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The Killing and Game of Thrones: Cable's Spring Prestige Projects Previewed

Mirelle Enos, The Killing Chris Large/AMC

Find out what scripted series we're most looking forward to from the cable networks this spring, after a day of series showcases at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, along with premiere dates and key details about when and how to see Mireille Enos, the silver-haired ladies of fantasyland and, oh yeah, Kate Winslet on your TV:

    Brace Yourself for The Killing: AMC's next imperative series, after a streak that's included Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, is going to be The Killing, from procedural writer Veena Sud. Inspired by a Danish series for a change (instead of every other new cable drama seemingly ripped off a British series), the 13-episode drama follows the aftermath of the murder of a beautiful young woman named Rosie and the impact on the detective (Big Love's ethereal Mireille Enos), a local politician (Billy Campbell) and of course her family (Michelle Forbes plays Rosie's mom, and Brent Sexton, the beefy uniform cop from NBC's Life, plays Rosie's dad). Each episode charts one day of the aftermath, tracking both the process of grief and the course of the murder investigation. The trailer we saw looked beautiful and brutal. Murder is sometimes fetishized on popular crime shows, but this series appears to take a more sensitive approach, as embodied by Enos's empathetic but no-nonsense detective. The Killing premieres April 3 at 10 p.m. on AMC; look for more coverage from us on this series in the coming months; meanwhile, you can thumb through the promo stills from the pilot.

      Game of Thrones, Emilia Clarke Helen Sloan /HBO

      Swords and Sandals Done Right? Game of Thrones (maybe you've heard of it) is going to be something of odd, expensive duck for HBO. Based on George R.R. Martin's seven-novels-when-he's-done-writing book series about clashing clans in a strife-riven land, the first 10 episodes of GOT, set to premiere April 17, appear to be an amalgam of the following elements: bad wigs, Peter Dinklage being irresistible, incest being icky, a badass chickadee named Daenerys Targaryen (the role of "Dany" is the show-biz debut of Emilia Clarke, who falls somewhere on the Autumn Reeser/Rachel McAdams continuum of tiny-yet-powerful physicality), plus the usual portion of weakling princes, put-upon warriors, long-suffering housewives and nigh-eternal blood feuds of long-since-forgotten origin. Genre fans are effusive about their devotion to Martin's colossal narrative; producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are obviously adroit leaders; the cast is more than competent; all things considered, it will almost certainly be a unmissable production and likely a giant hit. No matter what you think of the fantasy-on-film genre as a rule, when the TV's most prestigious network enters the fray, attention must be paid.

      Other notes about upcoming scripted cable series:

      • The Walking Dead season two will have 13 episodes.
      • Production on season four of Breaking Bad begins shortly.
      • Mad Men season five is officially a go; everyone's signed on and good to go for the production of, let's guess, 1966 to 1967?
      • Kate Winsletwill almost certainly win an Emmy for her portrayal of the lead in HBO's Mildred Pierce; now we've just got to find her a good Broadway role so can win a Tony award and complete an EGOT. (Hat tip to @tapeworthy for pointing this out.)
      • In theory, HBO's Too Big To Fail should be a dorky and dull movie about economic policy but the cast, which includes the likes of Paul Giamatti (as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke) and cutie Topher Grace as a White House advisor, made it look kinda delightful.
      • Starz is definitely moving forward with a second season of Spartacus, so cheers for that neoclassical porn (and John Hannah).
      • Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays Arthur in Starz' new Camelot series, is also a part-time Volturi named Caius, just in case you wanted to combine your Twilight fandom with your high-class mythological retelling television show fandom. 

      What new scripted series are you most looking forward to on cable this spring? 

      Follow @JenniferArrow on Twitter

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