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An Addictive April For Cable

3/29/2011 12:31 PM

If cable drove viewers to madness during the month of March, then the industry is poised to become addictive in April with the debut of several new and much-anticipated dramas.

April’s lineup of scripted shows and mini-series promise to deliver everything drama junkies crave — suspense, thrills, mystery, murder, lust, power and greed — all told in the grandiose, unfettered and mostly uncensored fashion that only cable networks can offer. 

Premium services HBO, Showtime and Starz each will serve up lavish pseudo-historical events with their fair share of drama and action, as well as offer what has become a common theme of similar cable period pieces — lots of blood, violence and sex.

Viewers will have their DVR’s working overtime as Starz’ retelling of the King Arthur tale in Camelot, Showtime’s story about the controversial  life of Pope Alexander VI and his family in The Borgias and HBO’s fantasy-driven  medieval showcase Game Of Thrones  lead cable’s Friday and Sunday nights.

Premium cable has already cornered the market on the big budget period series with popular shows like Showtime’s The Tudors and Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand, so these new epics will only enhance the industry’s status among hard-core genre viewers.

HBO will also give viewers a glimpse of the depression era with a five-part remake of the classic Mildred Pierce, which stars Kate Winslet as mother Mildred and Evan Rachel Wood as her wicked daughter Veda.

Reelzchannel will even jump into the historical drama ring in April when it airs The Kennedys, the controversial eight-part miniseries that made distributors like Showtime DirecTv and History – the channel that initially commissioned the show – uncomfortable with airing the series and its depiction of the Kennedy clan.

For viewers looking for more contemporary dramas, AMC will look to continue to build on its growing reputation for smart, well-produced series with the April 3 premiere of The Killing. AMC — the home of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead — will look to lure murder/mystery fans to the 13-episode thriller, which tells the story of the death of a teenage girl in modern day Seattle and the subsequent police investigation.  

Over the last decade cable has exhibited its creative brilliance in the historical/fantasy, dramatic mini-series and crime genres through popular and critically-acclaimed shows and mini-series. It is expected that April’s cadre of series newbies will only improve on the medium’s reputation for delivering the best entertainment programming on television.