewhere, the king's nephew (Macaulay Culkin) returns from exile, and Jack and Katrina grow closer during their quest for power. 
7 "Brotherhood[15]" Tucker GatesKamran Pasha1.590.3/1June 13, 2009[6]
Jack and David go to Gath to shore up the peace treaty, which is threatened by Gath's dangerous request. Elsewhere, Michelle encounters problems stemming from her health-care bill, and Silas takes steps to prevent a plague from ravaging the city, and end the plague that exists in his own house. 
8 "The Sabbath Queen[15]" Akiva GoldsmanMichael Green1.940.5/2June 20, 2009[21]
King Silas' birthday celebration is interrupted by a citywide blackout that puts the royal family in danger. The blackout gives Michelle and David a chance to be alone, and provides Jack with an opportunity to engage in his secret double life without being noticed. Meanwhile, a decision from Silas' past catches up with him and threatens his future. 
9 "Pilgrimage[15]" Ed BianchiDavid Schulner1.540.4/2June 27, 2009[21]
King Silas goes on a pilgrimage and takes a surprised David with him. While out in the country, David is introduced to the king’s hidden life outside the palace walls. Meanwhile, Michelle and Jack’s respective secret love lives are under the threat of being exposed, forcing Queen Rose to take protective action. 
10 "Chapter One[15]" Adam KaneBradford Winters1.300.3/1July 4, 2009
King Silas sends David on a quest to recover a national treasure, the Charter of Gilboa. While on the mission, David discovers shocking information about his father’s death. Meanwhile, Jack’s engagement to Katrina brings grief from Queen Rose and generosity from Silas. 
11 "Javelin[15]" Clark JohnsonSeamus Kevin Fahey1.640.4/2July 11, 2009
David is arrested for treason and Silas puts the trial in Jack’s hands. Meanwhile, an unexpected medical condition pulls Michelle away from David’s trial and brings her closer to Rose. 
12 "The New King (Part 1)[15]" Ed BianchiSeamus Kevin FaheyTBATBAJuly 18, 2009
After imprisoning Jack and David for treason, Silas continues with his plan to hand over Port Prosperity to long-time enemy Gath. Meanwhile, Michelle seeks a way to keep David alive. 
13 "The New King (Part 2)" Tucker GatesTBATBATBAJuly 25, 2009
Jack and William make plans for Jack to take his father's place as King of Gilboa. To everyone's surprise, Silas is alive and David escapes Shiloh to warn Silas about the chaos to come. 

Development

On November 5, 2007, NBC ordered the two-hour pilot of Kings; the last pilot NBC ordered before the 2007 Writer's Strike. Michael Green (Heroes, Everwood) penned the script and Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) was set to direct.[22] When Green pitched the series to NBC, he told them:
"I want to take one of the classic stories that no one has ever retold and find a way to re-conceive it while still being faithful to the original material but at the same time exploring the themes, modernizing it in every way."[1]
NBC officially ordered the show to series on May 19, 2008.[23] Green planned out the entire first season, which was to consist of thirteen episodes.[1]

'Kings' was also the beneficiary of an unusual advertising arrangement; insurance company Liberty Mutual sponsored Kings with US$5 million.[24] Liberty Mutual had approached ABC and CBS about such an arrangement, previously.[24] A report in Forbes magazine said that Liberty Mutual was involved in the show's creative development — including "the right to go over the show's scripts", and even "clean[ing] up dialogue".[24] However, show creator Michael Green denied that Liberty Mutual controlled or censored the show in any way.[25]

The series is filmed partially in New York City at the New York Public Library, the Time Warner Center, and the Apthorp building, on Broadway between 78th and 79th streets,[26][not in citation given] the Brooklyn Museum, on Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue,[27] as well as in and around the The Capitale Building in Downtown New York City on Grand Street and Elizabeth Street, and soundstages in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.Template:Fact Filming for the pilot was also done at Hempstead House, part of the former Guggenheim estate at Sands Point Preserve on Long Island.[28] The script for the first episode, "Goliath", was leaked some time prior to broadcast.[29]

NBC did not advertise Kings during its broadcast of the 2009 Super Bowl, although it did advertise several other programs.[30] In interviews with NBC executives, Television Week described a three-phase marketing push on behalf of Kings, and stated that NBC was "going out of its way since November to market Kings to so-called cultural tastemakers, hoping they’ll help spread the word to the masses".[31]

Green said that although NBC was editorially supportive of Kings and its religious themes, the network's marketing division shied away from mentioning the drama's Biblical roots and themes of faith in advertising:
"I talked extensively with them about this. It was a very bizarre divide. I found that in the development of the show, on the creative level of what the episodes and their content would be, I got nothing but support and interest in the religious or magical or somehow belief-inspired storytelling.

"When the time came for the marketing, there was a very deliberate, outspoken, loud desire articulated by them that, 'We are not going to say King David.' They were scared to say King David. They just felt that that would be detrimental to the show. I thought it was the clearest way to express what the show was about, and I thought it might actually generate interest. But there was a fear of either backlash or marginalizing or pigeonholing. There were a lot of reasons they had. They wouldn't go near it in the marketing, but they never had a problem with it on the creative level, which is why I was so baffled."[25]
Green also expressed disappointment that Kings was not marketed to religious audiences:
"...[my] experience was that they didn't know about it. The marketing stayed away from it. To their detriment, they spent their money on a campaign that tried to sell the sci-fi aspects of a monarchy. And that utterly failed to generate any interest in the show. So nobody knew what it was."[25]

Casting

The role for King Silas was originally written for Ian McShane, but Green thought that it would be unlikely to get him to play the lead. McShane was sent the script and enjoyed it, and was very open to returning to television after the critically acclaimed HBO series Deadwood.[1] "Probably two or three hundred" actors auditioned for the role of David Shepherd, before producers came across Chris Egan, "who was a real find," stated Lawrence.[32] Allison Miller was also cast late in the process, joining Sebastian Stan and Susanna Thompson.[32] Brian Cox will be joining the series in a recurring role, playing a rival to King Silas.[33] Macaulay Culkin will also appear in a multi-episode arc, playing King Silas's nephew, who was exiled for mysterious reasons.[34] Miguel Ferrer (Crossing Jordan), Michael Stahl-David (The Black Donnellys), and Leslie Bibb (Crossing Jordan) have also been booked for multi-episode arcs.[34] Saffron Burrows appears in one episode as Death.[34]

Reception

An early review of Green's pilot script called the show "bold, bizarre, fun."[35] NBC pre-released the first four episodes of the series to critics and garnered mostly positive reviews.[36] Edward Douglas of ComingSoon.Net stated that "the writing is sharp and the acting is excellent, as Green has assembled a cast that's almost unprecedented for a television show. Ian McShane is as riveting in the role of King Silas as he was as Al Swearengen, giving the sort of loquacious speeches that he's great at giving."[37] Brian Ford Sullivan of The Futon Critic commented that "Kings is ultimately a show you're either going to dismiss as silly and pretentious or fall in love with because of its silliness and pretentiousness. I find myself in the latter category because I'm always a sucker for swing-for-fences serialized shows like this, especially when it looks ... and feels unlike anything on television right now."[38] In a glowing review of the series' pilot, Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com praised the series' themes, scope, art direction, cinematography and Ian McShane's performance, concluding: "The dialogue is just so artful and poetic, the characters are so appealing, the whole damn package is so original and daring and lovely, that after watching the first four hours, it's impossible not to feel inspired and cheered by the fact that a drama this ambitious and unique could make it onto network TV."[39] Young adult book author Brent Hartinger said, "The new NBC series Kings ... is top-notch television — smart, original, and thoroughly engrossing — and it will end up reshaping the television landscape in much the way fantasy-esque shows such as Lost and Buffy the Vampire Slayer did."[40] However, writing for gay entertainment website AfterElton.com, Hartinger argued that the show "de-gayed" the romantic aspect between David and Jack — David and Jonathan in the Biblical telling — as well as turning Jack into a stereotypical villain.[11]

Other reviewers were less positive. In a scathing review, Ray Richmond of The Hollywood Reporter said that Kings "takes an utterly straight-faced and painfully earnest approach to the kind of broad nighttime soap opera that once fueled Dallas and (especially) Dynasty through the 1980s, but to watch something so anal-retentive and full of itself in the new century can't help but play as unintended farce."[41] Nancy deWolf Smith of The Wall Street Journal also compared the series unfavorably to the work of Aaron Spelling, and accused the series of "deadening pretentiousness" and "a failure of imagination".[42] However, many reviewers, while criticizing the drama's stylized dialogue[8][43] or calling its Biblical themes "pretentious"[43], praised Ian McShane's kingly performance and the show's ambitions.[8][12][43]

The March 15, 2009 NBC premiere of Kings "was the lowest-rated program between 8 and 11 p.m. on a major broadcast network", garnering a 1.6 rating/4 share, below ABC, CBS, and Fox.[4] This was significantly lower than the ratings for NBC's programming on the previous Sunday, a Saturday Night Live clip show and a segment of Celebrity Apprentice.[36] Mediaweek magazine noted that "one year earlier in this block, the second half of a two-hour edition of Dateline and a repeat of Law & Order was considerably stronger at an average 6.3/10 in the overnights."[44] TV.com speculated that NBC underpromoted the show causing the lackluster pilot episode rating.[45]

Due to the unexpectedly rocky start, several media commentators predicted that Kings would be canceled[46] or have the already-filmed episodes "burned off" on another night, such as Saturday.[47] NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman was optimistic about the series' prospects:

I’m hoping because intent [to view] went up and awareness went up after it aired, clearly people responded to it, and it grew over its two hours. That gives me some hope. It's just hard to launch things that are not obvious. We may get nailed for it, but I'm proud of the show, and we need to keep taking chances like that.[48]

However, commentators pointed out that Silverman's remarks about the audience growth were "misleading" [49] and noted that the show cost "$10 million [for] Sunday's two-hour debut and is [costing] another $4 million per episode, an extravagant sum for any show and especially so given the program drew only 6 million viewers overall."[50]

The first hour-long episode of the series was broadcast on March 22, 2009, and endured further degradation in the ratings (1.3 rating /3 share), "down another 19% in the 18-49 demo"[51] and "running a distant fourth among the [four] broadcast net[work]s".[52] Kings scored 0.60 on Bill Gorman's Renew/Cancel Index ratio, significantly below the 1.0 threshold for viability, prompting Gorman to speculate that Kings was "certain to be canceled".[53][54]

After airing only four episodes, Kings was officially pulled from NBC's Sunday schedule [5]. The remaining episodes were to air on Saturday evening. On its first post-Kings Sunday, NBC aired a two-hour episode of Dateline NBC, enjoying an immediate near-doubling of their Sunday audience (from 3.6 million viewers to 6.4 million viewers).[55] After only one Saturday broadcast, NBC announced that the remaining episodes will air in the summer, from June 13 to July 25.[6]

On May 19, NBC announced its 2009–2010 season; Kings was not renewed for a second season.[7]

US Nielsen ratings

Order Episode Rating Share Rating/share
(18-49)
Viewers (millions) Rank (Night) Rank (Timeslot) Rank (Week)
1 & 2 "Goliath" 3.9 6 1.6/4 6.07 TBA #4 #55
3 "Prosperity" 2.9 5 1.3/2 4.60 TBA #4 #67
4 "First Night" 3.0 5 1.9/3 4.51 TBA TBA #61
5 "Insurrection" 2.5 4 1.1/3 3.61 TBA #4 #59
6 "Judgement Day" 1.5 3[56] 0.6/2 2.41 TBA #4 #64
7 "Brotherhood" 0.9 2 0.3/1 1.59 TBA TBA #39
8 "The Sabbath Queen" 1.2 3 0.5/2 1.94 TBA #4 #28
9 "Pilgrimage" 1.0 3 0.4/2 1.54 TBA #4 #41
10 "Chapter One" 1.1 3 0.3/1 1.30 #10 #4 #34
11 "Javelin" 1.2 2 0.4/2 1.64 #11 #4 #36[57]
12 "The New King (Part 1)" TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA
13 "The New King (Part 2)" TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

DVD

A 3-disc DVD set for the first season, entitled Kings - Season One is scheduled for release September 29, 2009. [58]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Douglas, Edward (February 25, 2009). "EXCL: Kings Creators Michael Green & Francis Lawrence". Comingsoon.net. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/tvnews.php?id=53204. Retrieved on March 3, 2009. 
  2. "Reviews from Metacritic - Kings". March 19, 2009. http://www.metacritic.com/tv/shows/kings. Retrieved on March 19, 2009. 
  3. Seidman, Robert (March 17, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 9-15, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/17/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-9-15-2009/14720. Retrieved on 02 May 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hibberd, James (March 16, 2009). "NBC's 'Kings' dethroned in ratings". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/03/kings-nbc-premiere-ratings.html. Retrieved on March 16, 2009. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hibberd, James (April 7, 2009). "NBC pulls 'Kings' from Sundays". The Hollywood Reporter. The Live Feed blog. http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/04/nbc-pulls-kings.html. Retrieved on April 18, 2009. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Andreeva, Nellie (April 21, 2009). "NBC moves 'Kings' to summer". The Hollywood Reporter. The Live Feed blog. http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/04/nbc-moves-kings-to-summer.html. Retrieved on 22 April 2009. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Seidman, Robert (May 19, 2009). "NBC 2009–2010 Schedule". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/05/19/nbc-2009-2010-schedule/19031. Retrieved on May 21, 2009. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Lloyd, Robert (March 13, 2009). "'Kings': An ambitious but puzzling take on the Old Testament". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/reviews/la-et-kings13-2009mar13,0,6940089.story. Retrieved on March 18, 2009. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Tugend, Tom (March 13, 2009). "Yeshiva vet aims to make King David must-see TV". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. http://jta.org/news/article/2009/03/13/1003687/yehsiva-vet-aims-to-make-king-david-must-see-tv. Retrieved on March 25, 2009. 
  10. Maloni, Joshua (12 March 2009). "Kings bows Sunday on NBC: Series loosely based on Bible’s King David". Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni (Niagara Frontier Publications). http://www.wnypapers.com/news/2009/03/a12_kings.html. Retrieved on 2 April 2009. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Hartinger, Brent (March 16, 2009). "“Kings” Warps the Story of David and Jonathan". AfterElton.com. http://www.afterelton.com/TV/2009/3/kingswronggaypart. Retrieved on March 16, 2009. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Blanco, Robert (March 13, 2009). "Mishmash that is 'Kings' often overpowers an interesting idea". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/reviews/2009-03-12-kings-preview_N.htm?csp=34. Retrieved on March 18, 2009. 
  13. Maloni, Joshua (12 March 2009). "Kings bows Sunday on NBC: Series loosely based on Bible’s King David". Behind the Screens with Joshua Maloni (Niagara Frontier Publications). http://www.wnypapers.com/news/2009/03/a12_kings.html. Retrieved on 2 April 2009. 
  14. Seidman, Robert (March 17, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 9-15, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/17/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-9-15-2009/14720. Retrieved on 02 May 2009. 
  15. 15.00 15.01 15.02 15.03 15.04 15.05 15.06 15.07 15.08 15.09 15.10 "Kings". NBC Universal Media Village. http://nbcumv.com/entertainment/storylines.nbc/kings.html. Retrieved on 18 April 2009. 
  16. Seidman, Robert (March 17, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 9-15, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/17/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-9-15-2009/14720. Retrieved on 02 May 2009. 
  17. Seidman, Robert (March 24, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 16-22, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/24/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-16-22-2009/15108. Retrieved on 02 May 2009. 
  18. Seidman, Robert (March 31, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 23-29, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/31/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-23-29-2009/15602. Retrieved on 02 May 2009. 
  19. Seidman, Robert (April 7, 2009). "Top NBC Primetime Shows, March 30 - April 5, 2009". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/04/07/top-nbc-primetime-shows-march-30-april-5-2009/16172. Retrieved on 02 May 2009. 
  20. Gorman, Bill (April 19, 2009). "Saturday Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Beats Slow Field, Kings barely registers". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/04/19/saturday-ratings-nascar-sprint-cup-beats-slow-field/16988. Retrieved on May 2, 2009. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Kings TV Listings". TV Guide. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/kings/tv-listings/293766. Retrieved on 15 June 2009. 
  22. "NBC Hastily Crowns 'Kings". Zap2it. November 5, 2007. http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-nbckingspilot,0,1755776.story. Retrieved on March 3, 2009. 
  23. Schneider, Michael (May 19, 2008). "NBC crowns 'Kings' for second time". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117986134.html?categoryid=1060&cs=1. Retrieved on March 3, 2009. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Pomerantz, Dorothy (October 22, 2008). "Kings Gambit". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/1110/106.html?feed=rss_business. Retrieved on March 25, 2009. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Rogers, Vaneta (May 15, 2009). "God Complexity: 'ELI', KINGS, the Almighty & Network TV". newsarama.com. http://www.newsarama.com/tv/090515-guggenheim-green-god.html. Retrieved on May 15, 2009. 
  26. NBC Universal Media Village (April 2, 2008). NBC Reveals Complete 52-Week Program Strategy, Earlier Than Ever, That Gives Advertisers the Opportunity to Create Unique Marketing Solutions. Press release. http://www.nbcumv.com/nbcunitv/release_detail.nbc/nbcuniversaltelevision-20080402000000-nbcrevealscomplete.html. Retrieved on May 14, 2008. 
  27. Brown, Lane (February 10, 2009). "NBC Invades Brooklyn Neighborhood With Tank". New York. http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/02/nbc_attacks_brooklyn_museum_wi.html. Retrieved on April 18, 2009. 
  28. "Sands Point Preserve featured Sunday on NBC's Kings". newsday.com. http://www.newsday.com/news/local/nassau/ny-lisand146068694mar14,0,381793.story. Retrieved on March 14, 2009. 
  29. "Script to New NBC Series KINGS leaked". .DocStoc Beta. http://www.docstoc.com/docs/3236354/Script_Kings_1x01_-_Goliath. Retrieved on March 7, 2009. 
  30. Hibberd, James (February 2, 2009). "Huh: NBC didn't promote 'Kings'". The Hollywood Reporter (The Live Feed blog). http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/02/huh-nbc-didnt-promote-kings-.html. Retrieved on April 18, 2009. 
  31. Adalian, Josef (March 1, 2009). "NBC Plays the ‘Kings’-maker". Television Week. http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/nbc_plays_the_kingsmaker.php. Retrieved on March 16, 2009. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 Lee, Patrick (January 20, 2009). "The creators of NBC's Kings reveal the magic behind the realism". Sci Fi Wire. http://scifiwire.com/2009/01/the-creators-of-nbcs-kings-reveal-the-magic-behind-the-realism.php. Retrieved on March 3, 2009. 
  33. "'Kings' Stages a 'Deadwood' Reunion". Zap2it. October 17, 2008. http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-briancoxjoinskings,0,2043380.story. Retrieved on March 3, 2009. 
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Ausiello, Michael (October 23, 2008). "Exclusive: NBC's Kings Courts Macaulay Culkin". Entertainment Weekly. http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2008/10/macaulay-culkin.html. Retrieved on March 3, 2009. 
  35. Hibberd, James (June 19, 2008). "NBC's 'Kings' script: bold, bizarre, fun". The Hollywood Reporter. The Live Feed blog. http://www.thrfeed.com/2008/06/nbcs-kings-scri.html. Retrieved on June 23, 2008. 
  36. 36.0 36.1 Kissel, Rick (March 16, 2009). "Slow start for NBC's 'Kings'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001266.html?categoryid=14&cs=1. Retrieved on March 16, 2009. 
  37. Douglas, Edward (February 25, 2009). "A Sneak Preview of NBC's New Drama Kings". ComingSoon.net. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/tvnews.php?id=52794. Retrieved on March 3, 2009. 
  38. Sullivan, Brian Ford (February 12, 2009). "The Futon's First Look: "Kings" (NBC)". The Futon Critic. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/rant.aspx?id=20090212_kings. Retrieved on March 3, 2009. 
  39. Havrilesky, Heather (March 15, 2009). "I Like to Watch". Salon.com. http://www.salon.com/ent/tv/iltw/2009/03/15/kings/. Retrieved on March 16, 2009. 
  40. Hartinger, Brent (March 13, 2009). "Review: All Hail "Kings," TV's Terrific New Fantasy Show!". TheTorchOnline. http://thetorchonline.com/2009/03/13/review-all-hail-kings-tvs-terrific-new-fantasy-show/. Retrieved on March 16, 2009. 
  41. Richmond, Ray (March 12, 2009). "TV Review: Kings". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/tv-reviews/tv-review-kings-1003951110.story. Retrieved on March 18, 2009. 
  42. Smith, Nancy deWolf (March 13, 2009). "A Dream of Kings". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123689429215111987.html. Retrieved on March 18, 2009. 
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 Poniewozik, James (March 12, 2009). "NBC's 'Kings': The New Old Testament". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1884818,00.html. Retrieved on March 18, 2009. 
  44. Berman, Marc (March 16, 2009). "NBC's Kings Left at the Starting Gate". Mediaweek. http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/community/programming-insider/newsletters/e3ibf6e058ce581c10790dbbbb8f1c4d533. Retrieved on March 16, 2009. 
  45. Surette, Tim (March 16, 2009). "Kings rules, but not in ratings". TV.com. http://www.tv.com/story/13132.html?tag=show;latest_news;title;0. Retrieved on March 16, 2009. 
  46. Hinman, Michael (March 16, 2009). "'Kings' Likely Won't Live Long After Premiere Stumbles". Airlock Alpha. http://www.airlockalpha.com/news426166.html. Retrieved on March 17, 2009. 
  47. "Kings: Is the New TV Show As Good As Cancelled Already?". TV Series Finale. March 16, 2009. http://tvseriesfinale.com/articles/kings-is-the-new-tv-show-as-good-as-cancelled-already/. Retrieved on March 17, 2009. 
  48. Hibberd, James (March 20, 2009). "Ben Silverman on Obama, Leno and 'Kings'". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/03/ben-silverman-on-obama-leno-and-kings-.html. Retrieved on March 23, 2009. 
  49. "Kings: NBC’s Silverman Still Has Hope for Low-Rated Drama". TV Series Finale. March 20, 2009. http://tvseriesfinale.com/articles/kings-nbcs-silverman-not-canceled/. Retrieved on March 23, 2009. 
  50. Picchi, Aimee (March 18, 2009). "NBC's Silverman Backed Expensive Kings". TV Week. http://www.tvweek.com/blogs/tvbizwire/2009/03/nbcs_silverman_backed_expensiv.php. Retrieved on March 23, 2009. 
  51. Gorman, Bill (March 23, 2009). "Sunday Ratings: NCAA Tourney, Obama Give CBS 18-49 Win, Fox Grabs 18-34 Demo". TV By The Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/23/sunday-ratings-ncaa-tourney-obama-give-cbs-18-49-win-fox-grabs-18-34-demo/15000. Retrieved on March 23, 2009. 
  52. Kissell, Rick (March 23, 2009). "Hoops, Obama lift CBS in ratings". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001533.html?categoryid=14&cs=1. Retrieved on March 23, 2009. 
  53. Gorman, Bill (March 31, 2009). "Which Shows Will Survive The NBC Cage Match?". TV By The Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/31/which-shows-will-survive-the-nbc-cage-match/15650. Retrieved on April 1, 2009. 
  54. Gorman, Bill (March 17, 2009). "Kings Reign To Be Short". TV By The Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/03/17/kings-reign-to-be-short/14764. Retrieved on April 1, 2009. 
  55. Armstrong, Jennifer (April 13, 2009). "Ratings: NBC Better Off Without 'Kings' On Sunday". Entertainment Weekly. http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2009/04/ratings-nbc-bet.html. Retrieved on April 14, 2009. 
  56. "Broadcast TV Ratings for Saturday, April 18, 2009". 2009-04-19. http://yourentertainmentnow.com/2009/04/19/broadcast-tv-ratings-for-saturday-april-18-2009/#more-13132. Retrieved on 2009-04-19. 
  57. "TV Ratings 7/6 to 7/12 (and this week's TV, including the return of Dirty Sexy Money)". http://the-w.com/thread.php/id=38563. 
  58. http://www.amazon.com/Kings-Season-One-Susanna-Thompson/dp/B0024FAD88/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1246852004&sr=8-1

External links








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message