‘The Old Man’, America’s latest TV hit and the pull of old-school actors

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Actors of a certain age have become a guarantee of audiences. Top Gun: Maverickthe great box office phenomenon of 2022, has already raised $1 billion, and Yellowstonestarring Kevin Costner, is the most watched series or program in the United States (only behind American football). The Old Manwith Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow, the latest hit on American television, confirm the trend.

Based on a novel by thomas perry adapted by Jonathan Steinberg (Jericho, Black Sails), and with John Watts (director of the last three films of spider-man) behind the camera of its first two episodes, this action espionage thriller captivated audiences from the start with a classic story of retired CIA agents, just like Gary Oldman recently did with Slow Horses from Apple (another example of the trend) but with a different tone, closer to Homeland.

According to FX, in the first three days since its launch, the series was positioned as the most watched cable premiere since January 2021and the one that has attracted the most viewers to FX on Hulu in its entire history, so has already been renewed for a second installment after airing only three episodes.

‘The Old Man’, old school spies

John Lithgow and Jeff Bridges star in 'The Old Man'.

John Lithgow and Jeff Bridges star in ‘The Old Man’.

Bridges plays Dan Chase, a former CIA agent, who Not only is he retired, he’s also a fugitive and has been hidden for 30 years. Not even his daughter knows where she lives, since they only communicate by phone. His life, although lonely, is quiet, until he discovers that he has been tracked down by his former employers. The person in charge of the mission is Harold Harper (John Lithgow), deputy director of counterintelligence at the FBI, who he will do everything on his part so that he is not captured alive because they have a past in common that he is not interested in digging up.

Featuring old-school espionage tactics, the series is an engaging mix of The Americans Y Homeland. The melee action scenes are masterfully shot by Watts, and Bridges brings to life a convincing, weather-beaten former agent. who proves to be agile, intelligent and persuasive in conversations, and capable of outperforming men younger than him in hand-to-hand fights, thanks to the experience that years bring.

Elegant dialogues, an intriguing and visually stylish plot, the proposal is completed by a cast in which each piece is precise and in which they stand out Amy Brennemann (The Leftovers), Alia Shawcat (Search Party), Bill Hecks (The Leftovers) Y Hiam Abbass (Succession).

The success of veteran actors

'Top Gun Maverick' is the big box office phenomenon in 2022, and the biggest hit in Tom Cruise's career.

‘Top Gun Maverick’ is the big box office phenomenon in 2022, and the biggest hit in Tom Cruise’s career.

As they point out in a report by The Ringer, part of the appeal of the actors over 60 and 70 who are succeeding lately is due in large part to the fact that the audience has aged with them.

According to analysts, viewers over 60 are the ones filling movie theaters (as the nostalgia for top gun), and while the youngest opt ​​for streaming, they are the ones who continue to consume cable and open television. So this is just the beginning of the trend, because as casting director Mike Page puts it, “networks are interested in creating content for older audiences because they’re the ones spending the money.”

In the same article, Bruce Nash, founder of the industry analysis website The Numbers, states that “because of his age, that viewer will probably be more interested in seeing an action movie starring Liam Neeson than one with Tom Holland, and studies have taken notice.” This is not only reflected in action series or movies, also in other genres such as romantic comediesas we will see in Ticket to Paradiseone of the most anticipated films of the year, starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney.

The ‘Yellowstone’ case

Kevin Costner in 'Yellowstone'.

Kevin Costner in ‘Yellowstone’.

The success of Yellowstone it was totally unexpected. The media didn’t pay much attention to it when it premiered in the summer of 2018 on the Paramount Network, a minor basic cable channel, the kind that doesn’t have a presence at awards shows or red carpets. However, the Taylor Sheridan series has not stopped gaining viewers with each new season and with the end of the fourth, released in January of this year, it broke audience records.

9.3 million viewers saw the last episode live and on demand on the same day, figures that have not been seen on linear television for years and that, moreover, represented an 81% improvement compared to the end of the previous season . With Kevin Costner marking the wake as the protagonist of the mother series, Sheridan has created a franchise that already has two prequels: 1883with sam elliotY 1932which will have Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren as protagonists.

Where and when will ‘The Old Man’ be seen in Spain


As has happened with all FX originals in recent months (especially considering that Disney-ABC Domestic Television is the one that has the international distribution rights) we can count on The Old Man reach the Disney+ catalogexcept last minute surprise.

If we take into account the premiere dates in Spain of FX original series such as Reservation Dogs, Atlanta either by command of heavenits premiere in Spain usually has a delay of one or two months in relation to the broadcast of its last episode in the United States. The season finale of The Old Man It will air on FX on July 21, so here we can expect the series to premiere in late August or September.

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