EXCLUSIVE: Manhattan – Creator and Director

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“Manhattan” is a new television series that premieres this Sunday (July 27th) on our sister station, WGN America, and it’s been a long time coming.

“I started working on the show about six years ago,” creator Sam Shaw said. “I read a great deal about what life was like in Los Alamos, New Mexico in the 1940's and the birth of the atomic bomb.

For the most part, Shaw is a newcomer to the world of television, but he`s in good hands. Working alongside him is 9-time Emmy Award Winner Tommy Schlamme, whose name you might recognize from “The West Wing.” Schlamme is directing “Manhattan” and says it was Shaw`s writing that first got his attention.

“I was lucky enough to read the script one night, and the next morning said, ‘Let me meet Sam Shaw as quick as I can.’ It was so clear to me that it was a brilliant piece of writing and it would make a really fascinating series,” Schlamme said.

The two have been working together for a couple of years now making “Manhattan” become a reality. Shaw says the amount of research that’s gone into this project is “disgusting,” saying it`s the specifics that bring the story to life. But, he admits, his ultimate goal is to capture an emotional truth of what life was like for the people of Los Alamos in 1943.

“Really for me the thing that was so incredibly riveting was the story about human beings trying to lead their lives, and stay married, and wrestle with huge moral quandaries under enormous pressure,” Shaw said.

“It’s a group of people building this extraordinary thing that is both a celebration of science - the most extraordinary thing we've ever done scientifically, and a cautionary tale at the same time,” Schlamme said.

“Manhattan” premieres Sunday at 8 P.M. on WGN.

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