‘666 Park Av­enue’:

10 p.m. Sun­day, Chan­nel 4

TV Week - - FRONT PAGE -

It’s prob­a­bly not a co­in­ci­dence that “666 Park Av­enue,” a new sus­pense drama, opens in a glit­ter­ing New York concert hall where an el­e­gantly dressed au­di­ence lis­tens to a clas­si­cal per­for­mance. The or­ches­tra’s con­cert­mas­ter is in the mid­dle of ne­go­ti­at­ing a tricky vi­o­lin pas­sage when sud­denly the strings of his in­stru­ment be­gin cut­ting into his fin­gers, as if dipped in acid. Grit­ting his teeth in pain and mount­ing ter­ror, the mu­si­cian man­ages to get through the pas­sage as drops of blood fly onto the mu­sic pages. In the au­di­ence, Gavin Do­ran (Terry O’Quinn, “Lost”) and his beau­ti­ful wife, Olivia (Vanessa Wil­liams, “Des­per­ate Housewives”), smile enig­mat­i­cally.

Suf­fice it to say that vi­o­lin­ist’s night quickly goes from bad to the worst imag­in­able, but that so­phis­ti­cated open­ing sets the tone for this se­ries set in the Drake, a stately New York high-rise that seems to have a mind of its own. The show doesn’t stint on oc­ca­sional jolts of hor­ror, but “666 Park Av­enue” is more in­ter­ested in in­duc­ing a sense of mount­ing dread, much like “Rose­mary’s Baby,” an­other hor­ror clas­sic set in an eerie old New York apart­ment build­ing.

Gavin, a real es­tate en­tre­pre­neur, owns the Drake, where he and Olivia se­duce at least some of the res­i­dents into en­ter­ing into in­fer­nal bar­gains to achieve their hearts’ de­sires. Of course, even­tu­ally pay­ment comes due, usu­ally in the form of the per­son’s life and/or soul. That’s why, as the se­ries opens, there’s an open­ing for a new build­ing man­ager (the pre­vi­ous one, we are told, re­cently “moved to a warmer cli­mate”). En­ter young cou­ple Jane Van Veen and Henry Martin (Rachael Tay­lor, Dave Annable), who jump at the chance to live and work in the op­u­lent world of the Drake. What they don’t know is that Gavin and Olivia al­ready are plot­ting a way to get their hooks into them.

O’Quinn, who won an Emmy for his work on “Lost,” ad­mits he isn’t a fan of hor­ror him­self, but he thinks the stylish chills of this new se­ries may click with view­ers.

“I think it feels like a bit of throw­back, and the more we shoot, the more it feels that way,” he says. “It’s get­ting bet­ter ev­ery week, I must say. I think that sense (of evok­ing clas­sic hor­ror of the past) is in­ten­tional, and they’re do­ing a re­ally good job of it.”

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