Aquarius is an American period crime drama television series created by John McNamara for NBC. The show aired from May 28, 2015, to September 10, 2016.[1] In 2015, the series was among seven others to receive the Critics' Choice Television Award for Most Exciting New Series.[2] On October 1, 2016, NBC cancelled the series after two seasons.[3][4]


Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 May 28, 2015 (2015-05-28) August 22, 2015 (2015-08-22)
2 13 June 16, 2016 (2016-06-16) September 10, 2016 (2016-09-10)

The series begins in 1967 Los Angeles. The story is inspired by actual persons and events but is also made up of fictional characters and story arcs. The show stars David Duchovny as Sam Hodiak, a fictional LAPD detective investigating the case of a missing teenage girl. Along with his younger colleague, undercover narcotics officer Brian Shafe (Grey Damon), Hodiak finds himself coming up against Charles Manson (portrayed by Gethin Anthony) and his "family", a mostly ragtag group of hippies who follow Manson in drugs, sex, and rock-and-roll. Hodiak discovers that the missing girl, Emma Karn (Emma Dumont), is with Manson and The Family. The first season revolves around the rise of the Family and the second season focuses on the Tate murders and Helter Skelter.


Main cast

Recurring cast


Series creator McNamara calls his show "historical fiction"[16] as it is inspired by Manson but not historically accurate. This is also expressed in the episodes' opening slate. It also contains completely fictional storylines in a period setting and involves historical events, politics, music, and social issues of the era.[16][17] NBC has published a blog of events from 1967 to provide context.[18]

The soundtrack consists of songs from the 1960s.[19] The episode titles are names of famous songs, or Manson Family songs. These songs are included in the episode itself.[17] The title of the series is a song from 1967 (from the cult musical Hair), which gave its name to the era in which the series is set. Season 2 episode titles are names of Beatles songs.

The series broadcast by NBC is TV-14.[8] It was planned to release an unrated version through other markets.[16] The DVD released in September 2015 contains nudity and sex scenes not shown in the broadcast version.[citation needed]

The original vision was for the show to span six seasons.[16] NBC announced the renewal of Aquarius for a second season on June 25, 2015.[20][21][22]


Aquarius premiered on May 28, 2015.[23][24][25] Following the premiere's broadcast, NBC released all 13 episodes of the first season on its website, the NBC mobile app, and Hulu for a four-week period. The episodes are also televised in their normal weekly timeslot.[26]

In Australia, the series premiered on May 29, 2015 on streaming service Presto, with all 13 episodes being released for 28 days.[27] Its later television debut on the Seven Network (which co-owns Presto) aired on August 26, 2015.[28] Season 2 airs on the same day as the U.S., on Presto in Australia.


Metacritic gives season 1 of Aquarius a score of 58/100 based on reviews from 36 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29]

Glenn Garvin of Reason praised the series for being more than just another retelling of the Manson story, noting "The epic battles over race, gender, drugs, and the Vietnam war are all on display here." He also praises the "killer 1960s soundtrack".[30]


  1. ^ Pederson, Erik (April 19, 2016). "'Aquarius' Season 2 Gets Two-Hour Ad-Free Launch on NBC". Deadline. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  2. ^ Petski, Denise (May 26, 2015). "Critics' Choice TV Awards' Top New Series Revealed". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  3. ^ Kelley, Seth (October 1, 2016). "NBC Cancels 'Aquarius' After Two Seasons". Variety. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 
  4. ^ Ausiello, Michael (October 1, 2016). "Aquarius Cancelled After Two Seasons". TVLine.com. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Ausiello, Michael (June 20, 2014). "Game of Thrones Vet Cast as Charles Manson in NBC's Aquarius; FNL, Bunheads Alums Also Join Drama". TVLine. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  6. ^ Swift, Andy (July 29, 2014). "The Originals' Claire Holt Joins NBC Drama Aquarius as Series Regular". TVLine. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Goldberg, Lesley (July 14, 2014). "NBC's Charles Manson Drama Adds Michaela McManus, Two More (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Shows Episode Schedule Page". NBCUniversal Media Village. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  9. ^ The Deadline Team (July 28, 2014). "Tara Lynne Barr Joins NBC's 'Aquarius'; Kahyun Kim In 'Mysteries Of Laura'". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 3, 2014. 
  10. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 14, 2014). "Grey's Anatomy's Gaius Charles Joins NBC's Charles Manson Drama Aquarius". TVLine. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  11. ^ Fowler, Matt (May 29, 2015). "Aquarius: "A Change is Gonna Come" Review". IGN. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Brian Gattas Cast In 3 Projects; Brian Dare Joins 'Jane The Virgin'". Deadline.com. September 5, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2015. 
  13. ^ Fowler, Matt (May 29, 2015). "Aquarius: "Never Say Never to Always" Review". IGN. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  14. ^ Fowler, Matt (May 31, 2015). "Aquarius: "Cease to Resist" Review". IGN. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ "James Martinez Joins 'Aquarius'; Melinda Page Hamilton In 'Dig'". Deadline.com. November 12, 2014. Retrieved June 15, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d McNamara, John (May 27, 2015). "Aquarius Boss Says NBC's Charles Manson Drama Is "Historical Fiction"". The Hollywood Reporter (Interview). Interview with Danielle Turchiano. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Stanley, Alessandra (May 27, 2015). "Review: Mulder Meets Manson in NBC's Compelling Aquarius". NY Times. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  18. ^ "1967 Blog". NBC. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  19. ^ "The Music of Aquarius". NBC. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  20. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 25, 2015). "Aquarius Renewed for Season 2 by NBC". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 25, 2015). "David Duchovny Drama Aquarius Renewed For Second Season By NBC". Deadline.com. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  22. ^ Abrams, Natalie (June 25, 2015). "Aquarius lands second season at NBC". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  23. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 6, 2015). "NBC Announces Summer Premiere Dates for 'Hannibal', 'Aquarius', 'America's Got Talent' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Fresh Comedies, Captivating Dramas and Highly Popular Returning Series Highlight NBC's Well-Balanced and Dynamic 2014-15 Primetime Schedule". The Futon Critic. May 11, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 31, 2014). "NBC Orders Charles Manson Drama Series Starring David Duchovny From Marty Adelstein & ITV Studios Who Eye Alliance". Deadline.com. Retrieved July 7, 2014. 
  26. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 29, 2015). "NBC Will Release All 13 Episodes of 'Aquarius' Online The Day of the Show's TV Premiere". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 14, 2015. 
  27. ^ Knox, David (May 10, 2015). "Airdate: Aquarius". TV Tonight. Retrieved August 19, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Airdate: Aquarius". August 18, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015. 
  29. ^ Aquarius at Metacritic
  30. ^ Garvin, Glenn (May 28, 2015). "NBC's Aquarius Has David Duchovny As a Sixties Cop Tracking Down Charles Manson". Reason. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 

External links