During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.

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2   1  
2005   2003  
Top Rated TV #186 | Won 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 9 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Samson (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Ruthie (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Brother Justin Crowe (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Lila (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Clayton 'Jonesy' Jones (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Sofie (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Rita Sue Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Libby Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Felix 'Stumpy' Dreifuss (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Iris Crowe (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Ben Hawkins (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Gabriel (24 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Apollonia (18 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Professor Ernst Lodz (16 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Reverend Norman Balthus (16 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Henry 'Hack' Scudder (15 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Burley (14 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Tommy Dolan (13 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 Gecko (12 episodes, 2003)
Karyne Steben ...
 Alexandria (12 episodes, 2003)
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 Varlyn Stroud (12 episodes, 2005)
Sarah Steben ...
 Caladonia (12 episodes, 2003)
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 Osgood (12 episodes, 2003-2005)
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Storyline

1934, America. The Dustbowl. A fugitive named Ben Hawkins finds refuge within a traveling carnival comprised of a tarot card reader and her catatonic/telekinetic mother, a blind mentalist, a bearded lady, and conjoined twins, amongst others. The carnival is owned by the mysterious and unseen Management, who has designs on the young Hawkins, for the boy is concealing an untapped gift: he can heal the lame and raise the dead--at a price. Ben also finds himself disturbed by cryptic and prophetic dreams, which he shares with a Methodist preacher in California, Brother Justin Crowe. Brother Justin, convinced by his dreams he is following God's will, has begun to practice his own extraordinary talents, although the preacher's plans increasingly lead to disturbing and tragic consequences. In this "last great age of magic," Ben Hawkins and Justin Crowe are moving toward a great conflict between Good and Evil, although it not yet clear on which sides these men will stand. Written by matta2k

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Into each generation is born a creature of light and a creature of darkness. See more »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

14 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La feria ambulante  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The intro at the beginning of each show is so intricate and complex it took months to assemble. See more »

Goofs

Sofie consistently deals Tarot cards incorrectly. When shown taking cards from the deck and placing them face-up on the table, she always turns them lengthwise, thereby inverting the card from its position in the deck. Since a Tarot card has a different meaning if upside-down, cards should always be turned over sideways, so that if they are right-side-up in the deck, they remain so in the spread. See more »

Quotes

[Brother Justin is in an insane asylum when a radio program concerning him begins to air amidst the cacophony]
Justin: Be still.
[Total silence except for the radio broadcast]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Man Seeking Woman: Lizard (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Question
8 December 2003 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

I think Carnivale has to be one of the most incredibly addictive series I have ever seen. However, all my friends seem to disagree.. so I have to ask, am I alone or are there others who feel the same? I mean, the overall darkness of its themes and how brother Justin ties into Hawkins is very compelling. There is also the fact that if I listened to a description of the show, (traveling carnival in the great depression era) I would have never watched it. But I saw every episode in one day, with no real idea what it was about and now I have to say its my favorite HBO series ever... am I alone?? hehe


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