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post #1 of 77 Old 07-25-2014, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Manhattan on WGN-HD

I'm interested to see how this one is, love these period time pieces. Sunday night at 9:00 ET on WGN. WGN is actually on basic Comcast here. I'm looking forward to it. Hoping for the best.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tfFU4OK6Hw

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post #2 of 77 Old 07-26-2014, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post
I'm interested to see how this one is, love these period time pieces. Sunday night at 9:00 ET on WGN. WGN is actually on basic Comcast here. I'm looking forward to it. Hoping for the best.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tfFU4OK6Hw
I hope it dwells more on the development of the bomb than the sex lives of the scientists and engineers involved in the project. Another soap opera would be just boring.
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post #3 of 77 Old 07-26-2014, 03:52 PM
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WGNA is not an available channel on my Comcast system. I was sure this is one show I would miss then I found WGNA available On Demand HD. The only thing there now is Salem, but I'm hoping Manhattan will show up sometime between Monday and Friday.
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post #4 of 77 Old 07-26-2014, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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From the HOTP thread: Reviews aren't sparkling, but still hoping for the best: Sunday is just getting more crowded.

WGN America retells the story of the Manhattan Project
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jul. 24, 2014

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – It’s difficult to imagine that the more sophisticated, adult drama “Manhattan” (9 p.m. Sunday, WGN America) comes from the same network that just a few months ago debuted the silly, supernatural drama “Salem.”

Perhaps WGN America, new to original scripted series, is pursuing a let’s-throw-anything-against-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks programming strategy because these two series could not be more different.

Both shows are rooted in history, but “Salem” posits an alternate history where witches were real and masterfully manipulated events in 17th-century Massachusetts.

Newcomer “Manhattan” takes the real history of the Manhattan Project and retells the story of the creation of the first atomic bomb with fictional characters.

“Manhattan” clearly seems to be positioned as a serious cable show, and although it lacks the psychological depth of “Mad Men” or the edgy vibe of “Breaking Bad,” this new drama is easily one of the best new summer series.

John Benjamin Hickey, who played Laura Linney’s brother on “The Big C,” stars in “Manhattan” as fictional Frank Winter, a science researcher on one of several teams trying to develop an atomic weapon under the direction of real-life figure Robert Oppenheimer (Daniel London) in a no-name town in New Mexico (Los Alamos).

Winter’s team is not the team preferred by Oppenheimer and the U.S. Army; they are the underdogs. But Winter doggedly pursues any approach that will shave time off the development of a weapon because he sees every passing hour reflected in an increased number of dead American service members. He’s so worried about ending the war that he even considers sacrificing a rule-breaking colleague in the pilot.

Charlie Isaacs (Ashley Zukerman) and wife Abby (Rachel Brosnahan) are new to “the Hill,” and Charlie, although an admirer of Winter’s work, is recruited by the rival team. Charlie is haunted by his own worries: Once America develops this weapon, what’s to stop another, less enlightened country from making a bomb of its own?

One researcher on the same team brags, “We have the highest combined IQ of any town in America and more Jews than Babylon. You’ll be wined and dined by the U.S. Army until Hitler and the Japs say uncle.”

The pilot episode, written by series creator Sam Shaw (“Masters of Sex”) and directed by Thomas Schlamme (“The West Wing”), offers some beautiful desert vistas and crane shots out of a Steven Spielberg film. It’s easily one of the most beautiful hours of television to come along this year. (As is often the case, a subsequent episode is less cinematic.)

The first hour is a little slow, somewhat pacey at times — it clocks in at 56 minutes, not the usual 42 minutes, and will run one hour and 10 minutes with commercials — but it does a fine job of setting up the story and introducing the characters. “Manhattan” is not just about the scientists, but also their wives.

Winter’s wife, Liza (Olivia Williams, “Dollhouse,” who can’t seem to shake her British accent), is the most anarchic wife, doing anything to ease her boredom. She has a doctorate but has put her career on hold for her husband. She takes newcomer Abby under her wing in episode two and shows her one way to get some kitchen equipment that involves trading tampons for peyote for a hot plate.

In two episodes made available for review, the homefront stories of the wives actually come off better than many of the lab scenes because the wives are better drawn. Winter’s lab is full of scientists, but viewers barely learn their names, let alone personalities, in these early episodes.

But Winter is a compelling character and the stakes of his work are high, which gives “Manhattan” a leg up on another summer workplace drama, AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire,” which began with a strong premiere and immediately grew dull with no interesting places for its stories to go.

But will viewers who tuned in to “Salem” in large enough numbers for that series to get a second-season renewal be likely to come to the more historically plausible, reality-rooted “Manhattan”? If they don’t, WGN America may have an altogether different kind of bomb on its hands.

Producers on ‘Manhattan’

After a “Manhattan” press conference earlier this month, Mr. Schlamme said WGN America executives acknowledged there may not be a lot of crossover between the “Salem” audience and the “Manhattan” audience.

“What they wanted was a great show,” he said. “They’ve been unbelievably supportive. They said, ‘If we can get a quality television show, that is what we want to do.’ And honestly, they’ve never winked. It’s never been, ‘Well, we said that, but what we really mean is the other.’ ”

“Manhattan” was filmed at an old New Mexico U.S. Army hospital that was days away from being torn down. The production came in and took over 12 acres of buildings that were reconfigured for the show. Mr. Schlamme said 85-90 percent of the series is shot on that location and much of it is shot outdoors.

“We created a world,” he said. “And part of that hope was to create a world that [the actors] could walk into that didn’t feel like a soundstage. It’s what it would have felt like for the [real-life] men and women who were transported from their homes on the East Coast, on the West Coast, and just plopped into the desert.”
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post #5 of 77 Old 07-27-2014, 09:49 AM
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The local TV reviewer absolutely loves this show. She thinks that it will do for WGN what Mad Men did for AMC.
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post #6 of 77 Old 07-27-2014, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tonycsmoke View Post
The local TV reviewer absolutely loves this show. She thinks that it will do for WGN what Mad Men did for AMC.
I thought it was pretty good, next week must be more about the wives, the way some of the reviews talked I got the impression there would be a lot more about the wives, I thought it struck a pretty good balance tonight. I'm in, I don't know that many details about what really happened there, but I hope the writers keep it real.

I'm guessing the one guy that said he was getting shipped off to Tennessee was going to Oak Ridge.
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post #7 of 77 Old 07-27-2014, 11:42 PM
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I was surprised to see this on KTLA 5.1 (CW) beside WGA America. Was it like other CW channels too or only in Los Angeles (L.A.)?

Anyways, as I expected another drama type of show. It was mostly slow, but pretty to look at. I don't think I will watch more episodes after tonight's pilot episode. :/
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post #8 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:04 AM
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I was surprised to see this on KTLA 5.1 (CW) beside WGA America. Was it like other CW channels too or only in Los Angeles (L.A.)?

Anyways, as I expected another drama type of show. It was mostly slow, but pretty to look at. I don't think I will watch more episodes after tonight's pilot episode. :/
In Sacramento (SureWest...er..."Consolidated"), it was on WGN (non-HD), then re-broadcast a couple hours later on the local Fox affiliate in HD. I'm hoping they keep that up all season, because Consolidated doesn't have WGN in HD.
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post #9 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Gecko85 View Post
In Sacramento (SureWest...er..."Consolidated"), it was on WGN (non-HD), then re-broadcast a couple hours later on the local Fox affiliate in HD. I'm hoping they keep that up all season, because Consolidated doesn't have WGN in HD.
I don't see any future episodes on KTLA5.1. I think it was only for series' pilot.

I also find it interesting that I never heard or saw any mentions of this online and on TV.
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post #10 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:17 AM
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I don't see any future episodes on KTLA5.1. I think it was only for series' pilot.

I also find it interesting that I never heard or saw any mentions of this online and on TV.
Crap. Same here. Guess I'll give it a shot in SD...but may end up bailing as I have a hard time watching SD anymore. Too spoiled by HD I guess.

I saw an online review (can't remember where) that raved about it, which is why I recorded the pilot.
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post #11 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:22 AM
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Enjoyed the first episode.
I feel they did a decent job getting the look and feel of the era/location down correctly.
After seeing the "computers" (a squad of 6-12 math whiz young women performing longhand calculations on paper) they used for their calculations it made me wonder how much sooner the project would have been completed even if first gen computers had been widely available for each lab....
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post #12 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:28 AM
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Crap. Same here. Guess I'll give it a shot in SD...but may end up bailing as I have a hard time watching SD anymore. Too spoiled by HD I guess.

I saw an online review (can't remember where) that raved about it, which is why I recorded the pilot.
You should ask your TV provider on why there is no HD on WGN.
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post #13 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:29 AM
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You should ask your TV provider on why there is no HD on WGN.
Just did. They said to contact WGN. So I did. They said to contact my provider.



#@$!% monopolies.
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post #14 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:41 AM
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Angry

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Just did. They said to contact WGN. So I did. They said to contact my provider.



#@$!% monopolies.
[sighs] I hate that. I will be curious what your TV provider will say.
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post #15 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:43 AM
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Thumbs up

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Enjoyed the first episode.
I feel they did a decent job getting the look and feel of the era/location down correctly.
After seeing the "computers" (a squad of 6-12 math whiz young women performing longhand calculations on paper) they used for their calculations it made me wonder how much sooner the project would have been completed even if first gen computers had been widely available for each lab....
Yeah. Haha, that "computer" scene made me chuckle.
for that clip from the pilot.
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post #16 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:43 AM
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[sighs] I hate that. I will be curious what your TV provider will say.
They literally said to contact WGN. First, they apologized that the channel was not available, then said to contact WGN.

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post #17 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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They literally said to contact WGN. First, they apologized that the channel was not available, then said to contact WGN.
That is so strange, that here WGNA-HD is actually part of basic cable service. I'm in East Tennessee, and we get just a so-so lineup on comcast.

It is available on Hulu+ the next day and free Hulu I think 3 days after airing, if you're just interested in catching up, Hulu gets a bad rap, but I don't think the pq is that bad, it's better than SD, of course you gotta sit through a few commercials.
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post #18 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 12:07 PM
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It is available on Hulu+ the next day and free Hulu I think 3 days after airing, if you're just interested in catching up, Hulu gets a bad rap, but I don't think the pq is that bad, it's better than SD, of course you gotta sit through a few commercials.
I paid for Hulu+ for over 2 years, but finally cancelled. Little by little, more and more was set to "mobile only", so wouldn't play through my Tivo or Apple TV. I literally would have to watch on my laptop. So, I quit.

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post #19 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 12:11 PM
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That is so strange, that here WGNA-HD is actually part of basic cable service. I'm in East Tennessee, and we get just a so-so lineup on comcast.

It is available on Hulu+ the next day and free Hulu I think 3 days after airing, if you're just interested in catching up, Hulu gets a bad rap, but I don't think the pq is that bad, it's better than SD, of course you gotta sit through a few commercials.
It's also on iTunes and has its free HD pilot as of yesterday.

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post #20 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 12:18 PM
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It's also on iTunes and has HD pilot as of yesterday.
Good to know. I'll check if subsequent episodes also get added to iTunes.
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post #21 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 01:29 PM
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Good show. Sorry about Comcast.

See John Oliver's skewering of Comcast at the 8:50 mark:

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post #22 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post
It is available on Hulu+ the next day and free Hulu I think 3 days after airing, if you're just interested in catching up, Hulu gets a bad rap, but I don't think the pq is that bad, it's better than SD, of course you gotta sit through a few commercials.
I watched it on Hulu+ which on my BD player is 720p. I might try again with Chromecast to see if it will come in at 1080p but that app seemed to get broken after some updates and rebuffers plus gets stuck on ads of which they were short on the pilot at least.

I knew the daughter of one of the key physicists on the project and have friends who have worked with others involved. I also grew up near Hanford, Washington and knew locals who worked on the project there during the war and couldn't say what they were doing.

I liked the pilot and couldn't quite place John Hickey but of course had seen him as a completely different character (well maybe not) on the "The Big C."
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post #23 of 77 Old 07-29-2014, 04:25 PM
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Great show, really enjoyed it. Watched on Comcast HD On Demand.
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post #24 of 77 Old 07-30-2014, 07:40 AM
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I finally saw the pilot episode last night. I really liked the show until about the last 15 minutes. I hated it when the Hispanic servant came on to Frank and, a little later, when it was implied that beefcake soldiers were washing the scientists' wives' cars in return for sexual favors. That struck me as way too much Peyton Place and way too little Manhattan Project. I'll stick with it for a little while but at this juncture, I am not optimistic.
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post #25 of 77 Old 07-31-2014, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post
That is so strange, that here WGNA-HD is actually part of basic cable service. I'm in East Tennessee, and we get just a so-so lineup on comcast.
Same here on Comcast SF bay area, which makes this,

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WGNA is not an available channel on my Comcast system. I was sure this is one show I would miss then I found WGNA available On Demand HD. The only thing there now is Salem, but I'm hoping Manhattan will show up sometime between Monday and Friday.
really odd as I wouldn't have thought the central valley would deviate that much, especially on a basic lineup.

It's on ch 775(HD) in the bay area.
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post #26 of 77 Old 08-03-2014, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Frank is an a$$ for sure, but I still like him, it's not easy sometimes though. I remember reading some review that was concerned about showing so much of the wives in the first two eps, I don't see it, sure the wives are in the show, but certainly nowhere near the amount the article seemed to imply.

I'm definitely in. Biggest problem I've got is deciding which shows to watch on Sunday and which ones to watch the rest of the week and how to get them all recorded. I've got 5 tuners and still have to bump a couple of shows around one the ones showing at 10:00pm ET.
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post #27 of 77 Old 08-05-2014, 06:36 AM
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I'm definitely in. Biggest problem I've got is deciding which shows to watch on Sunday and which ones to watch the rest of the week and how to get them all recorded. I've got 5 tuners and still have to bump a couple of shows around one the ones showing at 10:00pm ET.
I'm up to six shows Sunday night... although Halt and Catch Fire just ended so I'm back to five again...
I Have two TiVo's, one's a quad tuner the other a dual tuner- so I'm just covered as long as nobody else in the house wants to record anything else on Sunday night! Luckily Outlander shows on Saturday night- or I'd be maxed out again.

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post #28 of 77 Old 08-05-2014, 09:26 AM
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Frank is an a$$ for sure, but I still like him, it's not easy sometimes though. I remember reading some review that was concerned about showing so much of the wives in the first two eps, I don't see it, sure the wives are in the show, but certainly nowhere near the amount the article seemed to imply.

I'm definitely in. Biggest problem I've got is deciding which shows to watch on Sunday and which ones to watch the rest of the week and how to get them all recorded. I've got 5 tuners and still have to bump a couple of shows around one the ones showing at 10:00pm ET.
I started the first episode figuring I'd be bored about halfway through, and before I knew it the thing was over. Of course I love the period stuff and have always been interested in math and mathematicians (and physicists), but Manhattan has really held my interest. Frankly, I think the wives' stuff is a hoot and is almost as interesting as the main plot line.

As far as last night's episode, I couldn't figure out WHY the MP shot Sid. Did he answer the phone, did he see Sid reach for the gun, what?

The only negative thing I will say is that this show must hold the record for the longest run of initial credits in TV history. I mean, I thought the opening credits would collide and start battling with the closing ones for screen space.
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post #29 of 77 Old 08-05-2014, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlk10010 View Post

As far as last night's episode, I couldn't figure out WHY the MP shot Sid. Did he answer the phone, did he see Sid reach for the gun, what?
I was wondering the same thing. My guess is he somehow saw the gun on the seat? But from where he was standing, I don't know how plausible that is...

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post #30 of 77 Old 08-05-2014, 02:09 PM
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FYI since Iasked my local KTLA station about its series premiere:

"... Thank you for your email. Our parent company, Tribune Media, required its
stations to air the first episode of 'Manhattan' as a promotion for the
series which is airing regularly on WGN America exclusively. KTLA will
not be airing any future episodes at this time..."
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