A brief trailer premiered this weekend on WGN America during the unfortunately abysmal premiere of Brannon Braga’s new series Salem, for another production coming to the network this summer. That new series is Manhattan, and it follows Salem as the second original scripted series for WGN America. Both series are billed as historical fiction, but Manhattan appears to fit the genre better than could be gleaned from episode one of Salem, at least based on our first look. The sets for Manhattan look great, and the actors look like real people from the era.
Manhattan will star John Benjamin Hickey (Law & Order, In Plain Sight), Daniel Stern (Home Alone, City Slickers), and Olivia Williams. The series focuses on the lives of the scientists involved in the Manhattan Project who secretly developed the first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, New Mexico, between 1942 and 1946. The big selling point is Olivia Williams, an actress whose work stands out in all her film and TV appearances, often one of the only things worth seeing about the production (Rushmore, Dollhouse). Williams has headlined movies big and small, from The Postman to The Sixth Sense. And she can be seen in Spaced, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Sabotage.
Here’s the first trailer for Manhattan:
The Ink Spots’ “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” is an inspired choice for the preview.
Look for the first episode of Manhattan on WGN America airing sometime in July 2014.