Fallout begins in Manhattan Season 2

Jeff Pfeiffer

WGN America’s gripping drama Manhattan, set in the New Mexico desert during the top-secret development of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, returns Oct. 13 for its second season.


New to the cast is William Petersen, who plays Col. Emmett Darrow, the new military leader at the camp where the research is taking place (this is Petersen’s first TV role since leaving CSI in 2009). Also joining the cast this season are Griffin Dunne as reporter Woodrow Lorentzen; Mamie Gummer as Nora, a member of the Women’s Army Corps; and Neve Campbell as Kitty Oppenheimer, wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Daniel London), who heads the Los Alamos project.

Back from Season 1 in the main cast are John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Daniel Stern, Ashley Zukerman, Rachel Brosnahan, Katja Herbers, Christopher Denham, Alexia Fast, Eddie Shin, Michael Chernus and Harry Lloyd.


Manhattan is fresh off an Emmy win for Outstanding Main Title Design (WGN America’s first Emmy award), and looks to increase the stakes and the drama this season, as the group nears the Trinity test — the first test of the bomb that took place on July 16, 1945. At the start of the season, Frank Winter (Hickey) is facing suspicions of treason, so Charlie (Zukerman) takes the lead on the project.


If Manhattan does lead up to the Trinity test, it will be interesting to see where the next season would go, as the wartime application of the bomb, of course, took place less than a month later at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would be fascinating if the series would further delve into the reactions of the scientists who created this powerful device as they perhaps grappled with the consequences of it all.

Manhattan Season 2 airs Tuesdays at 9pm ET on WGN America beginning Oct. 13.