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NBC’s Aquarius is set in 1967, the age of free love and the Vietnam War. LAPD Detective Sam Hodiak is tasked with finding the missing teenage daughter of a well-known and respected lawyer. To do so, he has to team up with Brian Shafe, a rebellious undercover cop who would rather smoke a joint than do his job. When they stumble upon a small-time cult leader preying on young women, they start their hunt. The identity of the cult-leader? Charles Manson.

The series stars David Duchovny (Californication) as Detective Sam Hodiak, Grey Damon (Star-Crossed) as officer Brian Shafe, and Gethin Anthony (Game Of Thrones) as killer and cult-leader Charles Manson. Also featured in the series is Emma Dumont (Bunheads) as the missing teenage daughter.

Murder. Madness. Manson. That’s what the trailer promises us, and I have absolutely no doubt that is what we will be getting. The casting is solid, the story is interesting, the only thing that might be problematic is the balance between Sam Hodiak and Charles Manson. Too much focus on one of the two and the story could become dull. I suspect this will not happen, however, and if it does I personally would prefer a heightened focus on Manson. After all, Hodiak may officially be the main character, but it is Manson who makes things happen. They’re awful, gruesome things, but still.

Aquarius is scheduled opposite newcomer Wayward Pines on FOX, and starting June 25, CBS’ Big Brother. It will also air opposite ABC’s Mistresses, which will premiere on June 18. Right off the bat, Aquarius has one advantage: Manson. Using one of the most notorious criminals of the twentieth century as a character in a series is sure to reel in some viewers. Furthermore, the premises and genres of the competing series are very different from Aquarius‘. So much so that I don’t believe they will massively impact the ratings of Aquarius, even though series like Big Brother do tend to pull large audiences. Besides, it will only have to worry about Big Brother and Mistresses once it’s had a few weeks to build an audience, which should help.

Aquarius has concluded its run after 2 seasons.

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