|Created by||Sam Shaw|
|Composers||Jónsi & Alex|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||23 (list of episodes)|
|Production location||New Mexico|
|Running time||44–57 minutes|
|Original network||WGN America|
|Original release||July 27, 2014 –|
December 15, 2015
Manhattan (sometimes styled MANH(A)TTAN) is an American drama television series based on the project of the same name that produced the first atomic weapons. While some historical figures appear in Manhattan, most characters are fictional, and the show is not intended to maintain historical accuracy.
The show was the first drama production for WGN America since the revival of Tribune's production arm as Tribune Studios. The series premiered on WGN America on July 27, 2014. The series earned critical acclaim throughout its run, but failed to secure adequate ratings. As a result, it was canceled on February 2, 2016, after its second season, becoming the first WGN America original series to be canceled.
Set in 1943 and 1944 at the time of the Manhattan Project, the series focuses on the scientists at Project Y and their families in the newly created Los Alamos, New Mexico, a town the outside world knows nothing about. The federal government tells the scientists only what they need to know, while the scientists keep secrets from their families.
The TV show is not intended to be historically accurate, but inspired by history. The show does reference many aspects of the actual Manhattan Project, and some historical figures such as head scientist Robert Oppenheimer. Other contributors to the Manhattan Project, such as Nobel Laureates Enrico Fermi (who moved to the site in September 1944) and Emilio G. Segrè, do not appear.
Television network WGN America premiered its first scripted show, the historical drama Salem, on April 20, 2014. Peter Liguori, CEO of WGN's parent, Tribune Media, emphasized a strategy of original content production as a way to improve the channel's prestige and profile. TV companies producing the show include Lionsgate Television, Skydance Television and Tribune Studios, a WGN affiliate. When announced in April 2014, 13 episodes were ordered.
The series began filming in mid-March across 12 acres (5 ha) in New Mexico. On October 14, 2014, Manhattan was renewed for a second season. Production on season 2 wrapped on July 24, 2015.
David Saltzberg, a physicist at UCLA, acted as the scientific consultant for the show, and Alex Wellerstein, a historian of science at Stevens Institute of Technology who studies the history of nuclear weapons and secrecy, acted as a historical consultant for the show for Season 2, providing period detail to the writers.
Creator Sam Shaw said although that at first the show seems to be about World War II, and the development of the atomic bomb, it was about two eras: the development of the atomic bomb, and after dropping of it on Japan. Speaking about a potential third season Shaw said "the most complicated and morally fascinating and dramatic aspects of the history don't come until after the end of World War II." Shaw noted that only Fritz, Meeks, and Winters knew exactly what happened at the end of season 3 and that going forward he hoped he would get to write that story. Shaw also said "I hope we'll get to follow characters in this moment when Los Alamos goes from being the best kept secret in the world to being the most famous city on the planet."
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||1||"You Always Hurt the One You Love"||Thomas Schlamme||Sam Shaw||July 27, 2014||0.904|
|2||2||"The Prisoner's Dilemma"||Thomas Schlamme||Sam Shaw||August 3, 2014||0.339|
|3||3||"The Hive"||Christopher Misiano||Nathaniel Halpern & Lisa Melamed||August 10, 2014||0.398|
|4||4||"Last Reasoning of Kings"||Paris Barclay||Tom Spezialy & Gideon Yago||August 17, 2014||0.372|
|5||5||"A New Approach to Nuclear Cosmology"||Bill D'Elia||Mark Lafferty & Noelle Valdivia||August 24, 2014||0.377|
|6||6||"Acceptable Limits"||Michael Uppendahl||Dustin Thomason||August 31, 2014||0.295|
|7||7||"The New World"||Rosemary Rodriguez||Lila Byock & Dustin Thomason||September 7, 2014||0.426|
|8||8||"The Second Coming"||Daniel Stern||Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason||September 14, 2014||0.303|
|9||9||"Spooky Action at a Distance"||Andrew Bernstein||Mark Lafferty||September 21, 2014||0.425|
|10||10||"The Understudy"||Simon Cellan Jones||Tom Spezialy||September 28, 2014||0.360|
|11||11||"Tangier"||Julie Anne Robinson||Scott Brown||October 5, 2014||0.371|
|12||12||"The Gun Model"||Dan Attias||Lila Byock||October 12, 2014||0.413|
|13||13||"Perestroika"||Thomas Schlamme||Sam Shaw||October 19, 2014||0.378|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|14||1||"Damnatio Memoriae"||Thomas Schlamme||Sam Shaw||October 13, 2015||0.265|
|15||2||"Fatherland"||Dan Attias||Scott Brown||October 20, 2015||0.191|
|16||3||"The Threshold"||Andrew Bernstein||Lila Byock & Vinne Wilhelm||October 27, 2015||0.256|
|17||4||"Overlord"||Christopher Misiano||Alexander Woo||November 3, 2015||0.335|
|18||5||"The World of Tomorrow"||Daniel Stern||Mark Lafferty||November 10, 2015||0.161|
|19||6||"33"||Kimberly Peirce||Scott Brown & Megan Ferrell Burke||November 17, 2015||0.250|
|20||7||"Behold the Lord High Executioner"||Jennifer Getzinger||Lila Byock & Vinne Wilhelm||November 24, 2015||0.180|
|21||8||"Human Error"||Julie Anne Robinson||Mark Lafferty||December 1, 2015||0.308|
|22||9||"Brooklyn"||Michael Uppendahl||Dustin Thomason||December 8, 2015||0.240|
|23||10||"Jupiter"||Thomas Schlamme||Sam Shaw||December 15, 2015||0.201|
Season 1 of Manhattan received highly positive reception from television critics and has a Metacritic score of 78 out of 100, based on 23 "generally favorable" reviews. The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 90% "certified fresh" critics rating, with an average rating of 8.3/10 based on 29 reviews; the site's consensus reads: "Though slow to start, Manhattan is a top-notch drama thanks to a talented cast, beautiful cinematography, and a keen eye for period detail."
Season 2 received further acclaim, scoring an 80 out of 100 based on nine reviews on Metacritic. Rotten Tomatoes reports a 92% approval rating, with an average rating of 8.5/10 based on 13 reviews, and the site's consensus reading, "Manhattan's slow-building intrigue and sense of impending doom deepen in season two, further enriching an already well-acted period drama."
The series won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design for the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards and also won the award for Excellence in Title Design at the 2015 South by Southwest festival. Justin Kirk received a nomination for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series for the 6th Critics' Choice Television Awards.
“Salem” is a co-production with 20th Century Fox TV’s cable arm Fox 21, while “Manhattan” will be produced through Tribune Studios, ...