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Feature: Primetime

The Jury

The Jury

Yes, here's something new to TV! A show with a fresh concept; a criminal case as seen through the eyes of a jury.

Each episode begins at the end of a trial, with the jury ready to deliberate, and through their discussions the audience see and hear the evidence in a series of flashbacks.

Executive Producer Tom Fontana acknowledges, “What we’re trying to do is 12 Angry Men on acid. We’re not sitting in the jury room for an hour, we’re constantly going back and forth in time, and we’re also constantly going to the real time that these characters are experiencing waiting for the verdict to happen. So there’s a lot more going on in the hour than just 12 people sitting in a room trying to decide someone’s guilt or innocence. You’re seeing pieces of the trial, the pretrial hearing, the arrests, you’re seeing the detectives finding evidence, so there’s a lot of elements that keep pushing the jury forward toward the verdict, as they’re remembering what was being said in the trial.”

Fontana’s co-Executive Producer writer/director Barry Levinson, who won an Academy Award for Rain Man, found himself not only directing the pilot for the series, but also starring in it as Judge Horatio Hawthorne. “I only did the judge initially because of happenstance. Sidney Lumet, who, in fact, directed 12 Angry Men, was going to play the judge in the pilot. And then we had a storm, he slipped and injured himself and couldn’t do it and at the last minute, it was like, ‘Who can we get to play the judge?’ So I ended up stepping in.”

by Judy Sloane

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Photo © HBO
Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

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TV Zone #179
August 2004
ships from Jul 22 2004
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