The Following

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The Following
The Following intertitle.png
Genre
Created byKevin Williamson
Starring
Composer(s)John Frizzell
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes30 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Rebecca Dameron
  • Michael Stricks
Editor(s)Rob Seidenglanz
Location(s)New York City, New York
CinematographyDavid Tuttman
Camera setupSingle camera
Running time42-45 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelFox
Original runJanuary 21, 2013 (2013-01-21) – present
External links
Website
 
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The Following
The Following intertitle.png
Genre
Created byKevin Williamson
Starring
Composer(s)John Frizzell
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes30 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Rebecca Dameron
  • Michael Stricks
Editor(s)Rob Seidenglanz
Location(s)New York City, New York
CinematographyDavid Tuttman
Camera setupSingle camera
Running time42-45 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channelFox
Original runJanuary 21, 2013 (2013-01-21) – present
External links
Website

The Following is an American television drama series which premiered on Fox on January 21, 2013, about an ex-FBI agent trying to catch a serial killer and his murderous cult. The series was created by Kevin Williamson and is jointly produced by Outerbanks Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television.

The first season premiered on January 21, 2013 and consisted of 15 episodes.[1] On March 4, 2013, the series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on January 19, 2014.[2] The series' renewal for a third season was announced on March 7, 2014.[3][4]

Overview[edit]

The Following's first season centers on former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and his attempts to re-capture serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) following the latter's escape from prison. Hardy soon discovers that Carroll has surrounded himself with a group of like-minded individuals, whom he met while teaching and while in prison, and turned them into a cult of fanatical killers, including his right-hand, Emma Hill (Valorie Curry). When Carroll's son Joey Matthews (Kyle Catlett) is abducted by his father's followers, Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore), Debra Parker (Annie Parisse) and the rest of the FBI discover that it is the first step in a wider plan for Carroll to escape custody, humiliate Hardy, and be reunited with his ex-wife Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea).

The second season centers on a new cult, led by Lily Gray (Connie Nielsen) and her twin sons Mark and Luke (both played by Sam Underwood), as they begin to develop and make public statements to lure Carroll out of hiding while the rest of the world believes him to be dead. Weston is re-recruited by Special Agent Mendez (Valerie Cruz) and the FBI in order to find the new cult; however, Hardy and his niece Max Hardy (Jessica Stroup) have plans of their own to track them down and find Carroll, provided he is in fact alive.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Conception[edit]

Kevin Williamson pitched The Following to Fox rather than another company because it was "home of his all-time favorite show, 24".[5] Comparing Hardy with Jack Bauer, he described the character as someone who "will die saving the moment" and "[carries] the weight of every victim on his shoulders".[5]

Williamson knew he wanted to produce a show that would be gory and knew it would be controversial. When Fox Broadcasting Chief Operating Officer Joe Earley[6] was asked about the subject material, he answered that the network felt pressured to draw in a large audience to equal the broad scope and intensity of the narrative.[7]

Writing[edit]

To slip gory scenes past the Standards and Practices department at Fox Broadcasting, Williamson explained, "There are tricks... Okay, in the same episode there's an actor cutting someone in the jugular, and you're harping on the sex scene? So I sent a little email to [Fox Entertainment chairman] Kevin Reilly, and within 15 minutes the broadcast-and-standards people were like, 'It's okay'".[5]

Casting[edit]

Williamson wanted to cast "a tough guy with a boyish side" in the role of Ryan Hardy and told his agent that he had someone like Kevin Bacon in mind for the role. When his agent suggested Bacon himself, Williamson discovered that Bacon had spent the past four years trying to find a television program he would like to do. Bacon described his attraction to the role as stemming from the way it centered on a life-or-death situation.[5] Jeananne Goossen was cast in the role of FBI agent Jennifer Mason in the pilot, but the role was reworked and in subsequent episodes of the series, her character was written out and replaced by Special Agent Debra Parker, played by Annie Parisse.[8]

Filming[edit]

The lighthouse scenes in the first season's finale were filmed at the Fire Island Lighthouse in Fire Island, New York.[9]

Episodes[edit]

The Following series overview
SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedDVD and Blu-ray release date
Season premiereSeason finaleRegion 1Region 2Region 4
115January 21, 2013 (2013-01-21)April 29, 2013 (2013-04-29)January 7, 2014 (2014-01-07)[10]December 2, 2013 (2013-12-02)[11]November 13, 2013 (2013-11-13)[12]
215January 19, 2014 (2014-01-19)April 28, 2014 (2014-04-28)TBATBATBA

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Including other digital sources, the premiere episode was watched by a total of 20.34 million viewers.[13]

U.S. television ratings for The Following
SeasonTimeslot (ET)Number of EpisodesPremiereFinaleTV SeasonOverall rank18–49 rankOverall viewership
DateViewers
(millions)
DateViewers
(millions)
1
Monday 9:00 pm
15
January 21, 2013
10.42[14]
April 29, 2013
7.82[15]2012–13#22#9[16]11.87[17]
215
January 19, 2014
11.18[18]
April 28, 2014
4.81[19]2013–14TBATBATBA

Critical reception[edit]

The Following's first season was given 62/100 on Metacritic based on 32 reviews, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[20]

USA Today's Robert Bianco rated the show highly, calling it "one of the most violent, and certainly the most frightening, series ever made by a commercial broadcast network," adding "some plot twists seem implausible at best, others are overdone or gratuitous. But some implausibility comes with the horror/suspense genre, and there's no question [Kevin] Williamson has mastered it — just as there's no question that the match of wills between the wounded [Kevin] Bacon and malevolent [James] Purefoy is exceedingly well played."[21]

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly stated: "The weakest part of The Following is the idea that Carroll was a college professor who held his classes spellbound with lectures about Thoreau, Emerson, and, most crucially, Edgar Allan Poe." He added: "The drama's strongest elements override this flaw. Both Bacon and Purefoy are so intensely earnest, The Following quickly supersedes its patent Silence of the Lambs setup. The moments that focus on Carroll's criminal cult give the series its real power, and the modern-day variations on Charlie Manson's kill-crazy crew are genuinely spooky."[22]

The Wall Street Journal's Nancy Dewolf Smith considers the series "both better and worse than those movies where a procession of young people get killed so reliably and gorily that the audience laughs after it screams," adding, "There is some suspense here, even if it is mainly because the violence when it comes is so swift and sickening. But the show still feels slack. Is it a case of a serial-killer cliché too far?"[23]

Hank Stuever of The Washington Post called the series "a trite, gratuitously violent exercise in still more stylishly imagined American horror stories." He added, "It is filled with melodramatic sleuthing that you've seen over and over."[24]

Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times said the series was "hard to turn off and even harder to watch" and that "precisely because it is so bleak and relentlessly scary, The Following offers a more salutary depiction of violence than do series that use humor to mitigate horror — and thereby trivialize it."[25]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Awards and accolades for The Following
YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
201339th Saturn AwardsBest Network Television SeriesThe FollowingNominated
Best Actor on TelevisionKevin BaconWon
2014People's Choice AwardsFavorite Dramatic TV ActorKevin BaconNominated

Broadcasts[edit]

The series is broadcast in Canada through the CTV television system. It also airs on Nine Network in Australia, Warner Channel in Latin America, Sky Atlantic in United Kingdom, TF1 in France and FOX Portugal in Portugal.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2012). "3rd Update: Fox Picks Up Kevin Williamson, Mob Doc Drama, Three Comedy Series". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "‘The Following’ Season 2 Spoilers: Complete Casting And Scoop Roundup For Jan. 27 Premiere [VIDEOS]". ibtimes.com. December 13, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Twitter / TheFollowingFOX: It was...inevitable. ...". Twitter. March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ Brickey, Tierney (March 7, 2014). "The Mindy Project, New Girl and 2 More Shows Renewed By Fox". E!. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Maerz, Melissa (January 11, 2013). "9 Hot New Shows: The Following". Entertainment Weekly: 54–55. 
  6. ^ Flint, Joe (August 29, 2012). "Fox Broadcasting names Joe Earley COO". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (November 23, 2012). "Can a Fox Audience Love a Serial Killer? The Network Can't put Ads near Schools as it Courts a Cable Crowd for The Following". The Hollywood Reporter. p. 24. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (May 24, 2012). "'Alcatraz' star Jeananne Goossen departs Fox drama 'The Following'". Digital Spy. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ Lambert, David (September 19, 2013). "The Following - Announcement for 'The Complete 1st Season' Starring Kevin Bacon". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ "The Following - Season 1". Sainsbury's Entertainment. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Following, The - Season 1 (Blu-ray/ Ultraviolet)". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  13. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (February 11, 2013). "‘The Following’ Adds Nearly 10 Million Viewers to its Premiere Episode via Encore Showings, DVR, On Demand and Online Streaming". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  14. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 23, 2013). "Monday Final Ratings: 'Hawaii Five-0' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  15. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 30, 2013). "Monday Final Ratings: 'The Voice', 'The Following', 'Dancing With The Stars', '2 Broke Girls', 'Rules of Engagement', 'Mike & Molly' & '90210' Adjusted Up; 'Revolution' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  16. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 29, 2013). "Complete List Of 2012-13 Season TV Show Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Tops, Followed By 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'The Voice' & 'Modern Family'". Zap2it. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ Patten, Dominic (May 23, 2013). "Full 2012-2013 TV Season Series Rankings". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 22, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: No Adjustments to 'Revenge', 'The Following' or 'Betrayal' & Final NFC Championship Numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  19. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 29, 2014). "Monday Final TV Ratings: 'The Tomorrow People', 'Castle', '2 Broke Girls' & 'Dancing With The Stars' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Metacritic: The Following". Metacritic. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ Bianco, Robert (January 20, 2013). "Warped 'Following' will chill you to the bone". USA Today. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  22. ^ Tucker, Ken (January 21, 2013). "TV Review: The Following (2013)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  23. ^ Dewolf Smith, Nancy (January 21, 2013). "A Stab in the Dark". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  24. ^ Stuever, Hank (January 20, 2013). "Fox's 'The Following': Numb to violence, and deadly dull". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  25. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (January 20, 2013). "Plods the Maven, Weak and Weary". The New York Times. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]