Serial killers have become passée. Let’s face it – they kill a few people, get caught or die in the process, job done. But what happens when a serial killer grooms his fan base and teaches them all how to become serial killers on his behalf? What if even from jail he is able to manipulate and control that which his groupies do, all for his glory/infamy – like they’re competing for his acknowledgement & approval? The Following is new chillingly compelling and edgy drama that will have you twist, turn and hide behind a pillow in your seat as you come back for more.

Starring Golden Globe winner Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy, and written by Kevin Williamson, the series premieres Mon 21 January on Fox in the US/CTV in Canada and will follow soon after in Australia on Channel 9. Very left of centre and not your standard police procedural (which is exactly why I like it), with some stunning twists and plot realisations.

The network press release sums the show up pretty well:

Notorious serial killer Joe Carroll (Purefoy) escapes from death row and embarks on a new killing spree and so the FBI calls former agent Ryan Hardy (Bacon) in to assist. Hardy is now a shadow of his former self, a psychologically scarred veteran who captured Carroll nine years earlier after Carroll murdered 14 female students on a college campus where he taught literature. Knowing Carroll better than anyone and close with Carroll’s ex-wife, Claire, Hardy works closely with an FBI team, which includes no-nonsense agent Jennifer Mason (Jeananne Goossen) and sharp upstart Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore), and soon discovers that Carroll was not only communicating with a network of killers in the outside world, but has much more planned than just a prison escape – and there’s no telling how many additional killers are out there.

As Hardy and the FBI team are challenged by the ever-growing web of murder around them, masterminded by the diabolical Carroll (who’s writing a novel with Hardy as his protagonist), Hardy will not only get a second chance to capture Carroll, but another shot at redemption, as he’s faced with not one but an entire cult of serial killers.

Very little TV surprises me any more yet The Following hooked me from the first five minutes and held my attention the entire pilot episode (so far all that’s been available to preview). This is a series I’ll be devouring as soon as I can get my hands on it – Bacon for an Emmy in 2013 based on this performance alone.

The Following – coming soon, Ch9.