Like Friday Night Lights before it, DirecTV is bringing back Wonderland, another broadcast network series critically acclaimed but viewer challenged (and also executive produced by Peter Berg).
The satellite TV operator will show all eight episodes of Wonderland on its special channel, The 101 Network, and on DirecTV on Demand, beginning Jan. 14 at 10 p.m. Only two episodes ran on ABC in the spring of 2000 before the network pulled the plug. DirecTV says it will air in HD and without commercials.
The gritty series concerned the the doctors and patients at a fictional New York psychiatric hospital called Rivervue. The dark and violent series was reviled by many psychiatrists for showing an extreme example of mentally ill patients. (The first episode featured a madman who shot several people in Times Square and then tried to kill himself.)
Critics generally gave it high praise. The first episode attracted 13 million viewers, but a week later, the audience for Wonderland was only 7.5 million and ABC stopped airing it.
All the episodes will run Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET and begins following the Season Three finale of Friday Night Lights, the series that is uniquely "sharing" itself with NBC where it originally aired. Friday Night Lights makes its season debut on NBC two nights later, on Jan. 16.