Mr. Mercedes
Genre
Based onMr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers &
End of Watch
by Stephen King
Developed byDavid E. Kelley
Starring
Opening theme
"It's Not Too Late"
by T Bone Burnett
(season 1)

"I Shall Not Be Moved"
by Mississippi John Hurt
(season 2)
"Series of Dreams"
by Bob Dylan
(season 3)

Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes30 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Marty Bowen
  • Wyck Godfrey
  • Chris Long
  • Shane Elrod
  • Tom Lesinski
  • Jenna Santoianni
  • Stephen King
  • Jack Bender
  • David E. Kelley
Producers
  • Kate Regan
  • Ellen Stafford
  • Brian Walsh
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time49–57 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original networkAudience
Original releaseAugust 9, 2017 (2017-08-09) –
November 12, 2019 (2019-11-12)
External links
Official website

Mr. Mercedes is an American crime drama television series based on the Bill Hodges novel trilogy by Stephen King, which consists of Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and End of Watch. The series premiered on Audience on August 9, 2017. It was developed by David E. Kelley and stars Brendan Gleeson and Harry Treadaway. In November 2018, it was announced that Audience had renewed the series for a ten-episode third season, which premiered on September 10, 2019. In May 2020, Audience was discontinued, with no indication of whether the show had been officially canceled or that it would return for a fourth season. Its existing three seasons were later picked up in September 2020 by streaming service Peacock.

Premise

Retired detective Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved case of "Mr. Mercedes", who claimed 16 lives when he drove a stolen Mercedes through a line of job-seekers at a local job fair. Meanwhile, brilliant young psychopath Brady Hartsfield emerges to focus his attention on Hodges. What begins as an online cat-and-mouse game soon has deadly real-life consequences as an increasingly desperate Hartsfield becomes bent on leaving his mark on the world.

Cast and characters

Main

Actors are credited among main cast only in the episodes in which they appear.

Recurring

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110August 9, 2017 (2017-08-09)October 11, 2017 (2017-10-11)
210August 22, 2018 (2018-08-22)October 24, 2018 (2018-10-24)
310September 10, 2019 (2019-09-10)November 12, 2019 (2019-11-12)

Season 1 (2017)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Pilot"Jack BenderDavid E. KelleyAugust 9, 2017 (2017-08-09)
We are in Ohio, a few years after a bad recession. Bill Hodges, a retired cop, cannot get over his failure to discover the culprit in a massacre perpetrated using a Mercedes car, during a job fair; this worries his neighbour Ida. He starts receiving mysterious messages related to this case.
22"On Your Mark"Jack BenderDavid E. KelleyAugust 16, 2017 (2017-08-16)
33"Cloudy, With a Chance of Mayhem"John ColesA. M. HomesAugust 23, 2017 (2017-08-23)
44"Gods Who Fall"Jack BenderDennis LehaneAugust 30, 2017 (2017-08-30)
Lou is insulted by a customer. Brady wants to teach him a lesson.
55"The Suicide Hour"Jack BenderBryan GoluboffSeptember 6, 2017 (2017-09-06)
Brady wants to poison Jerome's dog but is interrupted. Bill meets Janey's mother at the nursing home but his questions soon upset her.
66"People in the Rain"Jack BenderDennis LehaneSeptember 13, 2017 (2017-09-13)
Brady has an interview in order to become a manager. Bill meets Janey at the hospital where her mother rests, and there he meets her aunt Charlotte and her cousin Holly
77"Willow Lake"Jack BenderDennis LehaneSeptember 20, 2017 (2017-09-20)
Jerome and Holly peek into Olivia's computer while Bill and Janey set up her mother's funeral. At Superstore electronics, Lou is let go. After the funeral, Brady makes Bill's car explode while Janey is driving it.
88"From the Ashes"Laura InnesBryan GoluboffSeptember 27, 2017 (2017-09-27)
Having lost Janey, Bill is desperate. Meanwhile, Brady's mother accidentally eats poisoned meat he prepared for Jerome's dog, and dies. Jerome and Holly find a spooky sound file on Olivia's computer, which Bill takes to his former colleagues to prove Olivia was harassed.
99"Ice Cream, You Scream, We All Scream"Kevin HooksBryan GoluboffOctober 4, 2017 (2017-10-04)
After finding Brady's business card from Olivia's belongings, Bill's former partner interrogates Robi, who gives him Brady's address. Bill recognizes the ice cream man. The SWAT team penetrates into Brady's house. Holly tells Bill how she was harassed as a high school student.
1010"Jibber-Jibber Chicken Dinner"Jack BenderDennis LehaneOctober 11, 2017 (2017-10-11)
The corpse lying in Brady's house, bigger than his, is Robi's. The police know Brady is still alive and might target one of the two meaningful events that night in town.

Season 2 (2018)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
111"Missed You"Jack BenderDennis LehaneAugust 22, 2018 (2018-08-22)
122"Let's Go Roaming"Jack BenderDavid E. KelleyAugust 29, 2018 (2018-08-29)
133"You Can Go Home Now"Jack BenderMike BatistickSeptember 5, 2018 (2018-09-05)
144"Motherboard"Jack BenderSamantha StrattonSeptember 12, 2018 (2018-09-12)
155"Andale"Peter WellerAlexis Deane & Sophie Owens-BenderSeptember 19, 2018 (2018-09-19)
166"Proximity"Laura InnesBryan Goluboff & Alexis DeaneSeptember 26, 2018 (2018-09-26)
177"Fell On Black Days"Jack BenderSamantha Stratton & Mike Batistick & Dennis Lehane[a]October 3, 2018 (2018-10-03)
188"Nobody Puts Brady in a Crestmore"Jack BenderSamantha Stratton & Mike Batistick & Dennis Lehane[a]October 10, 2018 (2018-10-10)
199"Walk Like a Man"Jack BenderDennis Lehane and David E. KelleyOctober 17, 2018 (2018-10-17)
2010"Fade to Blue"Jack BenderDavid E. Kelley and Jonathan ShapiroOctober 24, 2018 (2018-10-24)

Season 3 (2019)

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [1]
211"No Good Deed"Jack BenderDavid E. KelleySeptember 10, 2019 (2019-09-10)
222"Madness"Jack BenderDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroSeptember 17, 2019 (2019-09-17)
233"Love Lost"Jack BenderDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroSeptember 24, 2019 (2019-09-24)
244"Trial and Terror"Jack BenderDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroOctober 1, 2019 (2019-10-01)
255"Great Balls of Fire"Laura InnesDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroOctober 8, 2019 (2019-10-08)
266"Bad to Worse"Jack BenderDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroOctober 15, 2019 (2019-10-15)
277"The End of the Beginning"Jack BenderDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroOctober 22, 2019 (2019-10-22)
288"Mommy Deadest"Michael J. LeoneDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroOctober 29, 2019 (2019-10-29)
299"Crunch Time"Jack BenderDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroNovember 5, 2019 (2019-11-05)
3010"Burning Man"Jack BenderDavid E. Kelley & Jonathan ShapiroNovember 12, 2019 (2019-11-12)

Production

Development

In 2015, Sonar Entertainment optioned the screen rights to Stephen King's novel Mr. Mercedes with the intent of developing into a limited series. David E. Kelley was set to write the series while Jack Bender would direct. Executive producers were expected to include Kelley, Bender, Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, and Gene Stein. Production companies involved with the series were to include Temple Hill Entertainment and Sonar Entertainment.[2]

On May 25, 2016, it was announced that Audience had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of ten episodes. The previously announced creative team was still expected to be involved. In addition to writing and executive producing, David E. Kelley was also announced to be serving as the series' showrunner. Additional executive producers announced included Christopher Long, Bart Peters, Jenna Glazier, and Tom Patricia.[3] On May 11, 2017, it was announced that the series would premiere on August 9, 2017.[4]

On October 10, 2017, the Audience Network renewed the series for a second season consisting of ten episodes. It will be based on the three novels in the Bill Hodges trilogy, Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers and End of Watch.[5] On April 15, 2018, it was announced that the second season would premiere on August 22, 2018.[6] On November 19, 2018, it was announced that Audience had renewed the series for a third season consisting of ten episodes,[7] which premiered on September 10, 2019.[8]

In May 2020, Audience was discontinued, with no indication of whether the show had been officially canceled or that it would return for a fourth season.[9]

Casting

Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Brendan Gleeson and Anton Yelchin had been cast in the series' two lead roles.[3] Following Yelchin's death in June 2016, it was announced that his role had been recast with Harry Treadaway assuming the part.[10] In December 2016, it was announced that Kelly Lynch and Ann-Margret had been cast in the series.[11][12] In January 2017, it was reported that Jharrel Jerome, Justine Lupe, and Breeda Wool, Scott Lawrence, Robert Stanton, and Ann Cusack had joined the main cast, that Mary-Louise Parker was cast a recurring character, and that Ann-Margret's role had been recast with Holland Taylor following an illness in Ann-Margret's family.[13][14][15][16][17][18] On April 25, 2017, it was reported that Stephen King would have a cameo in the series.[19] In January 2018, it was announced that Jack Huston, Maximiliano Hernandez, and Tessa Ferrer had been cast as series regulars in season two.[20][21] In March 2019, Kate Mulgrew, Brett Gelman, and Natalie Paul joined the series for the third season.[22] On April 25, 2019, Meg Steedle had been cast in a recurring role for the third season.[23]

Filming

In February 2017, principal photography for the first season began in Charleston, South Carolina.[24] That month, filming took place in the Wagener Terrace area of the city as well as at the Upper King Street restaurant Little Jack's Tavern.[25][26] Filming concluded for the first season by the end of May 2017.[27] In January 2018, Audience announced production for season two would commence the following month in South Carolina.[28]

During filming on March 2, 2019, special effects technician Mike Wilks survived a near-electrocution on set.[29]

Release

Marketing

On May 8, 2017, Audience released a series of "first look" images from the series.[30] On June 5, 2017, Audience released a "behind-the-scenes" video for the series featuring interviews with the cast and crew.[31] The following day, the first teaser trailer for the series was released.[32] By the end of the month, Audience released a set of promotional photographs featuring the series' main cast.[33]

On July 19, 2018, the series held a panel at San Diego Comic-Con in San Diego, California to promote season two. The panel featured executive producer and director Jack Bender as well as series stars Jack Huston, Max Hernandez, Breeda Wool, Justine Lupe, and Nancy Travis.[34] On July 30, 2018, the official trailer for season two was released.[35]

Distribution

The series airs on RTÉ1 in Ireland,[36] on Canal+ in Poland,[37] and on Starzplay in the United Kingdom.[38] The first three seasons of Mr. Mercedes were picked up in September 2020 by streaming service Peacock.[39]

Reception

Season Critical response
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 83% (29 reviews) 71 (17 reviews)
2 100% (11 reviews) 76 (4 reviews)

Critical response

The first season of Mr. Mercedes has been met with a positive response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an 83% approval rating with an average rating of 6.42 out of 10 based on 29 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Mr. Mercedes propels its tense, creepy narrative with quick-witted dialogue, strong characters, and terrifying surprises."[40] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 71 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[41]

The second season also received a positive response from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season holds a 100% approval rating with an average rating of 7 out of 10 based on 11 reviews, with the critical consensus reading, "Mr. Mercedes gains a new, supernatural dimension in a rollicking second season that pits the talents of Brendan Gleeson and Harry Treadaway against each other, generating enough sparks to dazzle mystery aficionados and horror buffs alike."[42] Metacritic assigned the season a score of 76 out of 100 based on 4 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[43]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 Irish Film and Television Awards Best Actor in a Lead Role – Drama Brendan Gleeson Nominated [44][45]
Saturn Awards Best Action-Thriller Television Series Mr. Mercedes Nominated [46][47]
2019 Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Brendan Gleeson Won [48][49]
Best Television Series – Drama Mr. Mercedes Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Action-Thriller Television Series Mr. Mercedes Nominated [50]
2020 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Drama / Genre Series Brendan Gleeson Nominated [51]
Best Drama Series Mr. Mercedes Nominated

Related series

The character of Holly Gibney that was first introduced in the Bill Hodges trilogy was one of the main characters in King's 2018 novel The Outsider. That novel was adapted for the 2020 miniseries by HBO, with the Gibney character portrayed by Cynthia Erivo.

Notes

  1. ^ a b Some releases credit Dennis Lehane as the sole writer of this episode.

References

  1. ^ "Mr. Mercedes – Listings". The Futon Critic. September 10, 2019. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  2. ^ Petski, Denise (January 13, 2015). "David E. Kelley Writing Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes As Limited Series For Sonar". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (May 25, 2016). "Mr. Mercedes Series, Starring Brendan Gleeson, Anton Yelchin, Lands at Audience Network (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  4. ^ Pedersen, Erik (May 11, 2017). "Mr. Mercedes: Audience Network Sets Summer Premiere For David E. Kelley's Stephen King Adaptation". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Erik, Pedersen (October 10, 2017). "Mr. Mercedes Renewed For Season 2 On Audience Network". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 4, 2019. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  6. ^ Grobar, Matt (April 16, 2018). "Mr. Mercedes Cast & EP Talk Complexity Of Characters, Reveal Season 2 Premiere Date – The Contenders Emmys". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  7. ^ Petski, Denise (November 19, 2018). "Mr. Mercedes Renewed For Season 3 By AT&T Audience Network". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "AT&T Audience Network's Mr. Mercedes Returns September 10". The Futon Critic. June 4, 2019. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  9. ^ Nemetz, Dave. "AT&T to End Audience Network, Originals Like Mr. Mercedes in Limbo". TV Line. TV Line Media llc. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved May 23, 2020.
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  11. ^ Petski, Denise (December 13, 2016). "Kelly Lynch Joins Mr. Mercedes Audience Network Series Based On Stephen King Book". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  12. ^ Stanhope, Kate (December 21, 2016). "Ann-Margret Joins Audience Network's Mr. Mercedes Series (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  13. ^ Stanhope, Kate (January 19, 2017). "Audience Network's Mr. Mercedes Series Adds Moonlight Actor (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Stanhope, Kate (January 24, 2017). "Mary-Louise Parker Joins Mr. Mercedes Series in Recurring Role (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
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