Beauty & the Beast is an American television series very loosely inspired by the 1987 CBS series of the same name. The series premiered on October 11, 2012. On November 9, 2012, The CW ordered a full 22-episode season of the series. On April 26, 2013, The CW renewed the series for a full 22-episode second season. The show will move to Mondays for its second season having been paired with Hart of Dixie. The show's second season premiered on October 7, 2013. As of March 17, 2014, Beauty & the Beast will go on hiatus, with its return date yet to be confirmed.
Catherine Chandler, a detective, witnesses her mother being shot the same night she is saved from her mother's murderers by a supposed beast. Nine years later, a case leads her to discover that Vincent Keller, an ex-soldier believed to have been killed in action during military service, is actually alive. As Catherine gets to know him, she starts finding out more about her mother's murder and about who (and what) Vincent really is. At the same time, they get to know one another and eventually fall in love.
Cast and characters
Kristin Kreuk as Catherine Chandler: As a teenager, she witnessed her mother's murder and was saved by a mysterious creature (Vincent). After her mother's death, Catherine set aside her ambition to become a lawyer and sought a career as a homicide detective with the NYPD.
Jay Ryan as Vincent Keller: A former doctor who enlisted after his two brothers died in the September 11 attacks; while in Afghanistan, he was part of an experimental unit of soldiers who were subjects in a supersoldier program that was terminated. He is the only known survivor following the termination of members of his unit with extreme prejudice. Vincent's DNA was mutated and he developed the ability to transform into a creature very human-like in appearance but with a beastly mind; he turns into the creature whenever he is distressed. He checked in on Catherine once a year after her mother's murder, and went on to protect her in his beastly form many times, often inadvertently leaving behind DNA evidence.
Max Brown as Dr. Evan Marks (Episodes 1–18): Police morgue medical examiner who worked with Catherine and had an flirtatious relationship with her. Evan worked with Muirfield to capture Vincent.
Austin Basis as J.T. Forbes: Vincent's childhood friend and a professor at a university in New York. He hid Vincent from the men who have been hunting him for a decade.
Nina Lisandrello as Tess Vargas: Catherine's partner and closest friend who eventually discovers and reluctantly agrees to keep Vincent's secret. She had an affair with her boss, Joe Bishop.
Brian White as Joe Bishop (Season 1): Catherine and Tess's former commanding officer. He cheated on his wife with Tess. He is eventually fired for his vendetta against his brother's killer, which distracted him from his job. Originally credited in a guest role, the character was promoted to series regular by the second episode. In the series' second season premiere it was announced that the character of Joe Bishop lost his job as commanding officer, and actor Brian White's name was removed from the show's credits.
Sendhil Ramamurthy as Gabriel Lowen (Episode 15–Present): An assistant district attorney who suspects that Catherine is hiding something. Catherine later discovers that he was experimented on by Muirfield as a child and possesses a much more violent and uncontrollable bestial nature than Vincent. By Season 2, his beast side has been killed and he has replaced Joe Bishop as the head of Catherine and Tess's precinct.
Amber Skye Noyes as Tori (Regular season 2, episode 9-present; recurring season 2, episodes 6-8)
Rob Stewart as Thomas Chandler: Catherine and Heather's father. In Season 1, Thomas married Brooke, a woman many years his junior. In the first season finale he was murdered after being pushed into oncoming traffic by a disguised Muirfield agent, and it was discovered that he was not Catherine's biological father.
Bridget Regan as Alex Salter: Former fiancée of Vincent Keller. She grew up in New York City with Vincent and J.T., worked as nurse in the same hospital Vincent worked in as a doctor, and eventually dated him for six years. Despite their engagement, Vincent cut off contact with her when he became a supersoldier in an effort to protect her, but Alex recognized him when he sneaked into the hospital to visit a wounded Catherine. Alex tried to rekindle their relationship, but struggled with Vincent's condition and realized that he has feelings for Catherine. With Catherine's help, Alex went into hiding from Muirfield.
Christian Keyes as Darius Bishop: Joe Bishop's younger brother. He briefly dated Heather. He was accidentally killed by Vincent; his death caused Joe to launch a manhunt against Vincent.
Edi Gathegi as Kyle: The man from Muirfield with whom Evan was secretly working.
Shantel VanSanten as Tyler: Gabriel's girlfriend and partner in helping with his beastly side.
The CW officially began developing the series in September 2011. The project was described as "a modern-day romantic love story with a procedural twist," unlike the original series which was a romantic drama with mystery and suspense elements. The show is the first project that new president Mark Pedowitz developed when he joined the network.
The network ordered a pilot of the series in January 2012. The pilot of the show was filmed in Toronto, Canada from March 22 to April 2, 2012. It was picked up by The CW on May 11, 2012, and was scheduled to premiere during the 2012–13 television season. Filming of the first season continued in Toronto from July 27 and episode 13 is scheduled to be completed on December 21, 2012.
On April 26, 2013, Beauty & the Beast was renewed for a 22-episode second season. Season 2 premiered on Monday, October 7, 2013.Brad Kern has joined the second season of Beauty & the Beast as co-showrunner and executive producer.
Casting announcements began in February 2012, when Kristin Kreuk was first cast in the lead role of Catherine Chandler (the titular "beauty"). Austin Basis was then cast in the role of J.T. Forbes, Vincent's friend.Nina Lisandrello and Nicole Anderson were then added to the cast, with Lisandrello landing the role of Tess Vargas, Catherine's partner and best friend. Anderson signed on to the recurring role of Heather Chandler, Catherine's younger sister.Jay Ryan joined the series in the second lead role, Vincent Keller (the Beast) (The character was originally called Koslow, though in the original series, Vincent had no last name.)Max Brown signed on for the role of Dr. Evan Marks, a medical examiner who has feelings for Catherine.Brian White was the last actor to sign onto the series. White joined in the role of Joe Bishop, Catherine and Tess' commanding officer at the NYPD, who becomes romantically involved with Tess. White's character of Joe Bishop was not included in the second season of the series; the story line was that Bishop lost his job because he focused too much attention on finding the killer of his brother instead of performing his duties.
The series was given a 34 out of 100 score on Metacritic, indicating "generally unfavorable" reviews from 19 critics. Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly gave the pilot of Beauty & the Beast a C- grade, stating that it lacks the same charm that the 1980s drama had, and that 'The Beast' is more of a Hulk rather than an actual beast. David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle called the series an "overheated, badly written, wretchedly acted and unconvincing drama, which makes mincemeat out of the traditional beauty and the beast fairy tale." Mary McNamara of Los Angeles Times also made similar observations but praised Nina Lisandrello who still remains as the only cast member in the show to ever receive a positive review. About Lisandrello, McNamara wrote "the only point of light is provided by Catherine's partner, Tess, who, as played with great common-sense appeal by Nina Lisandrello, clearly deserves to be on a better show." More favorable reviews were provided by David Hinckley of the New York Daily News, who said the series was "such a natural it's downright devilish" and Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times, who stated the "girl-power themes will probably play well to the network's core audience."
The show currently airs on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/8:00 p.m. Central following Hart of Dixie. During its first season, the show was broadcast on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/8:00 p.m. Central following The Vampire Diaries. For those living in the United States, the show can be streamed on The CW's website; for those in Canada, the show can be streamed on Showcase's website.