Following the stories of convict on the run Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl), who joins a traveling carnival not long after discovering he has strange powers of healing; and, Brother Justin Crowe (Clancy Brown) a minister who lives with his sister and has prophetic dreams and can bend people to his will, CARNIVALE is about the struggle for the soul of mankind in America in its darkest heartland in one of its darkest periods—the Great Depression.
Originally planned as a six season story, Carnivale only made two seasons, which came to a mere 24 episodes before the cancellation axe fell. This, of course, left a bitter taste in the mouths of the fans of the show, leaving them frustratingly stranded at the end of the first third of the tale.
Nonetheless, the gritty, guignol journey of the carnival across the sparse vastness of the American West made for compelling viewing. The Biblical hints of supernatural good versus evil were glimpses enough for viewers to see how epic and consequential the story was going to be. This was building to epic proportions.
It’s just a shame to have such an ambitious story be cut short—especially when, via interview, we can know where the story was to go: