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Leverage

Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama

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8.6

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About the Show

Leverage is an American television drama series created by John Rogers and Chris Downey and produced by Electric Television which follows a Los Angeles-based team of thieves, computer experts and cons, headed up by former insurance investigator Nate Ford, who use their skills to right corporate and governmental injustices visited on the little person.

The series aired in the USA on TNT from 7 December, 2008 to 25 December, 2012. There are 77 hour-long episodes in five seasons.

Leverage premiered in South Africa on DStv's Sony Entertainment Television (SONY) channel on Thursday 26 March 2009, at 20h30. It later aired on SABC1. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.

Season 5 premiered on SONY on Tuesday 21 May 2013, at 20h00. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are 15 episodes in the fifth and final season.

Season 1

Leverage follows a team of thieves, hackers and grifters who act as modern-day Robin Hoods, taking revenge against those who use power and wealth to victimize others.

Timothy Hutton plays former insurance investigator Nate Ford, a once-loyal corporate employee who had recovered millions of dollars in stolen goods for his employer.

But when that employer denied his son's insurance claim – claiming it was "experimental" – and allowed the boy to die, he realised he could no longer work for such an entity.

Out of work and descending into alcoholism, Ford is hired by an aeronautics executive to recover airplane designs the executive claims were stolen by a rival company.

Helping him are four highly skilled team members: Parker (Beth Riesgraf), an expert thief; Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), a specialist in Internet and computer fraud; Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), a high-octane “retrieval specialist” who can take out a gang of henchmen without breaking a sweat; and Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), a grifter who could win awards for her acting skills during difficult scams.

At first the newly formed team is hesitant to trust each other after so many years working alone but being double-crossed changes the dynamic, ultimately forcing them to unite. They emerge from the job realising they are far better working together than apart.

Once they discover they can trust each other the group targets their cons toward the richest, the greediest and the most unjust.

Season 2

This summer, the gang is back with more elaborate scams designed to exact revenge against those who use power and wealth to victimize people.

As the new season kicks off, Nate, a reformed alcoholic, tries and fails to restart his insurance career and become a law-abiding citizen, but becomes embroiled in the attempted murder of a bank whistleblower and his daughter.

Reluctantly agreeing to reassemble his team of career criminals for a final con, they set out once again to bring to justice those operating above the law, while managing to have a lot of illegal fun in the process.

Soon the team is back in full swing with a raft of further cons including staging the outbreak of a deadly virus at a hospital, exposing a heartless tabloid newscaster and taking down an unscrupulous diamond merchant.

Season 2 is executive-produced by John Rogers and Dean Devlin.

Season 3

By the end of the second season, the Leverage team had scammed a hedge-fund manager who happened to be in the custody of U.S. Marshals; used Eliot's martial arts skills to corner a corrupt fight promoter; and took over a private school to recover millions of dollars lost in a Ponzi scheme.

They also went head-to-head with an almost identical team of grifters to recover a painting, took down an oppressive sweatshop owner, cornered a fake psychic, freed Nate's ex-wife from a Ukrainian jail and thwarted a gunrunning scheme by a corrupt mayor.

But for Sophie, her conflicted relationship with Nate left her questioning if she wanted to continue working with the team. She took some much-needed time away, arranging for a friend and fellow grifter to take her place temporarily.

But even though Sophie has now returned to the team, there are still some unresolved issues between her and Nate.

The third season of Leverage opens with Nate in prison after having to make a tough choice on the most recent con. He could either allow his team to be arrested or simply give himself up to his nemesis Sterling, a former insurance investigator now working for Interpol.

Nate soon discovers, however, that the prison is corrupt. The only way he can bring the crooked officials down is to get his team to help him stage his jailbreak.

But that's only the beginning of Nate's challenges. He must also contend with a shadowy intelligence agent known only as "The Italian," played by actress and model Elisabetta Canalis, who blackmails him into helping bring down a financier.

Between "The Italian" trying to control Nate and Nate trying to hold both his crew and his personal life together, it's looking to be a challenging and twisted summer for the Leverage team.

Season 4

The fourth season of Leverage opens in epic fashion as the team heads to the rugged mountains of Alaska to help a woman whose husband has disappeared, possibly as a victim of foul play.

More than any previous job, this one will push the Leverage team to the edge of endurance in one of the world's harshest terrains, where a single wrong step could send them plunging into an almost certain death.

The Leverage crew is led by former insurance investigator turned thief, Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton). His cohorts include Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), a brilliant grifter; Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), a retrieval specialist; Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), a gadget and technology wizard; and Parker (Beth Riesgraf), a slightly off-centre thief adept at rappelling off buildings.

Prior to the Alaska job, the team was laying low after finally fulfilling their obligation to a mysterious Italian agent who blackmailed Nate into hunting down a nefarious financier.

The ordeal seems to have opened up a new side of Nate, who is more determined than ever to focus on bringing down bad guys. He is also reluctant to deal with the uncomfortable dynamic between him and Sophie after the two wound up in bed together.

This season on Leverage, the team will face bigger challenges than ever before. They will be forced to face the moral ambiguity of what they do as Nate continues to struggle with his inner demons.

Among their upcoming jobs, they will target a public relations expert (guest star Michael Gladis) who protects his clients by destroying the lives of anyone who gets in their way; a millionaire who pays to have himself moved up on a heart-transplant waiting list; a woman who profits from people's grief through a funeral scam; a big corporation out to bury potato farmers; and a group trying to kill a World War II veteran (guest star Danny Glover) who allegedly has a very rare Van Gogh painting.

In addition, the team will once again face their nemesis, insurance-investigator-turned-InterPOL-agent Jim Sterling (guest star Mark Sheppard).

They will also discover that someone has been spying on their activities, although the nature of the culprit's agenda is a mystery.

Season 5

For five years, television's coolest gang of con artists have used their unique skills to help level the playing field for people whose lives have been destroyed by the rich and powerful. Now, things are going to get personal as the series returns with the final 15 episodes.

With the rallying cry, "Let's go steal a...," Nate and his team set out each week to tackle corrupt executives, politicians and other big shots by taking something they hold dear.

The team has since "stolen" everything from an airplane to a baseball stadium. They've even stolen a country. And this season, they're going to steal something they've never gone after before: a man's dreams.

The final season will also pit the Leverage crew against the ruthless manager of a discount store whose tactics threaten not only her employees but also the town itself. They'll target a corrupt winery owner whose workers are collapsing.

And in a special episode, the team will try to steal Christmas in order to prevent an unscrupulous toy company CEO from unleashing a dangerous product into the market.

In addition, the team will once again face their nemesis, insurance-investigator-turned-InterPOL-agent Jim Sterling (guest star Mark Sheppard).

With each and every case they handle, Nate, Sophie, Elliott, Hardison and Parker prove themselves to be more than just a league of extraordinary con artists. They are a family.

But in Leverage's gripping series finale, the bond that holds this family together could be torn apart permanently with an extremely risky case involving the death of Nate's son.

Seasons

Season 1 (13 episodes)

Channel: SONY | Premiere: 26 Mar 2009 | Finale: 18 Jun 2009 | Thursdays, 20h30
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 7 Apr 2011 | Finale: 13 June 2011 | Thursdays, 22h00

Season 2 (15 episodes)

Channel: SONY | Premiere: 18 Mar 2010 | Finale: 24 Jun 2010 | Thursdays, 20h30
Channel: SABC1 | Premiere: 13 Aug 2012 | Finale: 19 Nov 2012 | Mondays, 22h00

Season 3 (16 episodes)

Channel: SONY | Premiere: 3 Mar 2011 | Finale: 16 Jun 2011 | Thursdays, 20h30

Season 4 (18 episodes)

Channel: SONY | Premiere: 17 May 2012 | Finale: 13 Sep 2012 | Thursdays, 21h25

Season 5 (15 episodes)

Channel: SONY | Premiere: 21 May 2013 | Finale: 27 Aug 2013 | Tuesdays, 20h00


Starring

as
Alec Hardison

as
Eliot Spencer

as
Nathan Ford

as
Parker

as
Sophie Devereaux

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