The Watchman: Oxygen Spotlights Dastardly Duos; AMC’s Creepy Christmas in June

Season 14 of Killer Couples starts on Oxygen June 18. Terrifying as they are, the lovestruck pairs can be kind of fun to watch. “The idea of couples, driven by passion and pushed to the brink to do anything to be together,” Todd Moss, senior VP of producer Jupiter Entertainment and executive producer on the series, said. “That’s always an enduring and intriguing story.”

‘Killer Couples’ on Oxygen

‘Killer Couples’ on Oxygen

Things kick off with Kelsey Bereth, a young mother who was murdered by her fiancé and his former girlfriend in Colorado. The season also looks at a grandmother and her husband who go missing, and a man and his adult son who are murdered, the investigation exposing an illicit romance and family betrayal.

How do the producers unearth these people? “Thousands of hours of research,” quipped Eric Wetherington, executive producer and showrunner.

The producers either want a case people don’t know about, or a case everyone knows about with a fresh angle to it. Episodes are grouped into themes, such as “First Love,” “First Kill” and “Underage and Full of Rage.”

“We look for great red herrings that allow viewers to be an armchair detective,” Moss said.

Season two of NOS4A2 premieres on AMC and BBC America June 21. The season picks up eight years after the events of season one. Vic McQueen is intent on destroying Charlie Manx, and Manx has his eye on McQueen’s young son Wayne. Ashleigh Cummings plays McQueen and Zachary Quinto plays Manx. He’s a bad dude, devouring the souls of children, then dumping what’s left of them at Christmasland.

‘NOS4A2’ on AMC

‘NOS4A2’ on AMC

NOS4A2 is based on Joe Hill’s novel. Hill, son of Stephen King, executive produces alongside Jami O’Brien. O’Brien formerly worked on Fear the Walking Dead and Hell on Wheels. An AMC exec asked her if she’d read the novel. She hadn’t. “We got the rights to it,” the executive said. “Read it.”

O’Brien did, and found NOS4A2 to be a “real page-turner.”

“The way Joe Hill draws the McQueen family is so nuanced and complicated,” she added. “I haven’t seen a family like that on TV in a long time.”

O’Brien said she fell for Quinto in the Star Trek movies. She called him “a phenomenally talented actor.”

Season one ran on AMC. Season two is on AMC and BBC America, as happened with Killing Eve earlier this year. “It’s great to open up the show to a whole new audience,” O’Brien said.

The series has Charlie Manx at several different ages, and O’Brien said Quinto captures them all. “He worked really hard to create a physicality and a voice for each of the different ages,” O’Brien said. “He’s just delicious to watch.” 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.