Mark L. Young (We’re The Millers) has landed a recurring role on HBO‘s The Comeback. The six-episode followup to the cult 2005 comedy starring Lisa Kudrow is set to return this fall. The original show starred Kudrow as washed-up sitcom actress Valerie Cherish, who gets a reality show documenting her attempt at a career comeback. In the new episodes, Valerie will continue her search to attain the spotlight. Young, repped by CAA and Velocity Entertainment Partners, will play Tyler Beck, Valerie’s nephew and USC film student who is part of the camera crew shooting Valerie around Hollywood. Young can next be seen in features Tammy and The Curse Of Downers Grove.
Jonathan Scarfe is set to heavily recur in the upcoming fourth season of AMCs Western drama series Hell On Wheels, from Entertainment One, Endemol USA and Nomadic Pictures. Scarfe, repped by Greene & Associates and More/Medavoy, will play Sydney Snow, an old war buddy to Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), who has a knack for getting himself and others into sticky predicaments.
Jake Weber (Medium, Dawn Of The Dead) has landed a series regular role on AMC‘s drama series Hell On Wheels, from Entertainment One, Endemol USA and Nomadic Pictures. Weber, repped by Paradigm and Framework, will play Harlan Fell, a former military doctor in the Union Army, sent West by Ulysses S. Grant. A respectable-seeming guy, Fell dreams of parlaying his medical degree into an empire, and will stop at nothing to get it. Weber recently completed a three-episode arc on Fox’s The Following. His feature credits include White House Down and The Haunting Of Molly Hartley. Hell On Wheels returns this summer for an expanded 13-episode fourth season. Read More »
Canadian country music singer and actress MacKenzie Porter has been cast as a series regular in AMCs Western drama series Hell On Wheels, from Entertainment One, Endemol USA and Nomadic Pictures. Porter, repped by Red Management in Canada and KLWGN Entertainment, will play Naomi, Cullen Bohannon’s (Anson Mount) wife and mother of his child who is torn between the restrictive Mormon way of life (all she’s ever known), and the exotic adventure promised by life with her gentile husband outside the Mormon fort. Principal photography on the series’ fourth season begins later this month in Calgary. Porter was last seen in the features Tom, Dick & Harriet and Killer Among Us.
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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 … Read More »
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 night’s opener delivered 3.3 million adults 25-54 and 3.6 million adults 18-49, second only to AMC’s mega-hit The Walking Dead in 18-49 across all cable. Immediately following Breaking Bad, the premiere of AMC’s new drama Low Winter Sun drew 2.5 million viewers, a solid number but less than half of the massive Breaking Bad lead-in. To close AMC’s first-ever three-premiere night, the Breaking Bad after-show Talking Bad debuted with 1.2 million viewers. On Saturday night, AMC’s Hell on Wheels returned with a two-hour season three premiere, delivering 2.5 million viewers, up 2% from the season two premiere, which aired on a Sunday, and double AMC’s Saturday primetime average.
Related: TCA Awards: ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘The Americans’ Nab Top Honors – Winners List
“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 on the show. They may consult. John Shiban continues as showrunner. The Gaytons had a two-year contract for Hell On Wheels, which is up. The two were very involved in the show early on, gradually focusing their attention on new projects — they recently sold a drama project to NBC.
The renewal comes on the heels of the Western drama wrapping its second season earlier this month with a solid average of 2.4 million viewers. That was down from the average of 3 million viewers for the show’s freshman season — but this time around, Hell On Wheels did not have blockbuster The Walking Dead as a lead-in and was impacted by the lack of AMC carriage on Dish Network.
Hell On Wheels, from Entertainment One and Endemol USA, is exec produced by Shiban, Jeremy Gold and David Von Ancken exec produce. eOne’s John Morayniss and Michael Rosenberg oversee production with Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes of Nomadic Pictures.
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) and closer (2.9 million). The period Western was hit with a double whammy as it aired against the closing ceremony of the London Olympics at a time when AMC’s viewership continues to suffer from the lack of carriage on Dish Network. Add to that the fact that Hell On Wheels is a self starter this time around vs. airing behind hit The Walking Dead last season and that its ratings declined for most of its freshman season, and the drop is not that surprising but still alarming for the drama’s long-term prospects if it follows a ratings trajectory similar to Season 1.
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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, Lela Rochon and Dawn Olivieri. The drama is based on a true story. A paroled white supremacist has just killed a cop, and takes a black family hostage over a long night of terror as authorities cordon off the neighborhood where he and his lady accomplice are laying low. Mount plays the role of Sobecki, a heavily tattooed maximum security prison inmate who’s the head of the Aryan Brotherhood and oversees his criminal empire from behind bars. He’s the kidnapper’s leader and not thrilled when he learns of his charge’s screw-up when he’s called in by authorities to negotiate with the kidnapper. This is Mount’s second film while on hiatus from Hell On Wheels, which returns for a second season this fall. He just completed Code Name: Geronimo for Tony Mark and Voltage Pictures, opposite Cam Gigandet, Freddie Rodriguez and William Fichtner. He’ll next be seen starring opposite Jason Statham in Lionsgate’s Safe, to be released April 26th. He’s repped by Innovative and Brookside Artist Management.
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. Hell On Wheels, developed by Endemol USA and produced by Entertainment One and Calgary-based Nomadic Pictures, got off to a strong start in November. It debuted with 4.4 million viewers, ranking as AMC’s second-highest-rated series premiere behind mega-hit The Walking Dead in total viewers as well as adults 18-49 and 25-54. Hell On Wheels has slipped since but consistently delivers more than 2 million viewers in first-run broadcasts, most recently 2.3 million last week. The series has aired 7 episodes of its freshman series to date, with Episode 8 slated for Jan. 1. Hell On Wheels is set in post-Civil War America circa 1865 and centers on a Confederate soldier (Anson Mount) who sets out to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who killed his wife. The series was created Joe and Tony Gayton who are executive producing with Endemol USA’s Jeremy Gold and showrunner John Shiban. David Von Ancken, who directed the pilot, also serves as an executive producer on the current first season. eOne’s Michael Rosenberg oversees production.