AMC looks to make it three hit drama series
in a row with the debut of Rubicon, an espionage
thriller based around a New York City-based federal
intelligence agency.

James Badge Dale (The Pacific) stars as Will Travers,
an innately smart but troubled intelligence analyst
whose job is to crack codes in otherwise mundane and
unusual places that may unlock suspicious activities.
When he stumbles over a code in several crossword
puzzles over several daily newspapers, he reports it to
his boss — the father of his deceased wife, who was
killed in the 9/11 terrorist
attacks — who initially dismisses
the discovery.

When a suspicious accident
forces a re-examination
of his commitment to the
agency, Travers inevitably decides
to continue to pursue
the investigation. His search
takes him deeper into the
inner workings of the group,
and he seeks help from other
people loosely connected
to the agency, including Ed
Bancroft (Roger Robinson),
a friend of Will’s father-inlaw,
who seemly holds more
secrets about the organization and the ongoing conspiracy
than he’s letting on.

As with AMC hits Breaking Bad and Mad Men, Rubicon
is stylishly produced and well-edited, and the
cast seems to mesh with one another. The problem, at
least with the pilot, is that it’s so meticulous in building
its conspiratorial elements that it starts out a bit
too slowly. The opening scene of a rich businessman
taking aggressive action after finding a four-leaf clover
within the pages of his newspaper certainly captures
the viewer’s attention, and hopefully Rubicon’s future
episodes are able to cleverly mix the intricate plot build
of its fascinating conspiracy storyline with the thriller/
action scenes it will inevitably need to keep viewers
coming back week to week.

Rubicon isn’t Mad Men or Breaking Bad, but does add
a third quality scripted series to AMC’s growing programming

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.