The FBI estimates there are currently up to 300 active serial killers in the United States. What would happen if these killers had a way of communicating and connecting with each other?
What if they were able to work together and form alliances? What if one brilliant and charismatic, yet psychotic mastermind was able to bring them all together and activate a cult of believers following his every command?
Welcome to The Following, the psychological thriller from creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries, Dawson's Creek, the Scream franchise) and starring Golden Globe winner and Emmy Award nominee Kevin Bacon in his primetime series debut.
When notorious serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) escapes from death row, the FBI calls former agent Ryan Hardy (Bacon) to consult on the case.
Having since withdrawn from the public eye, Hardy was responsible for Carroll's capture in 2003, after Carroll murdered 14 female students on the Virginia college campus where he taught literature.
Hardy is a walking textbook of all-things Carroll. He knows him better than anyone; he is perhaps Carroll's only psychological and intellectual match.
But the Ryan Hardy who broke the Carroll case years ago isn't the same man today. Wounded both physically and mentally by his previous pursuit of this serial killer, it's been a long time since Hardy has been in the field.
This new investigation is his redemption, his call to action.
In contrast to the original investigation years ago, Hardy isn't calling the shots anymore. He works closely with an FBI team, which includes young, razor-sharp Mike Weston (Shawn Ashmore) and FBI Specialist Debra Parker (Annie Parisse), who is brought in to lead the investigation into Carroll and his followers.
Although Weston seems to idolise him, most of the team considers Hardy to be more of a liability than an asset. But Hardy proves his worth when he uncovers that Carroll was covertly communicating with a network of followers in the outside world.
It quickly becomes obvious that he has more planned than just a prison escape.
The FBI's investigation leads Hardy back to Claire Matthews (Natalie Zea), Carroll's ex-wife and the mother of the criminal's young son, Joey (newcomer Kyle Catlett). Close during Hardy's initial investigation, Hardy turns to Claire for insight into Carroll's next move.
The tension rises when Carroll's accomplices kidnap his intended last victim (Maggie Grace) from 10 years ago. Hardy becomes ever more determined to end Carroll's game when he realizes that the psychopath intends to finish what he started.
The intense, spellbinding drama follows Hardy and the FBI as they are challenged with the ever-growing web of murder around them, orchestrated by the devious Carroll, who dreams of writing a novel with Hardy as his protagonist.
But since anyone anywhere could be a follower, how do you know who to trust?
The Following is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Outerbanks Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. The series is created, written and executive-produced by Kevin Williamson. Marcos Siega also serves as an executive producer and director.
The first seven episodes of Season 1 aired on SABC3 on Mondays at 23h00. After a one-week hiatus between episodes 7 and 8, the season resumed with Episode 8 in a new timeslot of Mondays at 23h30, from Monday 10 April, 2017.