SoHo to See in New Year With New Drama Trio and TV Tell-All Doco

SoHo will celebrate the start of 2013 with three drama premieres, season two of Girls and a new inside-TV documentary series about the top talent behind some of the medium’s best dramas.

Leading the pack is Alan (True Blood) Ball’s Banshee (above), which stars Outrageous Fortune’s Antony Starr as an ex-con who impersonates a sheriff in a small Amish town while moonlighting as a master thief.

Banshee will go to air here on January 15, only three days after its US premiere — the shortest gap yet between a US and SoHo transmission.

Hopefully, it signals what typically was a three-week gap will now more often be only a few days (another sign of this is the next season of Girls will start on HBO on January 14 and on SoHo on January 17).

Having said that, another of SoHo’s new year newcomers, Durham County, which debuts on January 9, dates to 2007.

It’s a Canadian serial killer drama that ran for three seasons. According to Common Sense Media, “This creepy thriller creates a palpable sense of menace and gloom.

“One of the two main characters may be a serial killer; the other is a detective investigating the murders.

“Both are hiding dark secrets, and their combustible connection is exacerbated by the many lies that both of them tell to their families, friends, and co-workers.”

The Ottawa Citizen dubbed it a “benchmark in Canadian TV drama” that aims “for the kind of literate, high-minded psychological drama that has become the staple of HBO and Showtime, pay-TV channels that aren’t beholden to ratings.

“It’s no accident Durham County was made for the Canadian Movie Network and Movie Central; it’s too grim and unrelenting to appeal to a mass audience.”

The cast includes Flashpoint’s Hugh Dillion, Breaking Bad’s Justin Louis and Once Upon a Time’s Greyston Holt.

The Slap’s Melissa George stars in Hunted, a spy drama about an agency troubleshooter who suspects someone on her own side wants her dead.

It starts on January 6 and is from X Files vet Frank Spotnitz, who’s also the writer/producer of Strike Back.

Hunted went to air last month in the US, where it earned largely positive reviews.

Entertainment Weekly dubbed it “a simmering bit of silly suspense fun” while the New York Post predicted, “If you love Strike Back, you’ll devour Hunted.”

But the New York Times thought it merely “a competent addition to the high-stakes-snooping genre but not a very surprising one” and the New York Daily News argued, “Hunted isn’t comprehensible enough for the cerebral part to carry as much of the show as it has to.”

Spotnitz says he grew up watching spy movies and TV shows but adds: “Because the viewing choices have never been greater on television, no longer does the work have to be homogenised the way it used to.

“It has allowed writers and producers to do really interesting, sophisticated work. I think that television’s never been better than it is today because of that – because of the freedom you have as a creator.”

Many of Spotnitz’s contemporaries will echo this view in the behind-the-scenes documentary series, Showrunners.

It starts on January 21 and will include interviews with the likes of Alan Ball, Boardwalk Empire’s Terence Winter, Dexter’s Clyde Phillips, The Wire’s David Simon and Damages’ Todd and Glenn Kesslers and Daniel Zelman.

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