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Watch My Show: Kingdom's Byron Balasco Answers Our Showrunner Survey

Byron Balasco

The world of mixed martial arts is brutal enough, but DirecTV's freshman series Kingdom throws something else into the ring: family. The show, executive produced by Byron Balasco (Without A Trace, Detroit 1-8-7), centers on Alvey Kulina (Frank Grillo), who owns an MMA gym and attempts to take care of his fighters while also maintaining a relationship with his sons (Jonathan Tucker and Nick Jonas). DirecTV has already ordered a 20-episode second season of Kingdom, which wraps up Season 1 Wednesday night. Balasco took time to answer our TV Guide Magazine showrunner survey and explain why viewers should tap in.

TV Guide Magazine: I've got room in my life to watch just one more show. Why should it be yours?
Byron Balasco:
We will fill your void.

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Scene Stealer: Why We Love Kingdom's Jonathan Tucker

Jonathan Tucker

He Plays: Jay Kulina, the drug-addled, deeply sensitive MMA fighter battling his distant, hard-assed gym-owner father (Frank Grillo) and his own demons on DirecTV's Kingdom. "The gym gives Jay discipline and keeps him away from his addictions," Tucker, 32, says of Jay's sweaty Season 1 evolution from burnout to potential champion. "He ultimately ends up realizing who he is and what he's done. [But] he needs to ask for help from his dad, and that is the hardest thing for him to do."

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Review: FX's Freak Show, DirecTV's MMA Kingdom

Kathy Bates

Upon hearing that the fourth season of FX's lurid American Horror Story franchise was subtitled Freak Show, you can be forgiven if your first reaction was "Redundant much?" Few series are freakier by their very nature than Ryan Murphy's annual anthology of grotesque Grand Guignol. Freak Show (Wednesday, 10/9c) upholds the grisly tradition, although the empathy shown for this year's bizarre family of sideshow outcasts makes this edition of AHS initially less ridiculous than usual (especially when compared to the ludicrous hot mess of last year's Coven).

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DirecTV's Gritty New Drama Kingdom Tackles the World of MMA Fighting

Matt Lauria and Frank Grllo

Now this is hard-hitting television.

Kingdom, DirecTV's new original series about the brutal world of mixed martial arts, goes for a solid shot to the gut with its artsy mix of blood, sweat, and Shakespearean themes. Think of it as Sons of Anarchy in a steel cage. Or King Lear with headlocks.

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First Look: Bryan Fuller's High Moon Pilot to Air on Syfy

High Moon

Hannibal executive producer Bryan Fuller's space action pilot High Moon didn't make it to series, but Syfy has repackaged it as an original TV movie, set to air Monday, Sept. 15 at 9/8c.

Set a century from now, High Moon centers on the ragtag mix of spies, miners, soldiers and entrepreneurs who live on the moon, where a race is underway to mine its resources. An alien plant promises to change the world — or bring about its doom.

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VIDEO: Nick Jonas Is Shirtless and Jacked in DirecTV's New Gritty Drama Kingdom

Nick Jonas

Remember when you offered your kingdom for a TV drama featuring several shirtless hunks? Well, DirecTV heard your call and is ready to deliver.

The new series Kingdom, formerly titled Navy St., is a gritty family drama embroiled in the bizarre, bloody, and often misunderstood world... read more

The Following's Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon

The Following didn't just bring Kevin Bacon to series television for the first time, but it brought him and his co-stars closer together — as in their Bacon numbers.

Check out the scariest TV and movie serial killers

Now that they're working with Bacon, all of their Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon numbers is one, obviously. But what were they before? Bacon did not share the screen with any of his Following co-stars prior to the show and most of them are from a younger generation and/or are newcomers, so you might assume that they'd have a high Bacon number. But based on... read more

Black Donnellys' Jonathan Tucker Heading to Parenthood

Jonathan Tucker

The Black Donnellys alum Jonathan Tucker has landed a multi-episodic arc on Parenthood, TVGuide.com has confirmed.

He'll play... read more

April 2, 2007: The Only Sure Thing

It doesn’t surprise me that no one here ever has any money: There are never customers in the diner or the bar. Sean thinks a jukebox will help Jimmy’s business. Maybe the Donnellys should have more wakes at their bar. Enough people die every week to keep them in business.Every time Jimmy (Thomas Guiry)comes on the screen I want to shout, “You’re killin’ me, Smalls!” The guy looks for trouble. He’s always lying, cheating and stealing. And he always gets away with it. Even if he has to throw a man out of a window to do it. I was surprised at how fatherly Jimmy was with Sean. He really doesn’t want Sean to get caught up in the new family business of bookkeeping and killing sprees. Perhaps Jimmy is actually being a responsible older brother or he just feels guilty that Sean already got a nasty taste of the other end of the fist. Either way, I hope Sean stays out of trouble. He obviously doesn’t want to go back to school, but that may be the... read more

March 26, 2007: Run Like Hell

I’m glad I didn’t grow up with the Donnellys. It’s hard enough trying to find a decent man in general, but in their neighborhood? I would have been single for the rest of my life! Seriously, was Tommy the only “good” guy for women to choose from? Of course, that was before he committed murder, stole from widows and beat up old friends to collect gambling debts. And even after all of that, he still looks to be the pick of the Irish-cream crop.Maybe it’s not the women’s fault that they picked deadbeats to marry. Jenny will soon take over the family diner (as suspected, her father is suffering from Alzheimer’s) and has always seemed smart. Marianne owns her own printing business. She has to have some brain cells. And yet, both ladies married losers. At least Marianne’s husband, Eddie, is still alive. The neighborhood didn’t need another widow this week. I’m also shocked at who my favorite leading ladies are. Of course, Kate Mulgrew... read more

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