On a very competitive night that included HBO’s Game of Thrones season opener, CBS’s Academy of Country Music Awards and, yes, WrestleMania 30 on pay-per-view, AMC‘s new crunchy-gravel drama Turn logged a hefty 2.1 million viewers at 9 PM last night. With the repeat viewing at 10:30 PM, that crowd grew to a cumed 3 million viewers. Among the premiere telecast’s 2.1 mil were 669,000 demo viewers; with the 10:30 PM repeat factored in, that stat grows to 1.1 million. Even better, the quarterly stats throughout the 90-minute premiere remained consistent, which means viewers did not look at a few minutes of the period piece and respond “Yikes!”
AMC’s new Revolutionary War drama series Turn received a glowing presidential endorsement tonight as former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and his wife former first lady Barbara Bush hosted a private Houston, TX screening of the new show with the cast, executive producers Barry Josephson and Craig Silverstein and several AMC executives including president and general manager Charlie Collier in attendance. Turn, which debuts on Sunday, April 6 at 9pm ET, follows the story of Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a Long Island farmer who is integral in the creation of a spy ring that assists George Washington during the Revolutionary War. As the former head of the CIA, Bush was elated with Turn, exclaiming to the audience after the screening, “AMC put together a brilliant show, a fantastic cast, there’s one problem however, and that’s waiting till the next episode.”
EXCLUSIVE: Golden Boy co-star Stella Maeve has been cast as the lead opposite Gage Golightly in the CW pilot Company Town. Written by Sera Gamble and directed by Taylor Hackford, the CBS TV Studios project chronicles the aftermath of a scandal at a Naval base that touches the lives of both civilians and military personnel. It centers around two early twentysomething women — Krista (Golightly) and Page (Maeve) — who grew up together, were once best friends, but now are on opposite sides of the Townie/Military divide. For Maeve, the casting is in second position to Golden Boy, which airs on CW sibling CBS. In addition to her supporting role on the CBS drama, produced by Warner Bros, Maeve, repped by Abrams Artist, Principato Young and attorney Lev Ginsburg, did an arc on Grey’s Anatomy.
UPDATED: Ernie Hudson is in negotiations to co-star in ABC‘s drama pilot Reckless. Written/exec produced by Chris Black and directed/exec produced by Martin Campbell, the thriller centers on a resourceful problem solver who, when his wife is unjustly imprisoned during a political uprising overseas, resorts to entering a world of political intrigue, dangerous alliances and high emotional stakes in order to get her out. Hudson, repped by repped by The Marshak/Zachary Co. and Buchwald/Fortitude, will play a world-weary experienced CIA analyst who is being put out to pasture. He recurred on another ABC drama, Last Resort, this season.
Seth Numrich is in negotiations and British actor Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises) is set for AMC‘s period drama pilot Turn, written by Craig Silverstein and directed by Rupert Wyatt. Based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, Turn is set in the summer of 1778 and tells the story of New York farmer Abe Woodhull, 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. Gorman, repped by Management 360 and UK’s Independent Talent, will play Major Hewlett, a British Major, assigned to the Colonies. He will next be seen in Pacific Rim. Numrich, repped by Innovative and Principal Entertainment, will play Benjamin Talmadge, an outspoken, impassioned young man who is running reconnaissance missions for General Washington. He played the lead in Broadway’s War Horse.
Australian actors Meegan Warner and Daniel Henshall have become the first cast in AMC‘s period drama pilot Turn, written by Nikita creator/executive producer Craig Silverstein and directed by Rise Of The Planet of The Apes helmer Rupert Wyatt. Based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington’s Spies, Turn is set in the summer of 1778 and tells the story of New York farmer Abe Woodhull, 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.
AMC is ramping up scripted development with pilot orders to two period dramas: Turn, from Nikita creator/executive producer Craig Silverstein and Barry Josephson, and Halt & Catch Fire, from Breaking Bad executive producer Mark Johnson. The cable network already ordered two scripted pilots this year — Low Winter Sun and the untitled Richard LaGravenese/Tony Goldwyn project, marking the first time AMC had picked up two pilots at the same time. Now the network has greenlighted a whopping four pilots in the same year — that is almost as many AMC ordered in the five years it has been in the original programming business. Filming on Turn and Halt & Catch Fire is slated for next year, while Low Winter Sun and the LaGravenese/Goldwyn project recently completed production. I hear AMC brass won’t wait for Halt & Catch Fire and Turn to be done before making pickup decisions on the other two pilots. Halt & Catch Fire and Turn were among half a dozen scripts that participated in AMC’s pilot script showcase in April, along with Low Winter Sun and the LaGravenese/Goldwyn project, which got the nod. Turn and Halt & Catch Fire were kept in consideration, and are now joining the other two as pilots.