After making a home for NBC’s Friday Night Lights, DirecTV is bringing another broadcast show to its program lineup, Wonderland, a gritty drama that delves into the lives of the doctors of Rivervue, a fictional New York psychiatric hospital, officials said Wednesday.
All eight episodes of Wonderland, including six never-before-seen on television, will air Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. starting Jan. 14 on DirecTV's The 101 Network and DirecTV on Demand.
Wonderland first aired on ABC in spring 2000 and was met with both critical praise and controversy. It was quickly taken off the air. Now, fans will be able to see the entire series from start to finish with new opening commentary, circa 2009, by Peter Berg (Hancock, Friday Night Lights), the series' creator and executive producer.
"This show was deemed so intense for network television that it was removed from ABC's lineup after just two episodes, so viewers who enjoy quality television were frustrated - now they will get to see what they missed," Eric Shanks, DirecTV’s executive vice president of entertainment, said in a prepared statement. "We are proud to add such a provocative and original show to our Network lineup and, as we've seen with Friday Night Lights, Peter Berg is an exceptional story teller who knows how to present compelling drama."
Wonderland will join The 101's Wednesday night lineup following the third-season finale of Friday Night Lights, commercial-free and in HD at 10 p.m. DirecTV's The 101 Network will be the only place viewers will be able to see the series in its entirety with episodes that feature many of today's leading television and film stars including Michelle Forbes (HBO's In Treatment), Billy Burke (Fringe, My Boys), Dax Griffin (Bold and the Beautiful, All My Children), Martin Donovan (Ghost Whisperer, Weeds), Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight, Why Did I Get Married), Ted Levine (Monk, American Gangster) and Patricia Clarkson (Vicky Christina Barcelona). The show also featured guest cameos by Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Piven.
"I'm pleased that Wonderland has been given another chance so that viewers can see these characters' stories evolve," Berg said in a statement. "There was so much debate about the portrayal of the mentally ill patients that fans missed the opportunity to see what the show is really about - the complicated lives of the doctors charged with caring for their patients while balancing aspects of their personal life, such as divorce, impending fatherhood and everyday married life."
The series was created and written by Berg and executive produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Tony Krantz and Berg. Wonderland is a production of Touchstone Television ABC Studios/Imagine Television.