NBC's 'Kings' in Time Warner's Kingdom

I’ll admit it: I’m still bitter about HBO’s unceremonious cancellation of Deadwood (though not so deluded as to think they’ll ever get around to making that pair of wrap-up movies they promised). Happily, Ian McShane, who played the lyrically profane Al Swearengen on Deadwood, has moved on-he returned to primetime TV March 15 on NBC’s new drama series Kings. But if the promos for the series are any indication, McShane still has a foot in his old kingdom.
In previews for the show, a modern retelling of the David and Goliath story, King Silas Benjamin (McShane) is shown in what appears to be a majestic throne room. If that vaulting glass wall at the foot of the amphitheater looks familiar, that’s because the scene was shot in the Allen Room, the stunning venue located in the headquarters of HBO parent Time Warner.

Funny-you’d think a show produced by Universal Media Studios might want to keep the monarchy, however fictional, in the family. What, Top of the Rock wasn’t available?

“We wanted an example of modern architecture, in keeping with the idea of a contemporary kingdom, but on a grand scale. A symbol to the people of the grand vision of their king and country,” said Kings location manager Paul Kramer in an e-mail. “A regular boardroom just wouldn’t do. It’s hard to beat the backdrop of the five-story wall of glass that leans out over Columbus Circle from the Allen Room at the Time Warner Center.”

Good point. And after the way McShane snapped at TV critics who couldn’t quite get their heads around the show’s concept during last summer’s TCA tour, I won’t press mine.