News

An Addictive April for Cable

3/28/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

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 muchanticipated
dramas.

April’s lineup of scripted shows and miniseries
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 will each 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 digital video recorders working
overtime, as Starz’s 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
schedules on 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
with the genre’s hard-core 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 miniseries and
crime genres through popular and critically-acclaimed
shows and miniseries. 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.

March