Sam Shaw wants to drop the bomb. He’s waited long enough. The creator of WGN America’s Manhattan sat on his retelling of the famed Manhattan Project for nearly six years before his script was picked up, so you can see where his “itchy trigger finger” comes from.
Holding Shaw (who previously wrote for Masters of Sex) back was longtime Aaron Sorkin sidekick and esteemed director Thomas Schlamme, who executive produced and directed episodes of Sports Night, The West Wing, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Aside from bringing the “Walk and Talk,” his lasting contribution to Sorkin’s dramas, to Manhattan, Schlamme provided the stability that a first-time showrunner like Shaw needed.
“Tommy had very specific and really brilliant insights about how to make this show producible and how to tell this story,” Shaw told Den of Geek on the set of Manhattan in July. “So I’ve been beneficiary of all that experience and wisdom.”
Together they crafted an enthralling first season that introduced viewers to what they said is the “origin story of the America we know today” as they followed the fictionalized version of the scientists in charge of building the country’s most powerful weapon. Season two, which premieres on Tuesday, Oct. 13th, won’t see “Little Boy” or “Fat Man” drop, but instead centers on the Trinity Test, the first full-scale nuclear test in American history.
We caught up with Shaw and Schlamme ahead of season two to talk about the show’s origins and what to expect in season two…
For more on Manhattan, check out our season two news hub.
Photo credit: WGN America