Here’s the first trailer for AMC‘s upcoming Revolutionary War series Turn. Written by Craig Silverstein, based on the book Washington’s Spies and directed by Rupert Wyatt, Turn is set in the summer of 1778 and tells the story of New York farmer Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), who bands together with a group of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring, an unlikely group of spies who turn the tide in America’s fight for independence. Seth Numrich, Heather Lind, Meegan Warner, Kevin McNally, Burn Gorman, Angus MacFadyen, JJ Field, and Samuel Roukin also star. Turn is slated to debut in the spring.
AMC has given pilot orders to dramas Knifeman and Galyntine. Both will be produced by AMC Studios next year for consideration for series for 2015. The scripts for Knifeman and Galyntine, along with White City, had been heating up for a pickup at AMC over the past month, with Knifeman and Galyntine now joining AMC pilot Line Of Sight.
Inspired by the biography of John Hunter by Wendy Moore, “The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching And The Birth of Modern Surgery,” Knifeman is set in 18th Century London. It tells the story of a charming, arrogant, decorum-breaking genius who challenges societal norms to transform his visions into cutting-edge discoveries. A surgeon or “barber” in a time when blood-letting and praying was the norm, John Tattersal is a hard drinking, hard living man not afraid to push the boundaries of modern medicine, even if it takes digging up a few graves to do it. While he makes his living running an unlicensed operating theatre out of his residence, he picks up extra cash harvesting organs for his brother Julian, favorite son and prized physician of the St. Stephen’s teaching hospital.
Western Canada could soon become a dead zone for The Walking Dead. In fact, as a complaint filed in U.S. federal court last week by Canadian telecom Telus reveals, all of AMC could be going dark for the company’s nearly 800,000 subscribers. Telus claims that AMC is playing rough to get better terms for its shows and that in the midst of carriage negotiations, the cable powerplayer breached the companies’ long-established deal by trying to pull the plug with a termination letter dated September 27. The lawsuit says AMC took it up a notch during talks by pledging to run a crawl during Sunday’s record-breaking Season 4 debut of Walking Dead warning Canadian viewers that they wouldn’t be able to see the conclusion of the series unless Telus agreed to a new deal by October 11. While the crawl never happened, this lawsuit in the Southern District of New York has. Although different in the details, this could end up being similar in consequences to the dispute AMC had with Dish Network last year that saw the satcaster boot the broadcaster off its systems for more than four months before a deal was reached.
BREAKING: Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg has re-upped for another four years through 2018, solidifying the distribution company. Ortenberg founded Open Road in 2011, backed by theater chains AMC and Regal. The move comes after Open Road extended its $100 million credit facility and set premium pay TV deals through Showtime and Netflix. Ortenberg’s deal was to scheduled to expire next year. “Working with AMC and Regal to establish Open Road Films — and growing the company over the past two and a half years — has been the most satisfying and exhilarating experience of my career,” Ortenberg said in a statement. “I could not be more proud of the job our team has done so far and I am looking forward to the future with great excitement.”
In Ortenberg, AMC and Regal got a savvy pro to launch a company designed to acquire and distribute wide release fare. Ortenberg previously served top posts at The Weinstein Company and Lionsgate. Open Road finds itself in an interesting position, given that one of its main wide release rivals, FilmDistrict, is being folded into Focus Features with the ascension of Peter Schlessel to take over the Universal-based prestige film label. It is unclear how that will impact competition, but even if Focus does more genre fare it gives Open Road room to breathe.
[SPOILER WARNING!] Not every Breaking Bad-watcher had glowing praise for last week’s historic, ratings-grabbing finale. Oliver Stone jumped on the Bad wagon just in time to see Walter White’s saga conclude in its fifth season. “I happen to not watch the series very much, but I happened to tune in and I saw the most ridiculous 15 minutes of a movie — it would be laughed off the screen,” he said while promoting his Showtime docu series The Untold History of the United States. Per Forbes the director went off in detail on the episode’s violent culmination.
The series finale of Breaking Bad Sunday officially laid to rest the AMC hit and drew a record 10.3 million viewers — though apparently it didn’t offer quite enough closure for some. The Albuquerque Journal ran a obituary on Bryan Cranston‘s anti-hero in today’s edition, appearing on Page A4 and paid for by the Facebook group “Unofficial Breaking Bad Fan Tour” and its leader David Layman. The series was shot in Albuquerque, which has become a tourist destinations for avid watchers of the show. Click over for the obit, in case you don’t want any spoilers…
It may be too much to say last night was the night cable overtook broadcast TV for good — as some media have claimed – but it sure felt that way today. It’s not like broadcasters have never competed on Sunday against numbers like the 10.3 million Breaking Bad attracted in its series finale — HBO’s The Sopranos used to log those crowds on a weekly basis. But broadcasters definitely did not anticipate the media hysteria over the Breaking Bad wrapup, to which they had contributed mightily — most recently in the form of a big fat plug on NBC’s highly hyped Saturday Night Live season debut the very night before BB’s swan song. Breaking Badsteria first erupted one week earlier with the series’ Best Drama Emmy win. Sucks to be CBS, which aired the trophy show that launched AMC’s monster Breaking Bad marketing campaign that did so much to send CBS’ Premiere Week Sunday into double-digit declines in the ratings. (CBS didn’t suffer alone; ABC and Fox experienced same.) Between Breaking Bad‘s Emmy win and Sunday’s finale, AMC unspooled a weeklong full-run-of-series marathon while TV critics scattered role petals in its path. (After the finale aired, the critics got down to the serious business of arguing as to whether Bryan Cranston’s Walter White was TV’s ultimate winner or loser, an American hero or Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning — and if the show’s wrap meant the end, or the dawn of a bright new day, for the economy of Albuquerque, where the show was shot.)
The Breaking Bad series finale went out with a bang last night, clocking 10.3 million viewers – a record for the iconic AMC series. The finale skyrocketed 300% over last year’s finale in the demo, capping a historic run for the basic cable network. After that, an expanded Talking Bad delivered 4.4 million viewers. “Breaking Bad is simply unique,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “It all starts with Vince Gilligan who really only ever asked for one thing – the opportunity to end the show on his own terms. That is exactly what Vince did last night and, as always, brilliantly so. Congratulations to Vince and to every single person involved in this remarkable journey. We’re proud that AMC will forever be known as the birthplace and home of this iconic show and, at the same time, we tip our Heisenberg hat to the fans who made this a truly shared experience.”
The show – a media darling, but considered something of a niche show based on ratings — had been clocking in the 3-4 million range during its run. But, heading into the final few episodes, the show’s ratings shot up. One week earlier, the penultimate episode premiered to nearly 7 million and the week before that pushed past 6 mil. Expect broadcasters to cite Breaking Bad’s record highs (not to mention Showtime’s Homeland and Masters Of Sex launches) when explaining last night’s Premiere Week Sunday launch lows. Clever advertisers had anticipated the ratings spike; AMC told out its ad inventory for the finale and some of those 30-se spots you saw in the show last night cost as much as $400,000, which puts them in Modern Family range. The network did a masterful job revving up the show’s super-fans, with a full-run-of-the-series marathon last week – which played out nicely right after the TV academy crowned BB the year’s best drama series.