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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2005   2003  
Top Rated TV #197 | 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:

Their journey. Their battle. Our future. See more »


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

14 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La feria ambulante  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both K Callan and Cynthia Ettinger have played Superman's adoptive mother, Martha Kent. K Callan played Martha Kent in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993). Ettinger played Martha Kent in Smallville: Unaired Pilot (2001) but before the pilot aired her scenes were reshot with Annette O'Toole, who then played the role on Smallville (2001). Clancy Brown voiced Superman's archnemesis Lex Luthor in numerous cartoons. See more »

Goofs

Whenever "Russian" dialogue is heard, most of it is just gibberish. See more »

Quotes

[to maid who is kneeling at his feet]
Justin: Your mama taught you how to pray, didn't she?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Comeback: Valerie Tries to Get Yesterday Back (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Brilliant
28 December 2004 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Carnivale is absolutely brilliant. I am amazed at every episode. The story unfolds with wonderfully colorful layers that constantly change the way you look at it. At times, the acting seems a little forced. With a cast of such talented actors I have to believe that that is the fault of the production itself. Nick Stahl, however, gives an absolutely flawless performance every time. He's really grown into his talent (and looks!). I am most impressed by the writing, the way the human aspect of the characters is so well interwoven with the macabre imagery. A production with this kind of theme and these kind of characters could easily turn campy and yet it doesn't. There's no way a show like this should be believable, but it is.


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