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Can Dracula Breathe Life into NBC’s Friday Nights?

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DraculaJonathan Rhys Meyers, who captivated viewers as Henry VII on The Tudors, is playing another noble with a voracious appetite. This time he is Count Dracula, starring in an NBC adaptation of the story that starts Friday. The count is masquerading as Alexander Grayson, an American industrialist in London to demonstrate a new source of energy.

He encounters the beautiful Mina Murray (Jessica De Gouw) who he believes to be a reincarnation of his wife, burned at the stake by a group of vampire hunters. That organization, called the Order of the Dragon, has evolved into a Illuminati-style secret society. They’re seizing oil interests to prepare for the next century. Are we about to see Dracula take on the “1 Percent?”

Pluses are Rhys Meyers, a script from Carnivale writer Daniel Knauf and producers who worked on Downton Abbey. But its Friday night timeslot is the polar opposite of where you place a show with high expectations. A shallow grave under a Transylvanian castle might be better real estate.

Still, America’s love affair with vampires has been a long lasting one. Can the Count still get the viewers in the era of “Twilight?”

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