Animal Kingdom Let Loose at Last

The US TV version of Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom at last will screen on NZ TV.

Sky has picked up the 10-part adaptation for its SoHo channel, where it will air 8.30 Tuesdays from October 4.

The series, about a 17-year-old’s adventures with his criminal kin in a Southern California beach town, earned mixed reviews but was renewed by TNT, a cable channel that’s edging away from lightweight drama to edgier fare.

It went to air in January on TNT and stars Ellen Barkin (The Big Easy), Scott Speedman (Last resort), Shawn Hatosy (Southland), Ben Robson (Vikings), Jake Weary (It Follows), Finn Cole (Peaky Blinders), Daniella Alonso (Revolution) and Molly Gordon (Love the Coopers).

“When not doing cannonballs into the backyard pool or surfing off the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, they rob banks and jewelry stores and pick up whatever they see lying around,” said the Los Angeles Times of the protagonists.

“Executive producer John Wells (Southland, The West Wing) directed the opening episodes; and the series is expertly made, and subtler than the premise suggests.”

Entertainment Weekly dubbed it “a surfboard Sons of Anarchy” with performances “good enough to enliven the antihero familiarity” but Variety thought the “fairly predictable and even conventional” while The Hollywood Reporter argued it “tries too hard to be gritty …

“If Animal Kingdom is disappointing in its first two hours, the unfortunate part of that disappointment is that the cast is promising and Jonathan Lisco, who adapted it for television, and executive producer John Wells, who directs the pilot, have good history in Southland — not only the last best show on TNT but also the last best cop drama on TV.”

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