NBC is really trying to plant their feet in the spy/thriller game this season. The Blacklist was a huge success for them last season, even getting a Golden Globe nod for Best Actor in a TV Series, Drana, which James Spader so deserved, but is still slipping in the ratings this season. Katherine Heigl’s State of Affairs hasn’t done as well as the network would have liked either. Last month at the Television Critics Association winter session, NBC’s Bob Greenblatt stated that he’s “disappointed in what it’s been doing the last couple of weeks. It’s a show that’s a fine show. You expect the worst and hope for the best.”
Now comes Allegiance, the spy drama that’s basically The Americans-lite, and the network is hopeful that it can bring in additional eyeballs and help promote their new Thursday night lineup which include The Blacklist‘s new timeslot.
The series follows the O’Connor family and their son, Alex (Gavin Stenhouse), a young CIA analyst who specializes in Russian affairs. To give you some context, Alex is a bit of a genius with Sherlock-like skills. Spoiler Alert: He didn’t speak until he was 8 years old and when he did, it was in complete sentences. Fancy!
Meanwhile, both of his parents and sister are part of a dormant Russian sleeper cell that has just been reactivated, all of which is unknown to Alex. Basically, they have to hide from their own son, who if found out, would definitely turn them in.
Allegiance stars Hope Davis and Scott Cohen as the parents with Gavin Stenhouse and Margarita Levieva as the children.
Levieva was born in Russia and had a bit of fun teaching everyone on set. During the show’s panel at TCA, Davis said that “learning Russian was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” I don’t doubt that for a second.
NBC’s newest spy drama is based on an Israeli series called Keshet, but the producers said that the scripts are all new. With regards to the similarities of FX’s hit series The Americans, Producer George Nolfi assured us that we should “watch one or two episodes and you’ll see it’s clear we’re going in a different direction.” Stenhouse chimed in stating that “it’s born out of a completely different equation of actors and writers.”
They’re not entirely wrong. There’s a huge chunk of exposition right off the bat that is quite a mouthful. It’s a lot to take in but the show definitely picks up steam towards the end and sets up quite nicely for a pilot filled with so many characters and background.
It definitely leaves you wanting more. I’ll take the pledge, will you?
Allegiance premieres Thursday, Feb. 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT immediately following The Blacklist on NBC.
Will you be watching? Let us know in the comments below.
This high-octane thriller revolves around the O’Connor family and their son, Alex (Gavin Stenhouse), a young idealistic CIA analyst specializing in Russian affairs. Unbeknownst to him, both of his parents and his sister are part of a dormant Russian sleeper cell that has just been reactivated.
Years ago, Russian-born Katya (Hope Davis) was tasked by the KGB to recruit American businessman Mark O’Connor (Scott Cohen) as a spy, and the two fell in love. A deal was struck: As long as Katya remained an asset for Russia, she would be allowed to marry Mark and move to America. After years in America building a happy life and without word from Moscow, they thought they had escaped. Now it seems that the new Mother Russia has one more mission — turning Alex into a spy. The SVR has re-enlisted the entire family into service as they plan a terrorist operation inside the U.S. border that will bring America to its knees. For these anguished parents, the choice is clear: betray their country… or risk their family.
The series also stars Margarita Levieva (Natalie O’Connor), Morgan Spector (Victor Dobrynin), Kenneth Choi (Sam Luttrell), and Alex Peters (Sarah O’Connor).
Check out some trailers below:
Check out some stills from the series premiere of NBC’s Allegiance: