The Dangerous Book for Boys (TV series)

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The Dangerous Book for Boys
Created by
Based onThe Dangerous Book for Boys
by Conn & Hal Iggulden
Composer(s)Nick Urata
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Michael Glouberman
  • Bryan Cranston
  • James Degus
  • Greg Mottola
Producer(s)Jill Footlick
CinematographyBen Kutchins
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time24–31 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkAmazon Video
Original releaseMarch 30, 2018 (2018-03-30)
External links
Official website

The Dangerous Book for Boys is an American comedy-drama web television series, based on the book of the same name by Conn & Hal Iggulden, that premiered on March 30, 2018, on Amazon Video. The series was created by Bryan Cranston and Greg Mottola and it stars Chris Diamantopoulos, Gabriel Bateman, Drew Logan Powell, Kyan Zielinski, and Erinn Hayes. On August 1, 2018, it was announced that Amazon had cancelled the series after one season.


The Dangerous Book for Boys follows Wyatt McKenna and his brothers as they "are coming to terms with the death of their dad, Patrick, a wonderful, whimsical inventor who touched the lives of everyone who knew him. Patrick leaves the boys with a copy of "The Dangerous Book for Boys", and the how-to book inspires fantasies for Wyatt. While in his fantasy world, he reconnects with his father and learns life skills that help him navigate real life."[1]

Cast and characters[edit]





No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"How to Walk on the Moon"Greg MottolaGreg Mottola & Bryan CranstonMarch 30, 2018 (2018-03-30)
2"How to Play Poker"Greg MottolaGreg Mottola & Bryan CranstonMarch 30, 2018 (2018-03-30)
3"How to Be An Explorer"Luke MathenyMichael GloubermanMarch 30, 2018 (2018-03-30)
4"The Trojan War"Luke MathenyAndrew GottliebMarch 30, 2018 (2018-03-30)
5"How to Talk to Girls"Todd BiermannBrian Keith EtheridgeMarch 30, 2018 (2018-03-30)
6"How to Build a Treehouse"Ken KwapisLaura MoranMarch 30, 2018 (2018-03-30)



In 2006, The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden was published by HarperCollins. Soon after its publication, the book was optioned as a feature film by producer Scott Rudin.[2]

In June 2014, Bryan Cranston optioned it as a television series after Rudin's option on the book lapsed. By September of that year, NBC had purchased the series from Sony Pictures Television and Moonshot Entertainment with a significant penalty and a premium license fee. It was set to be produced by Cranston with director Greg Mottola and James Degus. Mottola was set to write and direct the series as well.[2] NBC did not ultimately order the project to series for the 2014-2015 television series. Cranston and Mottola continued to develop the project for the next few years.[3]

In May 2017, Amazon gave the production a straight-to-series order for a first season consisting of six episodes. It was announced that Cranston and Mottola had co-written the series' first and second episodes together and that the project's previous creative team was still set to produce the series.[3] On August 1, 2018, it was announced that Amazon had cancelled the series after one season.[4]


In June 2017, it was announced that Gabriel Bateman had been cast as the series lead in the role of Wyatt McKenna.[5] In July, further casting announcements were made including Chris Diamantopoulos, Erinn Hayes, and Drew Logan Powell in series regular roles and Swoosie Kurtz in a recurring role.[6] Later that month, the series' main cast was rounded out with the announcement of Kyan Zielinski's casting in the role of Liam McKenna.[7]


The first season entered production during the summer of 2017 in New York City.[6]


Promotional poster


On February 20, 2018, Amazon released the first trailer for the series alongside promotional photos and a poster. In addition, they announced that the first season would premiere on March 30, 2018.[8]


On March 29, 2018, a "sneak peek" of the series was held at the Paley Center for Media in New York City during a members-only event entitled "A Conversation with Bryan Cranston". The event consisted of an interview with creator and executive producer Bryan Cranston moderated by Vulture's Kimberly Potts about his career. It was followed by a discussion with the adult cast members of the series including Chris Diamantopoulos, Erinn Hayes, and Swoosie Kurtz.[9][10]


Critical response[edit]

The Dangerous Book for Boys was met with a generally positive response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 71% approval rating with an average rating of 7 out of 10 based on 7 reviews.[11] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 63 out of 100 based on 4 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[12]

In a positive review, Financial Times' Suzi Feay gave the first season four out of five stars and said, "It’s a wistful and charming comedy whose essential message, echoing the source material, is underlined when mum Beth yells at her brood: “Put down the gadgets for a few minutes!"[13] In a more mixed critique, Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times said, "There is darkness in the series, but it all bends toward fuzzy good feelings in the end. Actually, it feels pretty fuzzy all the way through, conscientiously warm and mostly predictable. Lessons are learned, right on time. Some viewers, and parents of viewers, will take such qualities as a recommendation, and they're not wrong to."[14] The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman was more explicitly negative saying, "Instead of taking the opportunity for true tenderness, real emotions and actual humor, Amazon has created a show in The Dangerous Book for Boys that is just another show, period. Opportunity missed."[15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019 Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs Greg Mottola Pending [16]


  1. ^ Wright, Megh (July 10, 2017). "Erinn Hayes to Star in Bryan Cranston's Amazon Comedy 'The Dangerous Book for Boys'". Splitsider. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (September 2, 2014). "NBC Nabs Bryan Cranston-Produced 'The Dangerous Book For Boys' Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 8, 2017). "Amazon Orders 'The Dangerous Book for Boys' Family Comedy Series From Bryan Cranston & Greg Mottola". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  4. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 1, 2018). "'The Dangerous Book For Boys' Canceled By Amazon After One Season". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  5. ^ Sun, Rebecca (June 20, 2017). "Bryan Cranston's 'Dangerous Book for Boys' Finds Its Lead (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (July 10, 2017). "'The Dangerous Book For Boys': Chris Diamantopoulos & Erinn Hayes To Star In Amazon Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  7. ^ Petski, Denise (July 14, 2017). "'The Dangerous Book For Boys' Casts Kyan Zielinski; Hannah New Joins 'Trust'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  8. ^ McLennan, Cindy (February 20, 2018). "The Dangerous Book for Boys: Season One; Amazon Releases Premiere Date, Trailer, Photos - canceled TV shows - TV Series Finale". TV Series Finale. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "A Conversation with Bryan Cranston: Plus a Preview of The Dangerous Book for Boys Featuring the Cast | The Paley Center for Media". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Tedder, Michael (March 30, 2018). "'The Dangerous Book for Boys' Cast Talks Balancing Comedy and Tragedy at Paley Center". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  11. ^ "The Dangerous Book for Boys: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Dangerous Book for Boys: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  13. ^ Feay, Suzi (March 23, 2018). "The Dangerous Book for Boys, Amazon Prime — 'wistful and charming comedy'". Financial Times. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  14. ^ Lloyd, Robert (March 30, 2018). "In kids' shows 'The Dangerous Book for Boys' and 'Craig of the Creek,' imagination takes flight". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  15. ^ Goodman, Tim (March 30, 2018). "'The Dangerous Book for Boys': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  16. ^ Pedersen, Erik (January 7, 2019). "DGA Awards Raises Curtain On TV, Documentary & Commercials Nominations". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 7, 2019.

External links[edit]