Millennium (TV series)

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Millennium
Millennium logo.jpg
Genre Crime drama
Horror
Mystery
Thriller
Occult detective fiction
Created by Chris Carter
Starring Lance Henriksen
Megan Gallagher
Klea Scott
Composer Mark Snow
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes67 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producersChris Carter
Michael Duggan
Chip Johannessen
Glen Morgan
James Wong
Running time45 minutes
Production companies Ten Thirteen Productions
20th Century Fox Television
Distributor 20th Television
Release
Original network Fox
Picture format 4:3 season 1. 16:9 seasons 2–3.
Audio format Dolby Stereo
Original releaseOctober 25, 1996 (1996-10-25) 
May 21, 1999 (1999-05-21)
Chronology
Related shows The X-Files
The Lone Gunmen

Millennium is an American television series created by Chris Carter (creator of The X-Files ), which aired on Fox between 1996 and 1999. The series follows the investigations of ex-FBI agent Frank Black (Lance Henriksen), now a consultant, with the ability to see inside the minds of criminals, working for a mysterious organization known as the Millennium Group.

Contents

The series was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, though most episodes were ostensibly set in or around Seattle, Washington. The theme music was composed by Mark Snow, who also created the distinctive theme music for The X-Files. Although the series premiered with impressive ratings, viewership declined throughout its three-season run, and it was canceled by Fox in early 1999. A seventh-season episode of The X-Files, titled "Millennium", featured the Millennium Group and Frank Black, as a way of giving the show some closure.

In 2018, Millennium was ranked #87 in Rotten Tomatoes's 100 Best Sci-Fi TV Shows of All Time. That same year, Millennium After the Millennium, a documentary based on the show was released. It features interviews with Carter, Henriksen and other people who worked on the show. [1]

Series overview

Millennium featured Frank Black, a freelance forensic profiler and former FBI agent with a unique ability to see the world through the eyes of serial killers and murderers, though he says that he is not psychic. Black worked for the mysterious Millennium Group, whose power and sinister agenda were explored throughout the series.

Black lived in Seattle with his wife Catherine and daughter Jordan. Jordan was revealed to have inherited some measure of her father's "gift", suggesting that Frank's abilities might be at least partly psychic, since Jordan's are clearly natural, not learned.

The first season dealt primarily with Black pursuing various serial killers and other murderers, with only occasional references to the Group's true purpose. The second season introduced more supernatural occurrences into the show's mythology, with Frank often coming into conflict with forces that appeared to be apocalyptic or demonic in nature. The final season showed Frank returning to Washington, D.C., to work with the FBI following the death of his wife at the hands of the Group. He was joined by a new partner, Emma Hollis. Despite Frank's warnings and what she herself observed, Emma ultimately joined the Group. Frank was last seen escaping from Washington, having taken Jordan from school.

After the show's cancellation, the crossover episode "Millennium" was made for the television series The X-Files , serving as a de facto series finale for Frank Black's story. [2]

Cast and characters

Main

Recurring

Production

Development

After Chris Carter's success with The X-Files , the Fox Broadcasting Company asked him if he would produce another series for them. He already had an idea for creating a show based around the coming millennium of the year 2000, and it was this idea that he followed up. The Fox executives gave Carter a budget of nearly $1.5 million per episode, and allowed him to create his own "look" for the show. [3] Carter has said he was influenced by the Holy Bible, Dostoyevsky and Mary Shelley in planning the series. [4] Carter pitched Millennium to Fox as " Seven in Seattle." The setting of a dark, rain-soaked city and a world-weary detective's hunt for a religiously inspired serial killer have clear parallels with the pilot episode. One of the show's working titles was 2000, though Millennium was chosen. [3]

For the second season, Glen Morgan and James Wong took on its management, while Carter focused on the fifth season of The X-Files and The X-Files motion picture. Morgan and Wong were consulting producers for the first season, but took over production, implementing several changes Fox wanted to try to boost ratings, which had declined during the first season. [5] Morgan said that: [6]

There was too much gore in the first season, and it was for shock's sake. There was no humor. Everybody wanted to know more about the Millennium Group. What was Frank's role with them? We needed to develop Frank. We had a good actress, Megan Gallagher, playing his wife, and what could we do with their relationship? Where can this go?

For season three, which aired in 1998, Carter took back control of the series; Morgan and Wong left to pursue their own careers. Carter, who had disapproved of the show's shift in tone, said he changed direction and tried to connect with the "roots" of the first season. The show's production team hoped to make "the stories a little more accessible", and moved the action from Seattle to Washington D.C. [7]

Casting

Not convinced that Lance Henriksen was right for the main role, Fox execs considered William Hurt, until learning that he had no interest in acting for television. Chris Carter sent the screenplay for the "Pilot episode" to Henriksen, who thought it was "great". When his manager told him that it was a television script, he backed out for a while until he talked to Carter directly. [8] Carter said about casting Henriksen:

I had tried to cast Lance Henriksen on The X-Files several times, he had always been either unavailable or uninterested. Anyway I remained a fan of his, I was in bed working in Vancouver and I realized he was working there too. So I found out where he was staying and wrote a personal note, had a fan slip it under his door, and said that I'd tried to get him on the show and hoped to work with him in the future. Little did he know when I was then writing Millennium I was writing with only him in mind, with no idea whether or not he'd actually do the project. So I wrote the project, approached him, he was very excited about it, we made a deal and the rest is now history. [9]

Glen Morgan's and James Wong's changes reduced the emphasis on serial killers and explored government conspiracies and the machinations of the Millennium Group. They tried to provide a "narrative drive" for Frank Black by breaking up his relationship with his wife. Morgan and Wong introduced new characters, such as Lara Means and computer hacker Brian Roedecker, who was introduced for comic effect; some fans were negative about the effects. [5]

Broadcast and release

Syndication and cancellation

Millennium's pilot episode [10] earned a total of 17.72 million viewers in the United States. [11] The second season premiere, "The Beginning and the End", gathered a total viewership of 7.75 million in the United States. [11] Fox decided to rebuild their primetime schedules in 1997 during the second season, airing Millennium at 9:00 pm EST on Fridays. [12]

Fox renewed Millennium for a third season on May 20, 1998. [13] During that season, the series faced problems with a declining viewership and pessimistic forecasts from industry insiders. [14] Fox benched Millennium during its summer run, airing reruns of Mad TV in its time slot, without giving any official word on whether it would be renewed for a fourth season. [15] The series was canceled, ending on a cliffhanger.

Frank Black returned in The X-Files season seven episode "Millennium", which featured the final appearances of both Frank Black and his daughter, Jordan.

The FX cable network picked up the off-network rights for Millennium after its cancellation for $20–$25 million dollars. [16] NBC Universal's horror channel, Chiller, began airing Millennium weeknights at 7 pm Eastern (and again at 3 am Eastern the following morning) on Monday, February 4, 2008. [17] [18]

Home media

Millennium season one was released on DVD in the United States (Region 1) on July 20, 2004, season two on January 4, 2005, and season three on September 6, 2005. Millennium: The Complete Series was released on DVD on October 28, 2008. [19] On October 4, 2006 the first, second, and third seasons were released in Region 4. [20] [21] [22] The Complete Series was released on October 24, 2006 in Region 4. [23]

Future

The release of Millennium on DVD prompted Lance Henriksen to propose a continuation of the series. Henriksen speculated that the numbers behind the box set sales might be the key to reviving Frank Black. "I wonder if the sales of these will tell us how many people loved the show and whether or not the movie ought to be made," Henriksen told the Sci-Fi Wire. "I mean, [Frank Black] still is alive. Maybe it's a good thing there was no closure for Millennium because now, if we did a movie, it would be good closure for me." [24] Henriksen has gone on to support the Back to Frank Black campaign, a movement dedicated to the return of the character, explaining, "I really think it is a possibility." [25]

Creator Chris Carter has joined Henriksen in expressing an interest in a film based on Millennium. While promoting The X-Files: I Want to Believe , Carter commented that he and Henriksen have "talked about that over the years" and that the cast and crew who would need to be involved are interested, adding, "I have ideas about how to do it." [26] [27] To date, 20th Century Fox has expressed no interest in such a project, even to the extent of publicly commenting on it.

Publishing house Fourth Horseman Press has released Back to Frank Black (2012), a book offering in-depth insight into the production of the series. The book features Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, Lance Henriksen, Brittany Tiplady and John Kenneth Muir among its writers. [28] [29]

Impact

Critical reception

Keith Uhlich from Slant Magazine was positive to both season one and three of Millennium, [30] giving them both four out of five stars and calling season one: "We are racing toward an apocalypse of our own creation. This is who we are." [31] Mike Drucker from IGN called the second season a combination of the "X-Files and the violent paranoia of Se7en." [32] Variety reviewer Jeremy Gerard compared the show to Twin Peaks and was overall positive to the series, but said "I just wish it were a little more fun, that I didn't have this nagging feeling that it wants to hurt me the next time I come around." [33] Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly gave the show a B and said it had "great visuals and a commanding performance by Henriksen." [34] Justine Elias from The New York Times was mostly positive to the series and said "If The X-Files, with its offbeat humor and conspiracy theories, wonders about those things that go bump in the night, Millennium explores the darkness – and embraces it." [4] Daily Nebraskan said in their review that the show had "a lot of potential: a good lead actor, a solid premise and a feel that will keep audiences glued to their televisions." [35]

Awards and nominations

Millennium was nominated for a variety of different awards including two Primetime Emmy Awards, [36] four American Society of Cinematographers Awards, 1 Bram Stoker Awards, three Canadian Society of Cinematographers Awards (three wins), [37] [38] three Golden Globe Awards, [39] one People's Choice Awards [40] and five Young Artist Awards (one win). [41] [42] The most nominated episode is Matryoshka, Robert McLachlan became the most nominated crew member and Brittany Tiplady became the most nominated actor in the show's history. While Lance Henriksen became the only actor from the show to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award. [39]

Novelizations

Novelizations of five episodes from the first season of Millennium were published by Harper Collins between 1997 and 1998. [43]

  1. The Frenchman (1997) by Elizabeth Hand
  2. Gehenna (1997) by Lewis Gannett
  3. Weeds (1998) by Victor Koman
  4. Force Majeure (1998) by Lewis Gannett
  5. The Wild and the Innocent (1998) by Elizabeth Massie

Comic books

In October 2014 it was announced that official series of comic books would be released by IDW Publishing. [44]

Related Research Articles

Millennium Group

The Millennium Group is a fictional secret society featured in the crime thriller television series Millennium. Having begun life as a Christian sect at the end of the 1st century AD, the Group grew into a far-reaching network which, as the 3rd millennium approached, presented itself as a private investigative firm liaising with law enforcement organizations. Despite being fraught with internal schisms, the Group tried on several occasions to artificially instigate the end of the world as the year 2000 approached.

"The Fourth Horseman" is the twenty-second episode of the second season of the American crime-thriller television series Millennium. It premiered on the Fox network on May 8, 1998. The episode was written by Glen Morgan and James Wong, and directed by Dwight Little. "The Fourth Horseman" featured guest appearances by Kristen Cloke and Glenn Morshower.

"Millennium" is the fourth episode of the seventh season of the science fiction television series The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network in the United States on November 28, 1999. It was written by Vince Gilligan and Frank Spotnitz and directed by Thomas J. Wright. The episode is a "Monster-of-the-Week" story, unconnected to the series' wider mythology. "Millennium" earned a Nielsen household rating of 9.1, and was watched by 15.09 million people in its initial broadcast. The episode received mixed reviews from television critics; some felt that the episode's plot was creepy and engaging, while others felt that it was not a decent conclusion for the Millennium television series.

<i>Millennium</i> (season 1)

The first season of the serial crime-thriller television series Millennium commenced airing in the United States on October 25, 1996, concluding on May 16, 1997, and consisting of twenty-two episodes. It tells the story of retired FBI Agent Frank Black. Black has moved to Seattle, Washington with his family and has begun working with a mysterious organization known only as the Millennium Group. He investigates cases with members of the Group and the Seattle Police Department, contributing his remarkable capability of relating to the monsters responsible for horrific crimes. He finds that his daughter has inherited the same "gift" that he has, while the cases become increasingly more personal.

<i>Millennium</i> (season 2)

The second season of the serial crime-thriller television series Millennium commenced airing in the United States on September 19, 1997, concluding on May 15, 1998 after airing twenty-three episodes. It tells the story of retired FBI Agent Frank Black. Black lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Catherine and daughter Jordan. He works for a mysterious organization known as the Millennium Group, investigating murders using his remarkable capability of relating to the monsters responsible for horrific crimes. After killing a man who stalked and kidnapped Catherine, Black faces tension within his family while simultaneously being drawn deeper into the sinister Group.

<i>Millennium</i> (season 3)

The third season of the serial crime-thriller television series Millennium commenced airing in the United States on October 2, 1998, and concluded on May 21, 1999 after airing twenty-two episodes. It tells the story of retired FBI Agent Frank Black. Black had previously worked for a private investigative organization, the Millennium Group, but left after the Group unleashed a virus that resulted in the death of Black's wife. Now working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation with agent Emma Hollis, Black seeks to discredit and expose the Group for their sinister motives.

Frank Black is a fictional character in the crime-thriller television series Millennium. Black serves as the primary character of the series, which centers on his investigation into unusual crimes as part of the private investigative organization the Millennium Group. Black appeared in all but one of the series' sixty-seven episodes, with "Anamnesis" being the exception; the character was portrayed by Lance Henriksen throughout the series.

Emma Hollis

FBI Special Agent Emma Hollis is a fictional character from the American crime-thriller television series Millennium. Hollis, introduced in the series' third and final season, is a young special agent within the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During the show's final year, she was partnered with offender profiler Frank Black. The character of Hollis was portrayed by Canadian actor Klea Scott.

"Pilot" is the pilot episode of the crime-thriller television series Millennium. It premiered on the Fox network on October 25, 1996. The episode was written by series creator Chris Carter, and directed by David Nutter. "Pilot" featured guest appearances by Paul Dillon, April Telek and Stephen J. Lang.

"'Gehenna" is the second episode of the first season of the American crime-thriller television series Millennium. It premiered on the Fox network on November 1, 1996. The episode was written by series creator Chris Carter, and directed by David Nutter. "Gehenna" featured guest appearances by Robin Gammell and Chris Ellis.

Dead Letters (<i>Millennium</i>) 3rd episode of the first season of Millennium

"'Dead Letters" is the third episode of the first season of the American crime-thriller television series Millennium. It premiered on the Fox network on November 8, 1996. The episode was written by Glen Morgan and James Wong, and directed by Thomas J. Wright. "Dead Letters" featured guest appearances by Chris Ellis, Ron Halder and James Morrison.

"'Paper Dove" is the twenty-second and final episode of the first season of the American crime-thriller television series Millennium. It premiered on the Fox network on May 16, 1997. The episode was written by Ted Mann and Walon Green, and directed by Thomas J. Wright. "Paper Dove" featured guest appearances by Barbara Williams and Mike Starr.

"'The Beginning and the End" is the first episode of the second season of the American crime-thriller television series Millennium. It premiered on the Fox network on September 19, 1997. The episode was written by Glen Morgan and James Wong, and directed by Thomas J. Wright. "The Beginning and the End" featured a guest appearance by Doug Hutchison as the Polaroid Man.

"'Monster" is the fourth episode of the second season of the American crime-thriller television series Millennium. It premiered on the Fox network in the United States on October 17, 1997. The episode was written by Glen Morgan and James Wong and directed by Perry Lang. "Monster" featured guest appearances from Kristen Cloke, Robert Wisden and Chris Owens.

"Roosters" is the sixteenth episode of the second season of the American crime-thriller television series Millennium. It originally aired on the Fox network on March 13, 1998. The episode was written by Glen Morgan and James Wong, and directed by Thomas J. Wright.

"'The Time Is Now" is the twenty-third episode of the second season of the American crime-thriller television series Millennium. It premiered on the Fox network on May 15, 1998. The episode was written by Glen Morgan and James Wong, and directed by Thomas J. Wright. "The Time Is Now" featured guest appearances by Kristen Cloke and Glenn Morshower.

"Collateral Damage" is the eleventh episode of the third season of the crime-thriller television series Millennium. It premiered on the Fox network on January 22, 1999. The episode was written by Michael R. Perry, and directed by Thomas J. Wright. "Collateral Damage" featured guest appearances by O'Quinn, Jacinda Barrett, James Marsters, and radio host Art Bell as himself. Bell's radio show Coast to Coast AM was among Perry's inspirations for the script.

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