SANTE FE, New Mexico –A new drama is about to hit the small screen with a special connection to the state of Iowa. The show “Manhattan” premieres next month on WHO’s sister station WGN America. It is set against the backdrop of the Manhattan Project and the race against time to build an atomic bomb.
Actor John Benjamin Hickey, who plays Scientist Frank Winter, says, “Manhattan is about the scientists and their families who were guided together by the United States Army to build the world’s first atomic weapon.”
The show is shot in Santa Fe, New Mexico on three sets. It’s about 30 miles from Los Alamos, the town where scientists took their families while they worked in secret.
Actor Michael Chernus, who plays a scientist working under Winter, says, “Within that there are these men and women and children who have been sort of whisked off into the middle of the desert without really knowing why or how long they’ll be there.”
Creator Sam Shaw started working on the show six years ago. He says he wanted to write something he would want to watch, and he especially hopes Iowans take interest. He says, “There was a division of the Manhattan Project in Ames, Iowa, so there is some local history there.”
He has a personal connection to the state as well. He goes on to say, “I went to graduate school at the University of Iowa. My wife and I met at the writer’s workshop there, another of the writers on the show is a Hawkeye, writer’s workshop alum. So, we have a great Iowa contingent on this show.”
“Manhattan” premieres Sunday, July 27th at 8 p.m. on WGN America. An encore presentation will air on WHO at 11:05 p.m. following “SoundOFF.” This is the network’s second scripted series. “Salem” premiered in April.
The ensemble cast includes John Benjamin Hickey (“The Big C,” “The Good Wife”) as Frank Winter, Olivia Williams (“Rushmore,” “The Ghost Writer”) as Liza Winter, Daniel Stern (“Home Alone,” “Home Alone 2”) as Glen Babbit, Rachel Brosnahan (“House of Cards”) as Abby Isaacs, Ashley Zukerman (“Rush”) as Charlie Isaacs, Michael Chernus (“The Big C,” “Orange is the New Black”) as Louis “Fritz” Fedowitz, Christopher Denham (“Argo,” “Shutter Island”) as Jim Meeks, Alexia Fast (“Jack Reacher”) as Callie Winter, Katja Herbers (“De Storm”) as Helen Prins, Harry Loyd (“Game of Thrones”) as Paul Crosley, Eddie Shin (“Men of a Certain Age”) as Sid Liao.