Being sent to Saturday nights doesn’t necessarily mean a death sentence. AMC drama Hell On Wheels proved it with its recent third season and is now being picked up for a fourth, which will consist of 13 episodes vs. 10 for the series’ first three cycles. Hell On Wheels will return next summer with John Wirth, who took over the show after Season 2, back as executive producer/showrunner.
AMC opened a third night of original programming this past summer when it opted to move period Western Hell On Wheels from the network’s signature original programming Sunday lineup to Saturdays. Airing with a 15-hour compatible lead-in, as AMC airs Western features and shows all day long on Saturday, Hell On Wheels delivered 3.3 million viewers in Live+3 for Season 3, slightly higher than its Season 2 average on Sunday and doubling AMC’s Saturday night prime audience. “John Wirth and his team on both sides of the camera delivered a remarkable third season and Hell On Wheels fans responded,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. “AMC has served passionate Western fans for three decades, so it is particularly gratifying to see these viewers capping off their Saturdays with an original Western on what has historically been a tough night of the week for television.” HOW, from Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures, is exec produced by Wirth, Mark Richard and Endemol Studios’ Gold, with eOne’s John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg and Nomadic’s Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes overseeing production. There is no decision yet on AMC’s low rated freshman Low Winter Sun.
It will be a monster last hurrah for AMC’s Breaking Bad, which opened its final eight-episode run last night with 5.9 million viewers, a series high that doubled the drama’s season five premiere last summer. Last … Read More »
“We’re telling better stories, better this year,” Hell On Wheels showrunner John Wirth (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), who is new to the show, told TV critics this afternoon at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013. Wirth’s the guy who came to the show after the creators’ contracts were not renewed and the guy who took their place took a powder three days later. Naturally press-tour attendees were eager to hear what the new guy had to say. Addressing the ballroom full of TV critics, reporters, bloggers, and tweeters, Wirth said he’s kept “virtually the same writing staff” but is taking a very different approach than that of creators Joe and Tony Gayton. “The show kicked off with revenge being the motivation. That gets wearisome for people over time,” Wirth said. “So we shifted gears…shifting more into an area of redemption, or as we call it, ‘reconstruction’. It’s opened the show, and made the characters more embraceable.”
Related: AMC Slots New Season Of ‘Hell On Wheels’ On Saturdays Read More »
UPDATE, FRIDAY PM: The producers of Hell On Wheels just made the call: The AMC series has started its hiatus, originally planned to begin next Thursday.The decision came after the set of the show got flooded by rising waters in the Calgary area. (Here is a picture of the set posted by Hell On Wheels star Anson Mount.) U.S. cast and crew are in the process of flying home from Calgary, which is under water following torrential mountain rains and is bracing for more flooding. The natural disaster has claimed its first victims as two bodies were recovered in the city of High River. Read More »
AMC will make Saturdays a third night of original programming with Hell On Wheels. The third season of the period Western will premiere on Saturday, August 3 at 9 PM and air on the night, once a popular destination for TV originals, which has rarely housed original series in the past decade. Meanwhile, AMC has established Saturdays as a destination for Westerns, airing acquired series and movies in the genre for over a decade. Along with the scheduling of Hell On Wheels, the cable network has picked up a selection of classic Western films from Paramount Pictures for Saturdays, including El Dorado (1967), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), The Shootist (1976) and The Sons Of Katie Elder (1965). “A new episode of Hell On Wheels on Saturday night after a full day of western fan favorites is going to be like the saddle on top of the horse,” said Charlie Collier, President and General Manager, AMC. “This is a programmer’s dream – to have a genre specific, 14-hour lead-in to one of your highest rated originals. The move follows AMC’s recent expansion into Thursdays with an all-unscripted lineup. Sunday remains AMC’s signature night of original programming where its other scripted dramas air. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The power vacuum at the top of AMC‘s Hell On Wheels has been filled. Veteran John Wirth has been tapped as executive producer/showrunner of the the Western drama. With him on board, the series, from Entertainment One, Endemol USA and Nomadic Pictures, is back on track with a third season renewal, and will proceed with production on 10 new episodes to premiere in third quarter of 2013. Wirth’s start date is undetermined as he is wrapping up his services on TNT’s Falling Skies where he has been working as consultant. “As we gear up for season three of Hell On Wheels we are pleased to have such an accomplished showrunner as John Wirth join our team,” said Susie Fitzgerald, AMC’s SVP of scripted development and current programming. “With the help of our partners at Entertainment One, Endemol and Nomadic, we look forward to a new season of the poetic and pulpy adventures of Cullen Bohannan and the other characters as they build the railroad across the US.” Read More »
UPDATE 1:40 PM: AMC just issued a statement confirming that Hell On Wheels showrunner John Shiban has left and that the series’ third season renewal is now contingent on hiring a new showrunner approved by the network. In a statement, Shiban called the departure “a difficult decision.” Read both statements below my original post:
EXCLUSIVE 11:50 AM: There is some behind-the-scenes drama on AMC‘s Hell On Wheels. The Western drama on Monday was given a 10-episode third-season renewal, but it was picked up without its creators/executive producers Joe and Tony Gayton, who left their day-to-day duties on the show when their contract was not renewed. (They may consult.) At the time, AMC said John Shiban would continue as executive producer/showrunner. Now I hear that veteran showrunner Shiban has informed the network that he won’t be coming back after two years on the show. As a result, I hear Hell On Wheels‘ pickup has been put on hold until a new showrunner is found. Read More »
UPDATED: I’ve learned that AMC has given a 10-episode third season renewal to Hell On Wheels. However, the Western drama’s creators Joe and Tony Gayton are stepping down as executive producers and will no longer be involved day-to-day … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: While AMC is pondering the future of Hell On Wheels, the Western drama series’ creators/executive producers Tony and Joe Gayton have sold another drama project to NBC.
The project, produced by 20th Century Fox TV and Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy’s studio-based 21 Laps/Adelstein Prod., follows the escapades of Kyle Jones, a recent college grad who can’t find a job and who finds himself forced to courier cash for criminals. After outsmarting the criminals and delivering the cash to their boss, Kyle is offered a job in the organization and the adventure ensues. The Gaytons will write the script and executive produce with Adelstein, Levy and Becky Clements as well as New Wave’s Brian Volk-Weiss, Matt Ochacher, and Michael Pelmont. Read More »
The second season premiere of AMC’s Hell On Wheels last night drew 2.5 million total viewers; 793,000 of them in the 18-49 demographic; 1 million in 25-54. That was down from the series’ first season opener (4.3 million) … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Anson Mount, the protagonist of the AMC series Hell On Wheels, has signed on to play a nasty villain in the indie racial drama Supremacy. The Deon Taylor-directed drama also stars Danny Glover, Joe Anderson, Derek Luke, Evan Ross, … Read More »
AMC Renews ‘Hell On Wheels’ For Season 2
December 27, 2011 – AMC has announced the renewal of Hell on Wheels for a second season. The original series reigns as the second highest rated series on AMC, averaging 3.2 million viewers and 1.5 million Adults 25-54.* Season one’s finale is Sunday, January 15th at 10pm EST. Hell on Wheels is created and written by Joe and Tony Gayton, who also serve as executive producers. John Shiban, Jeremy Gold, Endemol’s SVP of scripted programming and David Von Ancken, who also directed the pilot, serve as executive producers. The series is executive produced by Endemol USA with Entertainment One serving as the studio. eOne’s Television CEO John Morayniss and EVP series television Michael Rosenberg oversee production in partnership with co-producers Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes at Nomadic Pictures.
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EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that AMC has renewed its newest series, period Western Hell On Wheels, for a second season. That means that 5 out of the network’s 6 original scripted series to date have now gone beyond their maiden season. … Read More »
AMC today released the first trailer for the new original series Hell on Wheels, which begins production May 16 in Calgary. Created, written and executive produced by Joe and Tony Gaytons, the series is described as a contemporary Western that centers on former confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), whose … Read More »