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New TV series Updates David, Goliath and Saul

by Tom Tugend

March 10, 2009 | 5:56 pm

Young David, King Saul, Goliath and their friends meet again, this time in the new TV series “Kings,” and in a place that looks a lot like a cleaned-up New York City.

The NBC network has high hopes for the show, which opens with a two-hour premiere on Sunday (3/15) at 8 p.m. Subsequent weekly programs will start March 22, same day, time and station.

An advance peek indicates that “Kings” will bring the biblical drama into a contemporary setting, with a dash of sci-fi added for good measure.

Creator and executive producer Michael Green, whose mother is Israeli, said the idea for the show came to him several years ago during a trip to Jerusalem, and he wrote the pilot while working on NBC’s “Heroes.”

“Kings” is set in the present in a kingdom called Gilboa, whose opulent capital, Shiloh, resembles a much cleaner New York, and which is ruled by a power-suited King Silas Benjamin (Ian McShane).

When the king’s son, Jack, is taken hostage by an enemy army, he is saved by a young soldier named David Shepherd (Australian actor Chris Egan), who becomes an immediate media favorite.

Green wrote the pilot halfway through the George W. Bush administration and viewers may see some political resemblances in the power struggles at King Benjamin’s court, including the behind-the-scenes influence of powerful corporations and the anticipated change from the old to the new king.

However, Green warns against taking the perceived allegory too literally.

For more background information, visit www.nbc.com/kings.

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Danielle Berrin writes the Hollywood Jew blog, a cutting edge, values-based take on the entertainment industry for jewishjournal.com. A Los Angeles Times profile dubbed her...

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