At today’s TCA, Spectrum Originals/Lionsgate Television introduced the explosive (literally) new trailer for its anthology series Manhunt: Deadly Games (you can watch it above) and announced that ten one-hour episodes of the limited series will drop on Feb. 3 to facilitate binge watching.
“People are going to get lost in the telling of this true story,” said Katherine Pope, head of Spectrum Originals, before introducing a large panel that included EPs Andrew Sodroski and Michael Dinner and cast members Jack Huston, Judith Light, Gethin Anthony, Kelly Jenrette and Cameron Britton who portrays the wrongly-accused Richard Jewell in this chronicle of the search for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Bomber.
But one of the first questions from assembled TV journalists was, where can audiences binge the series, since not all have access to Spectrum? Sodroski and Dinner punted the question to Pope, who assured the questioner not to worry.
“There will be a second window U.S. sale on the show announced fairly soon and it will be national, and everyone will be able to watch it,” she said.
The producers also addressed the project’s move from Discovery to Lionsgate/Spectrum. Sodroski said the creative team figured out the broad outline at Discovery, and when Discovery decided to get out of scripted programming, Lionsgate really believed in this project and took it over…we found a new home at Spectrum, a place (where we could take) a rich skeleton…and take that basic story but really flesh it out and make it more dramatic and more character-centered than Discovery was going to do.”
Much of the panel discussion centered on how the project would differ from the critically-acclaimed feature film Jewell currently in theaters. “One of the great differences between film and television is that (the movie) had 110 minutes to tell a story, we had (10) hours,” Sodroski said. Both producers said the extra time gave them a chance to tell a much broader story than that of Jewell alone.
After the panel, the producers told Deadline that they had no idea why two such high-profile Olympics Bomber projects are surfacing at the same time. Dinner acknowledged “I didn’t know about (the movie) when I said I’d do it,” adding then when he did find out that the Clint Eastwood-directed pic was in the works outsiders told him the TV series was likely to come out first.
“They forgot he’s the master of putting on the after-burner” and getting things done, Dinner said of Eastwood.
Dinner reiterated that he sees the series as presenting a much bigger canvas than the movie but thought for a moment when asked if he would have taken on the TV version of the story.
“Yes,” Dinner said after a pause.