Rubicon (TV series)

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Rubicon
Rubicon 2010 Intertitle.png
FormatDrama
Created byJason Horwitch
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Leslie Jacobowitz
  • Kerry Orent
Running time45 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelAMC
Original runJune 13, 2010 (2010-06-13)[1] – October 17, 2010 (2010-10-17)
External links
Website
 
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Rubicon
Rubicon 2010 Intertitle.png
FormatDrama
Created byJason Horwitch
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Leslie Jacobowitz
  • Kerry Orent
Running time45 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelAMC
Original runJune 13, 2010 (2010-06-13)[1] – October 17, 2010 (2010-10-17)
External links
Website

Rubicon is an American television series created by Jason Horwitch and produced by Henry Bromell that was broadcast on the AMC television network. The series centers on an intelligence analyst at a national think tank in New York City called the American Policy Institute (API) who discovers that he may be working with members of a secret society that manipulates world events on a grand scale. The series stars James Badge Dale, Jessica Collins, Lauren Hodges, Miranda Richardson, Dallas Roberts, Christopher Evan Welch, Arliss Howard, Michael Cristofer and Peter Gerety.

The series is influenced by conspiracy films of the 1970s such as Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View,[2] in which an innocent character is caught up in, and slowly unravels, a major conspiracy.

Rubicon debuted on AMC on August 1, 2010[3] as a two-hour, two episode block. With two million viewers, the August 1 premiere set a record as the most watched debut of an AMC original series at that time.[4] However, after the two first weekends, the number of viewers dropped to 1.2 million,[5] leaving a core of 1.0–1.3 million fans each weekend.[6]

Due to low viewing figures, AMC cancelled Rubicon on November 11, 2010,[7] stating that the show had been "an opportunity to tell a rich and compelling story, and we're proud of the series. This was not an easy decision, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a phenomenally talented and dedicated team."[8][9]

Contents

Production

Concept

The show's title refers to the river Rubicon in north-eastern Italy, more specifically to the famous idiom "crossing the Rubicon", which means to pass a point of no return, and refers to Julius Caesar's crossing of the river in 49 BC, which was considered an act of war, because crossing it with an army was forbidden by the Roman Senate (this connection is explained by Kale Ingram in a speech to Katherine Rhumor in episode #12 to help her understand why her husband killed himself). Executive producer Henry Bromell comments in press releases about the historic event, "They were always afraid that the Roman army would someday take over, which is exactly what happened," and continues, "And that's when the republic ended and the empire—which is a dictatorship—began."[10][11]

The narrative of the show involves the main protagonist, an intelligence analyst, during his investigation into the mysterious death of his mentor, which is later revealed to be an act of a larger conspiracy committed by a secret society of war profiteers in corporate America, whose members may include his employer.

Creator Jason Horwitch conceived the show based on conspiracy films of the 1970s such as All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, and The Parallax View inspired by their slow-paced action and complex stories.[2] After writing and producing the pilot, Horwitch left the show due to "creative differences." Henry Bromell was then promoted to show runner.[12][13] With Horwitch off-board the production began on 29 March in New York City.[12][14]

Characters

Episodes

The series debuted on AMC on August 1, 2010 with a two hour broadcast of the pilot followed by episode 2. The pilot episode was given two preview showings; once after the season 3 finale of Breaking Bad on Sunday, June 13 and again after the season 4 premiere of Mad Men on Sunday, July 25.

Reception

Rubicon has received generally favorable reviews, with a Metacritic score of 69 out of 100, based on 28 critic reviews.[15] Most of the critics praised the show's cast and atmosphere, but many have criticized the lack of action, humor and answers about the puzzles in every episode.[16][17][18] The show has often been compared to AMC's other shows, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, because of their success and originality, Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker ended his review with such a comparison saying "Rubicon doesn't have the glossy panache of Mad Men or the in-your-face confrontations of Breaking Bad, but I think that's a good thing. It establishes Rubicon as its own distinct creation from AMC".[19] About the lack of action on the show, Scott D. Pierce for the Deseret News wrote, "For a show that's supposed to be a spy thriller, there aren't a whole lot of thrills in Rubicon."[10] Maureen Ryan from the Chicago Tribune commented, "This pleasantly low-key drama has little trouble creating an atmosphere, but the pace is sometimes slack in the first four episodes."[20] However, some critics found the lack of action as smart and creative, as Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker wrote: "Rubicon does it by creating an eerily quiet world in which small moments can generate great suspense. The discovery of a spy's clues planted in crossword puzzles, or Will's insistence that a guy is following him while we are shown that two different men are tailing him—these carry more dramatic weight than a score of car chases or martial-arts fight scenes."[19]

After the last episode had been aired, Adam Kirsch in The New Republic highlighted that the series had two parallel stories that seemed 40 years apart: Will's unravelling of the conspiracy, which so much tries to recreate the 1970s conspiracy films in which nobody seems to know that emails, databases and USB sticks have been invented; and the work of the analysts, which is definitely set in our post 9/11 world.[21]

Rubicon made appearances in several 2010 top ten lists. Therese Odell, of The Houston Chronicle, listed Rubicon as the third best TV show of 2010,[22] while Time Magazine's James Poniewozik called Rubicon the ninth best show of the year.[23] Rubicon also appears in Robert Lloyd's list, published in The Los Angeles Times, of the 10 shows that "made TV worth watching" in 2010,[24] as well as in Maureen Ryan's list for TV Squad of the best TV of 2010.[25]

Broadcasts

In 2011, Rubicon was aired by broadcasters in several countries around the world, including the United Kingdom,[26] Australia, Ireland,[27] Turkey,[28] France,[29] Slovenia,[30] Spain,[31] Japan,[32] and Norway.[33]

In 2012, Rubicon was aired in Belgium, Finland, New Zealand, Poland[34] and re-run in Ireland.[35] The show was also screened on BBC Two in the United Kingdom, after first being broadcast on BBC Four the previous year.

Online promotion

Season one promotion on AMC's Rubicon website included the “Intelligence Team Aptitude Test,” a personality quiz that told users which job they'd be best suited for at the American Policy Institute (the fictional intelligence agency featured on the show).[36] Inspired by Will's discovery of a code hidden within newspaper crossword puzzles in episode 1, The New York Times created an original Rubicon-themed crossword puzzle prior to Rubicon's premiere which eventually became exclusively available on AMC's Rubicon website.[37] Season one promotion also included “Maggie’s Blog,” a personal blog authored by one of the show’s characters, Maggie Young.[38] AMC's Rubicon website also featured exclusive sneak peek and behind the scenes videos, trivia games, numerous photo galleries, episode and character guides, a blog, and a community forum.

Awards and Nominations

In 2011, Rubicon received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Main Title Design for Theo Daley (designer), Cara McKenney (producer/art director), Jeremy Cox (designer/animator) and Karin Fong (creative director).

References

  1. ^ Rubicon on AMC
  2. ^ a b David Bianculli (July 27, 2010). "'Rubicon': Smart Spies Who Connect The Dots". Fresh Air. NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128794048. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ "AMC Sets Premiere Dates for Mad Men, Rubicon". TVGuide.com. http://www.tvguide.com/News/Mad-Men-Premiere-1017543.aspx. 
  4. ^ David Zurawik (August 3, 2010). "'Rubicon' sets ratings record for AMC Sunday". Baltimore Sun. http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/zontv/2010/08/rubicon_sets_ratings_record_fo.html. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ TV By the Numbers, August 10, 2010: Sunday Cable Ratings: Rubicon goes unnoticed Retrieved 2011-07-02
  6. ^ TV By the Numbers: Rubicon ratings August 1 – October 17, 2010 Retrieved 2011-07-02
  7. ^ http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/11/11/amc-cancels-rubicon/71726
  8. ^ Moore, Jack. "The 'Rubicon' Was Crossed... Then Cancelled". Film&TV:Screen. Screenology. http://www.ology.com/screen/rubicon-was-crossed-then-cancelled. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  9. ^ Rice, Lynette. "AMC Cancels 'Rubicon'". InsideTV. EW. http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2010/11/11/amc-cancels-rubicon/. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Pierce, Scott (July 28, 2010). "'Rubicon' will require plenty of patience". Deseret News. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700051615/Rubicon-will-require-plenty-of-patience.html. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Garvin, Glenn (August 1, 2010). "'Rubicon': New series tests limits of audience patience". The Miami Herald. http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/01/1753910/new-series-tests-limits-of-audience.html. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  12. ^ a b Nellie, Andreeva (February 3, 2010). "'Rubicon' creator departs". THR. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/rubicon-creator-departs-20260. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "Creator Departs AMC's RUBICON". GeekWeek.com. February 4, 2010. http://www.geekweek.com/2010/02/creator-departs-amcs-rubicon.html. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  14. ^ "AMC's Rubicon Begins Production March 29th in New York City". February 4, 2010. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2010/03/16/amcs-rubicon-begins-production-march-29th-in-new-york-city/20100316amc01/. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "Rubicon Season One". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/tv/rubicon/season-1. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  16. ^ Lowry, Brian (July 29, 2010). "Rubicon Review". Variety. http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117943247.html?categoryId=32&cs=1. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  17. ^ Zalben, Alex (August 23, 2010). "Rubicon Is All Puzzles, No Answers". UGO.com. http://www.ugo.com/tv/rubicon-is-all-puzzles-no-answers. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  18. ^ Belcher, Walt (July 30, 2010). "'Rubicon' is a slow-burning spy thriller". TBO.com. http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/jul/30/na-rubicon-is-a-slow-burning-spy-thriller/. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Tucker, Ken (August 1, 2010). "Rubicon". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20405964,00.html. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  20. ^ Ryan, Maureen (August 12, 2010). "'Rubicon' provides a brooding spy tale for conspiracy fans". Chicago Tribune. http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2010/07/rubicon.html. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  21. ^ The New Republic, October 27, 2010: Why 'Rubicon' Is the Perfect Spy Show for the Obama Era Retrieved 2011-07-03
  22. ^ Odell, Therese (December 22, 2010). "Tuned In's Ten Eleven Best Shows of 2010". The Houston Chronicle. http://blogs.chron.com/tubular/archives/2010/12/tune_ins_ten_el.html. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  23. ^ Poniewozik, James (December 9, 2010). "'Rubicon' – The Top 10 of Everything of 2010". Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2035319_2034052_2034047,00.html. Retrieved 21 December 2010. 
  24. ^ Lloyd, Robert. "2010 in review: Robert Lloyd on TV". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-et-2010-year-end-lloyd-pictures,0,7779623.photogallery. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  25. ^ Ryan, Maureen (December 2, 2010). "The Best TV of 2010: The Top 10 Roster". TV Squad. http://www.tvsquad.com/2010/12/02/the-best-tv-of-2010/. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  26. ^ Tara Conlan (11 October 2010). "Richard Klein on why BBC4 is the corporation's best-loved channel". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/oct/11/richard-klein-bbc4-controller. Retrieved 17 November 2010. 
  27. ^ "UPC Ireland TV Guide". http://tv-guide.upc.ie/TV/Guide/Programme/14439012/Rubicon/RTE+Two/. 
  28. ^ "Digiturk TV Guide". http://www.digiturk.com.tr/Dizi/Rubicon.aspx. 
  29. ^ "Orange France Cine Max Rubicon page". http://p.cinemaseries.orange.fr/orange-cinemax/#/programme/393-rubicon-saison-1. 
  30. ^ Pop TV Rubicon page Retrieved 2011-07-02
  31. ^ Vayatele
  32. ^ AXN Mystery
  33. ^ Fox Crime Rubicon page
  34. ^ "MTV3 Rubicon page". http://www.mtv3.fi/ohjelmat2009/alasivu.shtml?1460822. 
  35. ^ "RTE2 Rubicon page". http://www.rte.ie/ten/listings/20415611_tv_Rubicon. 
  36. ^ "Rubicon: API Intelligence Aptitude Test". AMC. http://www.amctv.com/shows/rubicon/api-intelligence-aptitude-test. Retrieved July 25, 2011. 
  37. ^ "Rubicon: Crossword Puzzle". AMC. http://www.amctv.com/shows/rubicon/crossword-puzzle. Retrieved July 25, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Rubicon: Maggie's Blog". AMC. http://blogs.amctv.com/rubicon/maggies-blog. Retrieved July 25, 2011. 

External links