×

A Town Torn Apart

NBC's "A Town Torn Apart" aims for inspiration in troubled times and hits the target in intent, entertainment proficiency and performances. The trouble on the "message" aspect is that it's shooting a BB gun in an Uzi gallery.

With:
Cast: Michael Tucker, Carole Galloway, Linda Griffiths, Bernard Behrens, Jill Eikenberry, Lindsey Connell, Noam Zyiberman, Nicholas Van Burek, Patrick Gillen, Leah Salomaa, Bruce Boa, Nicholas Rice, Victoria Mitchell, Linda Goranson, Keith Dinicol, Mathew Mackay, Tara Charendoff, Robert Hawkins, Henry Czerny, John Friesen, John Lefebvre, Alex Laurier, Richard Blackburn, Christina Collins, John Dolan, Judith Goodwin, Liz Gordon, Ann De Villiers, Jacqueline McLeod, Ron Hartmann, Gayle Chernin, Shawn Lawrence, Joy Learn, Scot Armstrong, Karen Woolridge, Raymond Hunt, Gabriel Sirois, Benjamin Barrett, Paul Horruzey, Richard Hardacre, Diana Rowland, Frances Wedlake, Diane Douglass, Mary Anne Coles, Richard Kovsky.

NBC’s “A Town Torn Apart” aims for inspiration in troubled times and hits the target in intent, entertainment proficiency and performances. The trouble on the “message” aspect is that it’s shooting a BB gun in an Uzi gallery.

Based on the true story of one man’s turnaround of a small-town school, the production companies and the network would have been better off sticking to former title, “Doc: The Dennis Littky Story.”

The more violent-sounding new title proffers something stronger than the gentle fable-like story delivers. Small-town rural audiences with similar problems may relate to problems of fist fights and bored, cigarette-smoking, bad tempered and frustrated high school students but urbanites–and especially teachers–faced with drugs, guns, knives and daily death will only wish things were so simple.

Michael Tucker plays Littky, who takes over as principal at troubled Thayer High School in Wimchester, N.H. Faculty members have thrown up their hands until he infuses teachers and students with his enthusiasm.

The “Torn Apart” element amounts to a few it-wasn’t-done-that-way-when-we-went-to-school blue noses who’ve never listened to nightly newscasts or ventured beyond the city, and feel a principal should shave his beard and wear a tie or he can’t teach their kids. (If it weren’t a “true” story, it would seem too pat.)

Those people oust Littky, but the students he has urged to fight for education now urge him to “fight” for his job. He does.

Daniel Petrie’s direction is fine, as is Anne Gerard’s script from Susan Kammeraad-Campbell’s book. Their major problem is that not every school has problems and solutions like these: a student smoking a cigarette on school grounds isn’t really the same as a student smoking crack.

Performances are uniformly solid, with Tucker holding focal point with energy.

A Town Torn Apart

Mon. (30), 9-11 p.m., NBC-TV

Production: Filmed by Paragon Entertainment Corp. in association with World Intl. Network and David W. Rintels. Executive producers, Victoria Riskin, Lyle Poncher; producer/director, Daniel Petrie; writer, Anne Gerard; based on the book "Doc" by Susan Kammeraad-Campbell.

Crew: Editor, Stephen Lawrence; camera, Francois Protat; sound, Bruce Carwardine; music, Aaron Davis; production designer, Karen Bromley.

Cast: Cast: Michael Tucker, Carole Galloway, Linda Griffiths, Bernard Behrens, Jill Eikenberry, Lindsey Connell, Noam Zyiberman, Nicholas Van Burek, Patrick Gillen, Leah Salomaa, Bruce Boa, Nicholas Rice, Victoria Mitchell, Linda Goranson, Keith Dinicol, Mathew Mackay, Tara Charendoff, Robert Hawkins, Henry Czerny, John Friesen, John Lefebvre, Alex Laurier, Richard Blackburn, Christina Collins, John Dolan, Judith Goodwin, Liz Gordon, Ann De Villiers, Jacqueline McLeod, Ron Hartmann, Gayle Chernin, Shawn Lawrence, Joy Learn, Scot Armstrong, Karen Woolridge, Raymond Hunt, Gabriel Sirois, Benjamin Barrett, Paul Horruzey, Richard Hardacre, Diana Rowland, Frances Wedlake, Diane Douglass, Mary Anne Coles, Richard Kovsky.

More TV

  • YouTube TV

    YouTube TV Expanding to Cover Entire U.S., No International Launch Plans Right Now

    Soon, virtually anyone in the U.S. will be able to subscribe to YouTube TV, Google’s $40 monthly over-the-top internet television service aimed at cord-cutters. First launched in five cities in April 2016, YouTube TV has been available in the top 100 markets in the U.S., covering around 85% of households, for about a year. Starting [...]

  • NATPE: Turner Latin America, Dopamine Set

    NATPE: Turner Latin America, Dopamine Strike Three-Series Production Alliance (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI — Turner Latin America and Mexico’s Dopamine, a Salinas Group company, have struck a production alliance to develop and produce three original series: “Tu parte del trato,” “Amarres” and “Coyatl.” The pact adds to the NATPE announcement on Monday of “Las Bravas F.C,” the first series in Turner Latin America’s five-year strategic production partnership [...]

  • Pol-ka at 25: Interview with Founder

    Pol-ka at 25: Adrian Suar Sets New Era Agenda

    MIAMI — Boldly taking on the challenges of TV’s future as it turns 25, Argentina’s Pol-ka Producciones, one of Latin America’s few historic independent TV companies, is turning to the past. Shooting from Jan. 2, but set in Buenos Aires from 1936 to 1945, “Argentina, Land of Passion and Revenge,” (“Argentina, Tierra de Amor y [...]

  • Pol-ka at 25: Highlights on its

    Pol-ka at 25: 2019’s Production Slate Highlights

    MADRID — Pol-ka’s banner titles straddle telenovelas and international-length series. Here are highlights, projects, productions and shows now screening packing one of the most ambitious slates of any Latin American company: ‘ARGENTINA, LAND OF PASSION AND REVENGE’ (Pol-ka) The big one, at least for free-to-air. A period piece, so far more expensive to shoot, so rarer [...]

  • NATPE Briefs: 'Judge Jerry' Sets EP,

    NATPE Briefs: 'Judge Jerry' Sets EP, Sony Pictures Pacts With 'Ugly Betty' Creator

    NBCUniversal’s “Judge Jerry” has set its production team and reached 90% clearance across the U.S. for its fall launch. The court show hosted by longtime talk show host Jerry Springer will be exec produced by Kerry Shannon, previously a producer on “Jerry Springer Show.” Leah Ponce and Joe Scott, alums of “Judge Judy” and other [...]

  • Tamron Hall Brings Her Truth and

    Tamron Hall Brings Her Truth and TV Training to Daytime Talk Show

    MIAMI — Tamron Hall is proud of her TV trifecta. For a few years, the former “Today” anchor could be found most weekdays airing on three networks at the same time. During her 2010-2016 tenure as a co-anchor of “Today’s” 9 a.m. hour, Hall would follow that show by switching to an anchor slot on [...]

  • Meredith Vieira Back in Syndication Game

    Meredith Vieira Back in Syndication Game With '25 Words or Less'

    MIAMI — Meredith Vieira is stocking up on stationary. The former “Today” anchor and panelist on “The View” is set to return to daytime TV in the fall as host of the syndicated game show “25 Words or Less,” from Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television. Vieira is a 15-time Emmy winner who has worked [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content