If the next shows are as good as the Pilot, it will be the best new show of the year.
Did anyone else watch it? What did you think of it?
Filmed in South Africa, Mozambique and Prague, "The Philanthropist," starring James Purefoy ("Rome"), is an eight-part drama for NBC that follows the heroic adventures of Teddy Rist, billionaire playboy-turned-vigilante philanthropist, taking him across the globe from Haiti to Myanmar, Kashmir to Paris, Kosovo to San Diego.
But the story starts off in Nigeria.
Teddy loves money, women and power, but following a severe flood in a Nigerian town, he is haunted by the memory of a young boy he rescued. Teddy is spontaneous and impulsive and quickly decides to channel his passion, power and money into helping those in need. The danger and risk to his life is the only way Teddy can feel genuinely alive and he'll do anything in order to achieve his goals and keep the adrenaline pumping; putting his business head and money-making skills to good use through bargaining with the self-righteous, making deals with drug barons, and trading with the nefarious.
But these actions are not just about helping others -- Teddy is purging his soul to help exorcise the inner demons that have been festering ever since his young son died and he lost everything he truly loved.
The pilot is written by Tom Fontana ("Homicide: Life on the Street") and is directed by Peter Horton ("Grey's Anatomy") and boasts a heady cast of established and up-and-coming talent. Purefoy takes on the lead role of Teddy Rist, Jesse L. Martin ("Law & Order") plays Teddy's business partner and friend, Phillip Maidstone, and Neve Campbell ("Burn Up") plays Olivia, Phillip's wife, who also runs the charitable foundation set up by the two billionaires.
Purefoy and Martin are supported by a fabulous lineup of names from both sides of the Atlantic including Lindy Booth ("The 4400"), Michael Kenneth Williams ("The Wire") and newcomer James Albrecht. The series is based on a concept developed by Charlie Corwin, CEO of Original Media, and Jim Juvonen.
"The Philanthropist" (8 x 60') is a Carnival Films production in association with Original Media for NBC Universal for transmission on NBC in spring '09. The executive producers are Tom Fontana, Barry Levinson, Charlie Corwin, Peter Horton, Gareth Neame and Teri Weinberg.