Review Roundup: Kevin Bacon Stars in FOX's THE FOLLOWING Premiering Tonight


Kevin Bacon stars in THE FOLLOWING, his first network TV series. The actor portrays 'Ryan Hardy', a former FBI agent who is called out of retirement in order to track down a dangerous criminal after he escapes from prison. The series premieres tonight, JANUARY 21, (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

The cast also includes James Purefoy as Joe Carroll; Natalie Zea as Claire Matthews; Shawn Ashmore as Agent Mike Weston; Valorie Curry as Denise; Adan Canto as Billy Thomas; Nico Tortorella as Will Wilson; Kyle Catlett as Joey Matthews.

Let see what the critics have to say:

Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times: "The Following," which stars Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy, a burned-out former F.B.I agent, is one of the most disturbing procedural dramas on television, in its own way creepier than similar network shows and even cable series like "Dexter" or "Breaking Bad" or "The Walking Dead." It's hard to turn off and even harder to watch. And it could be that precisely because it is so bleak and relentlessly scary, "The Following" offers a more salutary depiction of violence than do series that use humor to mitigate horror - and thereby trivialize it."

Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times: "Kevin Williamson's story in "The Following" is tricked out with enough narrative and casting bling to warrant the huge push FOX has given it. If Bacon, and Purefoy, weren't enough of a draw, the urge to kill is framed within the rubric of Edgar Allan Poe's work, lending the whole enterprise an artistic gravitas usually reserved for period dramas (see "Ripper Street")."

Verne Gay, Newsday: "The Following" is a bummer of significant proportions. Not that it's bad -- it's not -- but it's bleak, sordid, blood-spattered and creepy (though not necessarily always "creepy" in a good way, like "The Walking Dead"."

David Wiegand, The San Francisco Chronicle: "The timing simply couldn't be worse for FOX to introduce the Kevin Williamson series "The Following" on Monday night. But even if the nation weren't supposed to be engaged in a "conversation" about media violence in the sad wake of the Newtown, Conn., killings, "The Following" does not belong on network television."

Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine: "If you've been hankering for a small-screen Silence of the Lambs The Following may fit the bill, complete with regular Clarice/Hannibal-style horn-locking between Bacon/Purefoy. But as NBC boss Robert Greenblatt said at TCA this month, it may be best to chase this with a shiny(er)-happy(er) episode of Parenthood or the like. Because even though you may have the stomach for it, I can vouch, four episodes in, that there is a lot to stomach.

David Hinckley, NY Daily News: "...the real measure of any psychological thriller lies in the unease it plants in the viewer's mind, and creator Kevin Williamson and director Marcos Siega have few restraints here. If "The Following" isn't always Hitchcock, it rarely gives the viewer any reason to relax and never offers much reassurance about who will win in the end. Not everyone wants this in a TV show, and even those drawn to Bacon, Purefoy and Zea may find the introduction rough. But those who can stand the seas will enjoy the ride."

Photo courtesy of FOX