La Brea
Genre
Created byDavid Appelbaum
Starring
Music byJames S. Levine
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes27
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Asher Landay
  • Livia Hanich
  • Naomi Cleaver
  • Zakiyyah Alexander
  • John Mabry
  • Stu Wood
  • Jessica Granger
  • Andre Edmonds
  • Jeff Rafner
  • Sam Thompson
Production locationsMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Cinematography
  • Mark Wareham
  • Damian Wyvill
  • Dan Maxwell
Editors
  • Harry B. Miller III
  • Angie Higgins
  • Leland Sexton
  • Julie-Anne De Ruvo
  • Dave Redman
  • Michael Melis
  • Ben Joss
  • Peter Carrodus
  • Katrina Barker
Running time43 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkNBC
ReleaseSeptember 28, 2021 (2021-09-28) –
present (present)

La Brea is an American science fiction drama television series that was shot in Melbourne, Australia. It premiered on NBC on September 28, 2021.[1][2] The series, produced by Keshet Studios and Universal Television, is created and executive produced by David Appelbaum. The series received mixed reviews from critics. In November 2021, the series was renewed for a second season which premiered on September 27, 2022.[3][4] In January 2023, the series was renewed for a third season of 6 episodes.[5] The third and final season premiered on January 9, 2024.[6] The series finale is scheduled to air on February 13, 2024.

Synopsis

On September 26, 2021, a massive sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles at the site of the La Brea Tar Pits and Wilshire Boulevard. Hundreds of people, vehicles and buildings (including the distinctive Petersen Automotive Museum) are pulled into its depths. The survivors find themselves trapped in a mysterious and dangerous primeval land where they must band together to survive. The show follows Eve Harris, Gavin Harris, Izzy Harris, and Josh Harris who are separated by the events and attempting to reunite. Gavin has visions providing glimpses of when and where Eve and Josh are. The sinkhole and the sudden appearance of Teratornis has attracted the attention of the United States Department of Homeland Security who are studying a similar event in the Mojave Desert. As the series progresses, the investigators realize that the sinkholes provide a temporary portal to the same location in 10,000 BC. Meanwhile, the survivors struggle to find a way back through the portal before it closes.

Season two revealed that the sinkholes were caused by the Lazarus Project run by people from 2076 who are working to find a way to deal with their time period's depleted resources as well as researching how to master de-extinction. The Lazarus Project is headed up by Gavin's long-lost father James Mallet.

The third and final season deals with the aftermath of a time portal's destruction which brings different things from across time like dinosaurs.

Cast and characters

Main

Recurring

Episodes

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110September 28, 2021 (2021-09-28)November 30, 2021 (2021-11-30)
214September 27, 2022 (2022-09-27)February 28, 2023 (2023-02-28)
36[10]January 9, 2024 (2024-01-09)February 13, 2024 (2024-02-13)[10]

Season 1 (2021)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot"Thor FreudenthalDavid AppelbaumSeptember 28, 2021 (2021-09-28)6.37[11]
22"Day Two"Cherie NowlanDavid AppelbaumOctober 5, 2021 (2021-10-05)5.05[12]
33"The Hunt"Adam DavidsonJose MolinaOctober 12, 2021 (2021-10-12)5.06[13]
44"The New Arrival"Thor FreudenthalZakiyyah AlexanderOctober 19, 2021 (2021-10-19)5.12[14]
55"The Fort"Greg McLeanArika Lisanne MittmanOctober 26, 2021 (2021-10-26)5.20[15]
66"The Way Home"Adam DavidsonSteven Lilien & Bryan WynbrandtNovember 2, 2021 (2021-11-02)4.03[16]
77"The Storm"Thor FreudenthalAiyana WhiteNovember 9, 2021 (2021-11-09)4.70[17]
88"Origins"Cherie NowlanJessica Granger & Andre EdmondsNovember 16, 2021 (2021-11-16)4.67[18]
99"Father and Son"Thor FreudenthalArika Lisanne MittmanNovember 23, 2021 (2021-11-23)4.33[19]
1010"Topanga"Adam DavidsonDavid AppelbaumNovember 30, 2021 (2021-11-30)4.94[20]

Season 2 (2022–23)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
(millions)
111"The Next Day"Adam DavidsonDavid Appelbaum & Steven Lilien & Bryan WynbrandtSeptember 27, 2022 (2022-09-27)3.86[21]
122"The Cave"Adam DavidsonRob WrightOctober 4, 2022 (2022-10-04)3.90[22]
133"The Great Escape"David M. BarrettArika Lisanne MittmanOctober 11, 2022 (2022-10-11)3.54[23]
144"The Fog"Ron UnderwoodAndre EdmondsOctober 18, 2022 (2022-10-18)3.38[24]
155"The Heist"David M. BarrettJessica GrangerOctober 25, 2022 (2022-10-25)3.47[25]
166"Lazarus"Adam DavidsonBisanne MasoudNovember 1, 2022 (2022-11-01)3.47[26]
177"1988"Dan LiuErica MeredithNovember 15, 2022 (2022-11-15)3.31[27]
188"Stampede"Christine MooreRussel FriendJanuary 31, 2023 (2023-01-31)2.20[28]
199"Murder in the Clearing"Nick GomezPeter Beals & Onalee Hunter HughesJanuary 31, 2023 (2023-01-31)2.02[28]
2010"The Return"Greg McLeanRob WrightFebruary 14, 2023 (2023-02-14)2.12[29]
2111"The Wedding"Tara MieleJerome SchwartzFebruary 21, 2023 (2023-02-21)1.98[30]
2212"The Swarm"Rose TrocheChristopher HollierFebruary 21, 2023 (2023-02-21)1.72[30]
2313"The Journey, Part 1"Cherie NowlanDavid AppelbaumFebruary 28, 2023 (2023-02-28)1.92[31]
2414"The Journey, Part 2"Adam DavidsonDavid AppelbaumFebruary 28, 2023 (2023-02-28)1.77[31]

Season 3 (2024)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [10][32]Directed byWritten by [33]Original air date [10][32]U.S. viewers
(millions)
251"Sierra"Ron UnderwoodDavid AppelbaumJanuary 9, 2024 (2024-01-09)2.42[34]
262"Don't Look Up"Ron UnderwoodChristopher HollierJanuary 16, 2024 (2024-01-16)2.18[35]
273"Maya"Cherie NowlanRob WrightJanuary 23, 2024 (2024-01-23)2.14[36]
284"Fire Storm"TBAOnalee Hunter HughesJanuary 30, 2024 (2024-01-30)TBD
295"The Road Home, Part 1"TBAJerome SchwartzFebruary 6, 2024 (2024-02-06)TBD

Production

Development

On January 15, 2020, La Brea was given a pilot order by NBC. The pilot was directed by Thor Freudenthal and written by David Appelbaum who was expected to executive produce alongside Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, Ken Woodruff and Rachel Kaplan. The production companies involved with the series are Keshet Studios and Universal Television.[37][38] On January 12, 2021, NBC gave production a series order for a 10-episode first season. The series is created by Appelbaum.[1]

On November 12, 2021, NBC renewed the series for a 14-episode second season.[3][39]

On January 31, 2023, NBC renewed the series for a six-episode third season. The cast originally had contracts requiring payments for at least ten episodes per season; the cast accepted an offer to be released from their contracts so they would be free to pursue work on other shows after the season in exchange for reducing that number to six.[5][40] On November 20, 2023, it was reported that the third season would be the final season.[6]

Casting

In February 2020, Michael Raymond-James, Karina Logue, Zyra Gorecki, Caleb Ruminer, Angel Parker, Catherine Dent, Veronica St. Clair, Jag Bal, and Chiké Okonkwo were cast as series regulars while Natalie Zea was cast as the lead role.[37][41][42][43] In March 2020, Jon Seda and Rita Angel Taylor joined the main cast.[44][45] On March 4, 2021, Eoin Macken and Jack Martin were cast to replace Raymond-James and Ruminer, respectively and Lily Santiago joined the main cast. In addition, the surname of the family has been changed to Harris.[46] On March 22, 2021, Nicholas Gonzalez and Rohan Mirchandaney joined the cast as series regulars.[47] In April 2021, Josh McKenzie was cast as a series regular while Ione Skye was cast in a recurring role and Chloe De Los Santos was cast to replace Taylor.[48][49] On May 12, 2022, Tonantzin Carmelo and Michelle Vergara Moore were promoted to series regulars for the second season.[7] On July 15, 2022, Jonno Roberts joined the cast in a recurring role for the second season.[9] On September 22, 2022, Martin Sensmeier was cast in a recurring capacity for the second season.[8]

Filming

The series began filming in Melbourne, Australia, on May 3, 2021, and wrapped up in September 2021.[50][51] The main photography of the series was shot in regional Victoria. The recordings for the first season were completed in September. The effects-heavy production spent $71 million in Australia, more than $60 million of it in Victoria. It is the most expensive TV production in Victoria since Steven Spielberg's HBO series The Pacific completed in 2009.[52] The second season was scheduled to film in Victoria, Australia in the spring of 2022.[39] On May 23, 2023, it was reported that filming for the third season is set to begin soon in Queensland, Australia.[53]

Release

In the USA, the series premiered on September 28, 2021 on NBC.[2] The second season premiered on September 27, 2022 on NBC.[4] The third and final season premiered on January 9, 2024.[6] In Canada, the series aired[when?] on CTV.[54] In Australia, it aired on 9Now[when?].[55] In Germany, La Brea premiered on Sky One on April 24, 2022.[56] In Italy - La Brea premiered on Italia 1 on June 8, 2022.[57] In the UK, the first episode of La Brea aired on Channel 5 on August 1, 2022 to promote the series, with the entire first series being added to Paramount+ on the same day. The series also premiered on 5USA on April 22, 2023.[58] In Ireland, the first series was added in full to Paramount+ on August 1, 2022.[58]

Reception

Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 29% approval rating with an average rating of 4.5/10, based on 21 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "There may be method to its madness, but La Brea simply doesn't commit to its insane premise hard enough to shake out a show worth watching—at least not yet."[59] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 49 out of 100 based on 7 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[60] In reviewing the series pilot, the television critic for The Globe and Mail wrote "The series is so wretchedly bad, it is gripping in its awfulness"[61] while the reviewer for SCIFI.radio wrote that "La Brea is everything I hate in network television science fiction" and mentions the many scientific improbabilities in the first episode such as the "statistically unlikely number of survivors" from falling after exiting a time portal suspended hundreds of feet in the primeval sky that should have killed everyone.[62] In contrast, the reviewer for The Guardian liked the series for being "gloriously, brazenly bad" while giving the series one out of five stars when the series debuted in the UK in 2022.[63]

Ratings

Overall

Viewership and ratings per season of La Brea
Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Tuesday 9:00 p.m. 10 September 28, 2021 (2021-09-28) 6.37[11] November 30, 2021 (2021-11-30) 4.94[20] 2021–22
2 Tuesday 9:00 p.m. (1–8, 10–11, 13)
Tuesday 10:00 p.m. (9, 12, 14)
14 September 27, 2022 (2022-09-27) 3.86[21] February 28, 2023 (2023-02-28) 1.77[31] 2022–23
3 Tuesday 9:00 p.m.[10] 6[10] January 9, 2024 (2024-01-09) 2.42[34] February 13, 2024 (2024-02-13)[10] TBD 2023–24

Season 1

Viewership and ratings per episode of La Brea
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" September 28, 2021 0.8 6.37[11] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "Day Two" October 5, 2021 0.6 5.05[12] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "The Hunt" October 12, 2021 0.6 5.05[13] 0.3 2.58 1.0 7.64[13]
4 "The New Arrival" October 19, 2021 0.6 5.12[14] 0.3 2.57 0.9 7.69[64]
5 "The Fort" October 26, 2021 0.6 5.20[15] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "The Way Home" November 2, 2021 0.4 4.03[16] TBD TBD TBD TBD
7 "The Storm" November 9, 2021 0.6 4.70[17] TBD TBD TBD TBD
8 "Origins" November 16, 2021 0.6 4.67[18] 0.4 2.41 1.0 7.08[65]
9 "Father and Son" November 23, 2021 0.5 4.33[19] 0.3 2.28 0.8 6.62[66]
10 "Topanga" November 30, 2021 0.5 4.94[20] 0.3 2.18 0.9 7.12[67]

Season 2

Viewership and ratings per episode of La Brea
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Next Day" September 27, 2022 0.5 3.86[21] 0.3 2.16 0.8 6.02[21]
2 "The Cave" October 4, 2022 0.4 3.90[22] 0.2 2.03 0.6 5.93[68]
3 "The Great Escape" October 11, 2022 0.4 3.54[23] 0.2 1.78 0.6 5.31[69]
4 "The Fog" October 18, 2022 0.3 3.38[24] 0.2 1.80 0.5 5.18[70]
5 "The Heist" October 25, 2022 0.4 3.47[25] 0.2 1.60 0.6 5.07[71]
6 "Lazarus" November 1, 2022 0.3 3.47[26] 0.2 1.58 0.5 5.04[72]
7 "1988" November 15, 2022 0.4 3.31[27] 0.2 1.73 0.6 5.04[73]
8 "Stampede" January 31, 2023 0.3 2.20[28] TBD TBD TBD TBD
9 "Murder in the Clearing" January 31, 2023 0.2 2.02[28] TBD TBD TBD TBD
10 "The Return" February 14, 2023 0.3 2.12[29] TBD TBD TBD TBD
11 "The Wedding" February 21, 2023 0.2 1.98[30] TBD TBD TBD TBD
12 "The Swarm" February 21, 2023 0.2 1.72[30] TBD TBD TBD TBD
13 "The Journey, Part 1" February 28, 2023 0.2 1.92[31] TBD TBD TBD TBD
14 "The Journey, Part 2" February 28, 2023 0.2 1.77[31] TBD TBD TBD TBD

Season 3

Viewership and ratings per episode of La Brea
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
1 "Sierra" January 9, 2024 0.2 2.42[34]
2 "Don't Look Up" January 16, 2024 0.2 2.18[35]
3 "Maya" January 23, 2024 0.2 2.14[36]

Accolades

The series was one of 94 out of the 200 most-popular scripted television series that received the ReFrame Stamp for the years 2021 to 2022. The stamp is awarded by the gender equity coalition ReFrame and industry database IMDbPro for film and television projects that are proven to have gender-balanced hiring, with stamps being awarded to projects that hire female-identifying people, especially women of color, in four out of eight key roles for their production.[74]

Accolades received by La Brea
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient Result Ref.
People's Choice Awards December 7, 2021 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2021 La Brea Nominated [75]
December 6, 2022 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2022 La Brea Nominated [76]
Saturn Awards October 25, 2022 Best Fantasy Television Series: Network / Cable La Brea Nominated [77]

See also

References

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