Tonight marks a big night for NBC, as it tries to revive an iconic character in “Dracula” right before the Halloween holiday. When it comes to disadvantages to doing this at this very moment, one is almost abundantly clear: You’re looking at a show here that is coming out after a dozen or so other projects theme all around vampires, blood-sucking, and other assorted undead mischief. Therefore, this is not anything that can be identified as a “new concept.”
But, there are still some other glorious reasons to watch, which include the inspired casting of Jonathan Rhys Meyers as “Alexander Grayson,” a man claiming to be an American businessman in London … when of course he is really centuries old and with a penchant for blood. There are also some gorgeous costumes, and it looks like a combination of romance, action, and terror. This is not going to be “The Vampire Diaries,” and is also not looking to be as tongue-in-cheek as “True Blood.”
What is also particularly notable about this series is that it marks an experiment for NBC in more ways than one. It’s a bold move to place this Fridays at 10, but it could work for a couple of reasons. For one, it has a lead-in in “Grimm” that is similar when it comes to content, and it is also going to have less pressure on it there to produce huge ratings. This pressure may be even less when you consider that this is a co-production with Sky Living in the UK, which helps us feel almost as though we’re ensured (so long as this doesn’t outright tank) that this is something we will be able to watch from start to finish. It’s also only ten episodes long, so you are not having to make a major commitment to tuning in for the rest of the year.
The best comparison that we can make coming in to “Dracula” right now is “Hannibal,” another property taken on by NBC using a little bit of a different model. These are sort of shows that, like with cable dramas, could rely on quality and word-of-mouth to build an audience. Therefore, the real success for this show could come within four or five weeks, and not necessarily tonight.
We will be back at 11:00 p.m. Eastern after the show airs with a full review of its premiere. If you want a shortcut to get there, just bookmark this page and refresh at the right time.