Human Target (2010 TV series)

Human Target
Genre Action
Spy fiction
Developed by Jonathan E. Steinberg
Starring Mark Valley
Chi McBride
Jackie Earle Haley
Indira Varma
Janet Montgomery
Theme music composer Bear McCreary (season 1)
Tim Jones (season 2)
Opening theme "Theme from Human Target"
Composer(s) Bear McCreary (season 1)
Tim Jones (season 2)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 25 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Jonathan E. Steinberg
Brad Kern
Kevin Hooks
Peter Johnson
Matt Miller
Location(s) Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Cinematography Brian Pearson (pilot)
Rob McLachlan
Editor(s) John Duffy
Philip Neel
Michael Hathaway
Craig Bench
Russell Denove
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s) Bonanza Productions
Wonderland Sound and Vision
DC Comics
Warner Bros. Television
Bell Media
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Bell Media
Original network Fox
Picture format 480i SDTV
720p HDTV
Audio format Stereophonic
First shown in Canada
Original release January 15, 2010 (2010-01-15) – February 9, 2011 (2011-02-09)

Human Target is an American action drama television series that was broadcast by Fox in the United States. Based loosely on the Human Target comic book character created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino for DC Comics, it is the second series based on this title developed for television, the first TV series having been aired in 1992 on ABC. Developed by Jonathan E. Steinberg, Human Target premiered on CTV in Canada and on Fox in the United States in January 2010.[1][2] The series was officially canceled on May 10, 2011, after the conclusion of the second season.[3]


The series follows the life of San Francisco-based Christopher Chance (Mark Valley), a unique private contractor, bodyguard and security expert hired to protect his clients. Rather than taking on the target's identity himself (as in the comic book version), he protects his clients by completely integrating himself into their lives, to become a "human target". Chance is accompanied by his business partner, Winston (Chi McBride), and hired gun, Guerrero (Jackie Earle Haley). Former client, Ilsa Pucci (Indira Varma), becomes Chance's benefactor, while experienced thief, Ames (Janet Montgomery), joins the team to seek redemption. Chance puts himself on the line to find the truth behind the mission.[4] Even his own business partner Winston does not know what drove him towards this life,[5] although it is explained in the first season finale episode (which also explains about the name Christopher Chance itself).[6]

Cast and characters

From left to right: Guerrero, Ames, Chance, Pucci and Winston.

Main characters

Recurring characters


On May 18, 2009, Fox announced that Human Target would premiere mid-season.[10] The show was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia.

On May 12, 2010, it was announced that Human Target had been renewed for a second season.[11] Matt Miller took over as showrunner from Jon E. Steinberg who remained part of the production team as an executive producer. Warner Bros. had contacted Miller to take a look at the first season and give his opinions on what changes he would make to the show.[12]

The show was officially canceled on May 10, 2011.[3]


In the original concept, Jackie Earle Haley's character Guerrero was intended to have a one-time appearance in the pilot episode, and every episode thereafter would feature a different character assisting Chance and Winston. However, the producers liked Haley's performance and his character, and invited the actor to be a regular on the series.[13]


Composer Bear McCreary scored the music for the first season, for which he received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music.[14] He wanted to create a modern classic-adventure score", and a heroic but still fun and iconic theme for Chance. Chance's theme later became the opening theme for the first season. McCreary wrote around 30 minutes of full orchestral music for 11 weeks in a row,[15] which was performed by an average of 60 musicians. The score for the final episode of the season, "Christopher Chance", was performed by a total of 94 musicians, making it the largest live orchestra ever assembled for a television series.[14][15][16] McCreary was not asked back for the second season as they could no longer afford a weekly 40-person orchestra.[12] Chuck composer Tim Jones took over the role.[17]


The series premiered in Canada on CTV on January 15, 2010,[1] and began airing on Fox on January 17, 2010.[18] The first three episodes aired in various time slots on Fox; it premiered on Sunday at 8:00 pm ET; the second episode aired Wednesday at 9:00 pm ET; and the third episode aired Tuesday at 9:00 pm ET before relocating to its regular time slot for the remainder of the season, Wednesday at 8:00 pm ET.[19] The first seasons' finale aired April 11, 2010 in Canada and three days later in the U.S. The second season was due to premiere on September 24, 2010[20] but later delayed to October 1, 2010 airing in a new time slot, Fridays at 8:00 pm ET.[21] Instead of airing the season premiere Fox aired a rerun of Human Target and moved the show back to Wednesdays, taking Lie to Me's time-slot, which had moved to Mondays due to the cancellation of Lone Star. The second season premiered November 17, 2010 on Fox and originally aired Wednesdays at 8:00 pm ET.[22] In January 2011, back-to-back episodes aired on January 5 and January 14, 2011.[23] On January 12, 2011, due to network coverage of the Tucson memorial service, the two scheduled episodes did not air in the United States on Fox, however they aired in Canada on A. The episodes were rescheduled and aired on January 14, 2011 on Fox.[24] Fox announced on January 13, 2011, that the next scheduled episode to air on January 26 was to be delayed and aired January 31, airing Monday at 8:00 pm ET. The final two episodes of the season aired on February 2 and 9, airing in another new timeslot, Wednesdays at 9:00 pm.[25] Fox announced the official cancellation of the series on May 10, 2011.[26]

In Australia, Human Target premiered on GO! on August 18, 2010.[27] A week later it premiered in New Zealand on TV2.[28]

In the UK, it premiered on Syfy on April 14, 2010.[29] The second season was also broadcast on Syfy, and premiered on May 26, 2011.[30]


Critical reception

The series premiere of Human Target received generally favorable reviews, scoring 69 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 26 critical reviews.[31] The New York Post stated, "because he's a human target, he has no problem blowing out of exploding buildings (of which there are too many to count) with nary a scratch. Think Jack Bauer with excellent grooming."[32] Robert Bianco wrote of the show's premiere in USA Today, the "confined-spaces fight on the train is a miniature marvel of its kind."[33] Not all reviews were positive. Cynthia Fuchs gave the show a 3 out of 10, calling it predictable and the characters uninteresting.[34]

The second season premiere received similar favorable reviews, scoring slightly higher than the first season with 71 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 13 reviews.[35] Brian Lowry from Variety criticized the changes made to the second season believing that the producers were forced to give the show an overhaul by the network to make it more appealing to women. He believes the changes almost ruined the show for those who loved the first season. But he said "for all that, there are still some good moments in these early hours, and the stuntwork remains impressive." He was also happy to see the scheduling changes keeping the show away from the Friday night death slot.[36] Some reviewers wondered what happened to the original theme music, with Ian Cullen going as far as to say that "the change of music in the opening title sequence just plain sucked."[36][37]


In the U.S. the series premiere attracted 10.12 million viewers,[38] and dropped to 7.24 million viewers for the season finale.[39] The first season averaged on 8.26 million viewers and became 48th in viewers.[40] In Canada the premiere was watched by 1.26 million people, ranking 21st in that week.[41]

The second season continued the drop in viewers and premiered to 6.59 million viewers.[42] Viewership increased for the final three episodes of the second season, when the show aired in special time slots. Notably, episode 12 which aired after American Idol, received 9.3 million viewers, a season-high, and the best ratings the series has had since the beginning of the first season.[43]

Awards and nominations

In 2010 Human Target was nominated for three Emmy Awards. Stunt coordinator Dean Choe received a nomination for "Outstanding Stunt Coordination" for the fifth episode "Run",[44] Bear McCreary for "Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music"[45] and Karin Fong, Jeremy O. Cox and Cara McKenney for "Outstanding Main Title Design".[46]

Home media releases

Human Target (Original Television Soundtrack — Season 1)
Soundtrack album by Bear McCreary
Released October 8, 2010 (2010-10-08) (2-disc set)
October 22, 2010 (2010-10-22) (3-disc set)
Genre Television soundtrack
Length 2:37:36 (2-disc set)
3:24:48 (3-disc set)
Label WaterTower Music (2-disc set)
La-La Land Records (3-disc set)

DVD and Blu-ray

Human Target – The Complete 1st Season was released as a widescreen three-disc region 1 DVD box set as well as a two-disc region free Blu-ray version on September 21, 2010. In addition to the 12 episodes of the season, which have an enhanced audio mix, a number of extras are included; several unaired and deleted scenes, an audio commentary by Mark Valley, Chi McBride, Jonathan E. Steinberg and Peter Johnson for the pilot episode and two featurettes; "Human Target: Full Contact Television" and "Human Target: Confidential Informant".[47] The set received a rating of 4.5 out of 5 from, with concerns expressed that "squeezing twelve episodes onto two discs takes a bit of a toll" and caused some artifacting. The site also questioned the use of a lossy 640 kbit/s audio track and the small number of special features, calling it "a tad pricey for twelve episodes".[48] By contrast, DVD Verdict said that the DVD's gave "a better-than average offering of supplements".[49]

To date, Warner Home Video has made no announcement on whether the second season will be released on DVD and/or Blu-Ray.


A two-disc soundtrack containing 43 tracks composed by Bear McCreary for the first season was released by WaterTower Music on October 8, 2010.[50] A limited three-disc soundtrack with an additional 20 tracks was released on October 22, 2010 by La-La Land Records.[51]


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