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Archive for Sunday, September 30, 2012

Devil cast as landlord

September 30, 2012

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NBC’S “Revolution” and ABC’s “Last Resort” may try to capture the magic of “Lost,” but the new gothic mystery “666 Park Avenue” (9 p.m. Sunday, ABC) has one of that show’s stars.

Terry O’Quinn (John Locke on “Lost”) stars as Gavin Doran, the owner of the Drake, a posh apartment building with a century of secrets. Chief among them is that Gavin is the devil himself. Many of his tenants are under contract to him, and he’s punctual in letting them know when their leases are up.

‘‘666” begins with a master violinist, who obviously has Gavin to thank for his success, trying to wiggle out of his contract. Gavin next sets his sights on Jane Van Veen (Rachael Taylor) and Henry Martin (Dave Annable), a cute and ambitious young couple from the Midwest. He hires them to be managers/caretakers for the Drake, easy jobs that include the benefits of a beautiful apartment well beyond their budget. She’s a budding architect who has not yet made her mark, while he’s already ensconced in the mayor’s office, a mover and shaker well before his 30th birthday.

As Gavin makes clear to his elegant wife, Olivia (Vanessa Williams), the path to “getting” Henry and his soul is through his more vulnerable wife. Rachael Taylor has a great role here as the smart but nervous Jane, wowed by her and Henry’s good fortune but increasingly horrified as she learns about Drake’s diabolical history.

Inspired by films like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Shining,” “666” is smart, cinematic and lush to look at. With the exception of digitalized special effects that go overboard when Gavin goes about his “repossessions,” ‘‘666” is a model of intelligent restraint. And that’s something for a network like ABC, where the obviousness of “Desperate Housewives” had repelled many smart viewers.

Tonight’s season premieres

• After receiving its 13th Emmy last Sunday, “The Amazing Race” (7 p.m., CBS) enters its 21st season.

• Peter challenges Everest on “Family Guy” (8 p.m., Fox).

• Awakening from Regina’s curse, fairy tale characters find themselves anyplace but home on the second season premiere of “Once Upon a Time” (7 p.m., ABC).

• After a season of scheming, Emily plans her next move as “Revenge” (8 p.m., ABC) moves to Sunday nights.

• Hayley’s star rises on “American Dad” (8:30 p.m., Fox).

• Jane explores Lorelei’s connection to Red John on “The Mentalist” (9 p.m., CBS).

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