The Following

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Following
The Following intertitle.png
Created by Kevin Williamson
Composer(s) John Frizzell
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 30 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Rebecca Dameron
  • Michael Stricks
Editor(s) Rob Seidenglanz
Location(s) New York City, New York
Cinematography David Tuttman
Camera setup Single camera
Running time 42-45 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original channel Fox
Original run January 21, 2013 (2013-01-21) – present
External links

The Following is an American television drama series which premiered on Fox on January 21, 2013, about an ex-FBI agent trying to catch a serial killer and his murderous cult. The series was created by Kevin Williamson and is jointly produced by Outerbanks Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. In its two seasons so far, it has starred Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy in leading roles, as well as Shawn Ashmore, Natalie Zea, Valorie Curry, and others.

The first season premiered on January 21, 2013 and consisted of 15 episodes.[1] On March 4, 2013, the series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on January 19, 2014.[2] The series' renewal for a third season was announced on March 7, 2014.[3][4]


The Following '​s first season centers on former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) and his attempts to re-capture serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) following the latter's escape from prison. Hardy soon discovers that Carroll has surrounded himself with a group of like-minded individuals, whom he met while teaching and while in prison, and turned them into a cult of fanatical killers, including his right-hand, Emma Hill (Valorie Curry). When Carroll's son Joey Matthews (Kyle Catlett) is abducted by his father's followers, Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore), Debra Parker (Annie Parisse) and the rest of the FBI discover that it is the first step in a wider plan for Carroll to escape custody, humiliate Hardy, and be reunited with his ex-wife Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea).

The second season centers on a new cult, led by Lily Gray (Connie Nielsen) and her twin sons Mark and Luke (both played by Sam Underwood), as they begin to develop and make public statements to lure Carroll out of hiding while the rest of the world believes him to be dead. Weston is re-recruited by Special Agent Mendez (Valerie Cruz) and the FBI in order to find the new cult; however, Hardy and his niece Max Hardy (Jessica Stroup) have plans of their own to track them down and find Carroll, provided he is in fact alive.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

  • Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy, a former FBI agent, recalled to assist the FBI once Joe Carroll escapes and his cult begins to develop
  • James Purefoy as Joe Carroll, a former professor turned serial killer and cult leader
  • Shawn Ashmore as Mike Weston, a young FBI agent who later becomes romantically involved with Ryan's niece, Max
  • Jessica Stroup as Max Hardy (season 2-), niece of Ryan Hardy and a New York City Police Department detective
  • Natalie Zea as Claire Matthews, Joe Carroll's ex-wife, who also had a relationship with Ryan Hardy
  • Valorie Curry as Emma Hill (seasons 1-2), a follower and romantic partner of Joe Carroll
  • Sam Underwood as Luke and Mark Gray (season 2-), Lily's psychopathic twin sons
  • Annie Parisse as Debra Parker (season 1), head of the investigation on Joe Carroll and his cult
  • Nico Tortorella as Jacob Wells (season 1), one of Joe Carroll's followers and romantic interest of both Emma and Paul
  • Adan Canto as Paul Torres (season 1), one of Joe Carroll's followers, working closely with Jacob and Emma
  • Kyle Catlett as Joey Matthews (season 1), Joe Carroll and Claire Matthews' son
  • Connie Nielsen as Lily Gray (season 2), cult leader, admirer of Carroll, and mother of Luke and Mark
  • Tiffany Boone as Mandy Lang (season 2), daughter of Judy, an admirer and daughter-figure to Joe Carroll who gets caught between him and Lily

Recurring cast[edit]

  • John Lafayette as Marshal Scott Turner, head of the Marshal's detail participating in the investigation of Joe Carroll's cult, later provides protection for Claire Matthews



Kevin Williamson pitched The Following to Fox rather than another company because it was "home of his all-time favorite show, 24".[5] Comparing Hardy with Jack Bauer, he described the character as someone who "will die saving the moment" and "[carries] the weight of every victim on his shoulders".[5]

Williamson knew he wanted to produce a show that would be gory and knew it would be controversial. When Fox Broadcasting Chief Operating Officer Joe Earley[6] was asked about the subject material, he answered that the network felt pressured to draw in a large audience to equal the broad scope and intensity of the narrative.[7]


To slip gory scenes past the Standards and Practices department at Fox Broadcasting, Williamson explained, "There are tricks... Okay, in the same episode there's an actor cutting someone in the jugular, and you're harping on the sex scene? So I sent a little email to [Fox Entertainment chairman] Kevin Reilly, and within 15 minutes the broadcast-and-standards people were like, 'It's okay'".[5]


Williamson wanted to cast "a tough guy with a boyish side" in the role of Ryan Hardy and told his agent that he had someone like Kevin Bacon in mind for the role. When his agent suggested Bacon himself, Williamson discovered that Bacon had spent the past four years trying to find a television program he would like to do. Bacon described his attraction to the role as stemming from the way it centered on a life-or-death situation.[5] Jeananne Goossen was cast in the role of FBI agent Jennifer Mason in the pilot, but the role was reworked and in subsequent episodes of the series, her character was written out and replaced by Special Agent Debra Parker, played by Annie Parisse.[8]


The lighthouse scenes in the first season's finale were filmed at the Fire Island Lighthouse in Fire Island, New York.[9]


The Following series overview
Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 15 January 21, 2013 (2013-01-21) April 29, 2013 (2013-04-29)
2 15 January 19, 2014 (2014-01-19) April 28, 2014 (2014-04-28)
3 15 March 2, 2015 (2015-03-02) TBA



Including other digital sources, the premiere episode was watched by a total of 20.34 million viewers.[10]

U.S. television ratings for The Following
Season Timeslot (ET) Number of Episodes Premiere Finale TV Season Overall rank 18–49 rank Overall viewership
Date Viewers
Date Viewers
Monday 9:00 pm
January 21, 2013
April 29, 2013
7.82[12] 2012–13 #22 #9[13] 11.87[14]
2 15
January 19, 2014
April 28, 2014
4.81[16] 2013–14 #45 #22 8.21[17]

Critical reception[edit]

The Following '​s first season was given 62/100 on Metacritic based on 32 reviews, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[18]

USA Today '​s Robert Bianco rated the show highly, calling it "one of the most violent, and certainly the most frightening, series ever made by a commercial broadcast network," adding "some plot twists seem implausible at best, others are overdone or gratuitous. But some implausibility comes with the horror/suspense genre, and there's no question [Kevin] Williamson has mastered it — just as there's no question that the match of wills between the wounded [Kevin] Bacon and malevolent [James] Purefoy is exceedingly well played."[19]

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly stated: "The weakest part of The Following is the idea that Carroll was a college professor who held his classes spellbound with lectures about Thoreau, Emerson, and, most crucially, Edgar Allan Poe." He added: "The drama's strongest elements override this flaw. Both Bacon and Purefoy are so intensely earnest, The Following quickly supersedes its patent Silence of the Lambs setup. The moments that focus on Carroll's criminal cult give the series its real power, and the modern-day variations on Charlie Manson's kill-crazy crew are genuinely spooky."[20]

The Wall Street Journal's Nancy Dewolf Smith considers the series "both better and worse than those movies where a procession of young people get killed so reliably and gorily that the audience laughs after it screams," adding, "There is some suspense here, even if it is mainly because the violence when it comes is so swift and sickening. But the show still feels slack. Is it a case of a serial-killer cliché too far?"[21]

Hank Stuever of The Washington Post called the series "a trite, gratuitously violent exercise in still more stylishly imagined American horror stories." He added, "It is filled with melodramatic sleuthing that you've seen over and over."[22]

Alessandra Stanley of The New York Times said the series was "hard to turn off and even harder to watch" and that "precisely because it is so bleak and relentlessly scary, The Following offers a more salutary depiction of violence than do series that use humor to mitigate horror — and thereby trivialize it."[23]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Awards and accolades for The Following
Year Association Category Nominated work Result
2013 39th Saturn Awards Best Network Television Series The Following Nominated
Best Actor on Television Kevin Bacon Won
2014 People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic TV Actor Kevin Bacon Nominated
40th Saturn Awards Best Network Television Series The Following Nominated
Best Actor on Television Kevin Bacon Nominated
Best Supporting Actor on Television James Purefoy Nominated


The series is broadcast in Canada through the CTV television system. It also airs on Nine Network in Australia, Warner Channel in Latin America, Sky Atlantic in United Kingdom, Canal+ and TVN7 in Poland, TF1 in France and FOX Portugal in Portugal.


  1. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2012). "3rd Update: Fox Picks Up Kevin Williamson, Mob Doc Drama, Three Comedy Series". Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "‘The Following’ Season 2 Spoilers: Complete Casting And Scoop Roundup For Jan. 27 Premiere [VIDEOS]". December 13, 2013. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Twitter / TheFollowingFOX: It was...inevitable. ...". Twitter. March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ Brickey, Tierney (March 7, 2014). "The Mindy Project, New Girl and 2 More Shows Renewed By Fox". E!. Retrieved March 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Maerz, Melissa (January 11, 2013). "9 Hot New Shows: The Following". Entertainment Weekly: 54–55. 
  6. ^ Flint, Joe (August 29, 2012). "Fox Broadcasting names Joe Earley COO". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ Guthrie, Marisa (November 23, 2012). "Can a Fox Audience Love a Serial Killer? The Network Can't put Ads near Schools as it Courts a Cable Crowd for The Following". The Hollywood Reporter. p. 24. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ Jeffery, Morgan (May 24, 2012). "'Alcatraz' star Jeananne Goossen departs Fox drama 'The Following'". Digital Spy. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  10. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (February 11, 2013). "‘The Following’ Adds Nearly 10 Million Viewers to its Premiere Episode via Encore Showings, DVR, On Demand and Online Streaming". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 2, 2013. 
  11. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 23, 2013). "Monday Final Ratings: 'Hawaii Five-0' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 30, 2013). "Monday Final Ratings: 'The Voice', 'The Following', 'Dancing With The Stars', '2 Broke Girls', 'Rules of Engagement', 'Mike & Molly' & '90210' Adjusted Up; 'Revolution' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 29, 2013). "Complete List Of 2012-13 Season TV Show Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Tops, Followed By 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'The Voice' & 'Modern Family'". Zap2it. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  14. ^ Patten, Dominic (May 23, 2013). "Full 2012-2013 TV Season Series Rankings". Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  15. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 22, 2014). "Sunday Final Ratings: No Adjustments to 'Revenge', 'The Following' or 'Betrayal' & Final NFC Championship Numbers". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  16. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 29, 2014). "Monday Final TV Ratings: 'The Tomorrow People', 'Castle', '2 Broke Girls' & 'Dancing With The Stars' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Metacritic: The Following". Metacritic. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ Bianco, Robert (January 20, 2013). "Warped 'Following' will chill you to the bone". USA Today. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ Tucker, Ken (January 21, 2013). "TV Review: The Following (2013)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ Dewolf Smith, Nancy (January 21, 2013). "A Stab in the Dark". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  22. ^ Stuever, Hank (January 20, 2013). "Fox's 'The Following': Numb to violence, and deadly dull". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  23. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (January 20, 2013). "Plods the Maven, Weak and Weary". The New York Times. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]