Despite speculation of a July return date, AMC’s spectacular Breaking Bad will not return until almost mid-August (August 11th at 9 p.m., to be exact). The series will conclude its run with eight episodes, the back half of its fifth season, and serve as a lead-in to new drama series Low Winter Sun. Also, AMC will be adding Talking Bad (like Talking Dead), a half-hour live after-show that will discuss and dissect the events of the Breaking Bad episode earlier that night.
AMC also announced the renewals of its unscripted programs Talking Dead, Comic Book Men and Freakshow, as well as the premiere dates for Small Town Security, Showville, The Pitch and Owner’s Manual. Hit the jump for all of the details, plus a rundown of the cable network’s new original programming (heaps of it!) that’s currently in development, including the recently announced sci-fi series Ballistic City from director Joseph Kosinski and screenwriter Travis Beacham.
AMC has a whopping seven new scripted series in development, almost all of which are period dramas: King seems to deal with all of the racial issues of the 1960s Mad Men left behind, The Wall sounds reminiscent of FX’s The Americans, and the Dahvi Waller project has shades of Boardwalk Empire.
On the flip side, AMC doesn’t have a great record for worthwhile reality series, but it has four more in development that might have a chance, particularly Chris Hardwick‘s (Talking Dead) All-Star Celebrity Bowling. In addition to hosting Talking Dead, Hardwick also hosts BBC America’s The Nerdist, and is always a good bet for engaging programming.
All together, It’s an ambitious (and promising) slate.
The following press release also gives the premiere date information for many returning shows as well as specific information about all of those in development:
Note: All show titles are Working Titles
· “Ballistic City”
Writer and Executive Producer: Travis Beacham (Clash of the Titans, Pacific Rim); Executive Producer and Director: Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion), Executive Producers: Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Michael Sugar of Anonymous Content (Oblivion)
A futuristic drama, “Ballistic City” is the story of a former cop thrust into the criminal underworld of a city housed in a generational space ship destined for an unknown world.
Executive Producers: Joe Scarborough (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”) and Mika Brzezinski (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”); Writers and Executive Producers: Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider (“Boardwalk Empire,” “The Sopranos”)
In the early 1960s, Floridian King Carmichael sells his soul to a corrupt, racist political machine to win a seat in the Senate. Having run as a segregationist, he is then tapped by Lyndon B. Johnson to champion civil rights in the South.
Writer and Executive Producer: Allison Anders (Gas, Food, Lodging, Mi Vida Loca) and Terry Graham; Co-Executive Producer: Shana Eddy
Set in 1950 in Ashland, a tiny mining town in Kentucky, the Evans family has just relocated from California and the matriarch, Del, must hide her family’s secrets and find a way to support her three children at the height of the Red Scare.
· “White City”
Executive Producer: Tom Freston (MTV); Writers and Co-Executive Producers: Nick McDonell (Twelve, The Third Brother, An Expensive Education) and John Dempsey
The drama series follows western diplomats and journalists living in Afghanistan.
· “Untitled Dahvi Waller Project”
Writer and Executive Producer: Dahvi Waller (“Mad Men”)
Set against the New York automobile industry of the 1920s, two brothers struggle to keep their family-run company afloat with a class-hopping Ziegfeld girl and the daughter of an English competitor blurring the line between love and business.
· “Untitled Tim Lea/Anonymous Content Project”
Writer and Executive Producer: Tim Lea (“Flash Forward,” “The Riches”); Executive Producers: David Kanter and Matt DeRoss of Anonymous Content (Winter’s Bone, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
In America’s near future, one family is nearly torn apart in the conflict between a repressive government and the emerging movement for a second American Revolution.
· “The Wall”
Writers and Executive Producers: Jim Keeble and Dudi Appleton (Thorne); Executive Producer: Red Arrow; Executive Producer: Alan Greenspan (Donnie Brasco, High Fidelity)
In 1960s Berlin, an American businessman becomes embroiled in a web of East-West espionage.
Note: All show titles are Working Titles.
· “Majority Rules”
Produced by ALL3 Media America; Executive Producers: Stephen Lambert, Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman
“Majority Rules” is a docu-style, unscripted series that celebrates the American democratic process. At the most grass root level, whether it’s an election for president of the birdwatchers club or a small-town city council, it will take a light-hearted look at democracy at work as the candidates vie for votes – because, in America — Majority Rules
· “All-Star Celebrity Bowling”
Produced by High Noon Productions; Executive Producers: Chris Hardwick and Peter Levin of Nerdist; Executive Producers: Jim Berger and Patrick Jager from High Noon
“All-Star Celebrity Bowling” is the battle royale of celebrity talk shows – an unscripted, hilarious, tongue-in-cheek format that features celebrity bowling matches. In each episode, celebrity teams compete to win big money for charity while letting loose and showing how even the highest profile stars can get competitive, while letting fans in on their lives and current projects.
Produced by Lion Television; Executive Produced by Tony Tackaberry and Allison Corn
“Cancelled” is a social experiment that will attempt to determine just how far people will really go for fame. Over the course of eight weeks, six households will be outfitted with cameras that will give them the chance to compete for ‘ratings’ that will determine which household has the most-watched reality show.
This news comes on the heels of AMC’s recent greenlight for the pilot of “Geek Out,” an unscripted project that takes the ultimate super-fan of a specific film, comic book, author, actor, athlete, musician, video game, or television series on an adventure that emotionally connects them to their obsession. Ernest Cline, best-selling author, screenwriter and fanboy aficionado co-hosts and serves as executive producer with ThinkFactory Media’s (“Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” “Hatfields & McCoys”) Leslie Greif, Adam Freeman, Adam Reed and Dan Farah under his Farah Films banner.
NEW SPRING & SUMMER PROGRAMMING PREMIERES
· Thursday, May 9 at 10PM – “Small Town Security” Season 2
Produced by Left/Right Films (“This American Life,” “Boomtown,” “Mob Wives”); Executive Producers: Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver
“Small Town Security” explores the inner workings of a small, family-run security and private investigation company inRinggold, Georgia called JJK Security. The series returns for a second season of straight-up and serious security work, love triangles with a twist, sarcasm served over easy, and a generous helping of stranger-than-fiction scatological humor that will draw you in and make you look away, all at the same time. Season one premiered in July 2012 to critical acclaim, with USA Today hailing it as a reality show that “manages to defy the stereotype” and the Associated Press saying it “bristles with authenticity even as it feels deliriously (and sometimes hilariously) hyper-real with its larger-than-life characters.”
The season two premiere will be preceded by a marathon of all eight episodes from season one beginning at 6PM.
· Thursday, May 23 at 9PM – “Showville”
Produced by Storyvision Entertainment and distributed by Sony Pictures Television; Executive Producer: Laurie Girion (“Cheerleader Nation,” “Welcome to Sweetie Pies”
Fame meets Main on AMC’s new unscripted competition series, “Showville.” The series centers around a small town talent show featuring local acts, who get the chance of a lifetime to be in the spotlight. “Showville” is a celebration of performing, and a fond, funny look at the lives, workplaces and families of these acts and what happens to them when Hollywood comes to town. Each week, a one-hour episode of “Showville” touches down in a quintessentially American small town and puts together a talent show in a mere four days.
· Sunday, August 11 at 9PM – “Breaking Bad” kicks off its final eight episodes
Produced by Sony Pictures Television; Creator and Executive Producer: Vince Gilligan; Executive Producer: Mark Johnson (Gran Via); Executive Producer: Michelle MacLaren
“Breaking Bad” has garnered seven Primetime Emmy® Award wins and a Peabody, and been named to the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of the “Top 10 Programs of the Year” (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012). The explosive series that The Hollywood Reporter called “one of the greatest dramas in TV history,” returned to AMC for the first part of its final season on July 15, 2012 with its most watched episode to date with 2.9 million viewers (up 14% over the season four premiere). “Breaking Bad” stars three-time Emmy® Award-winner Bryan Cranston; two-time Emmy® winner Aaron Paul; Anna Gunn; Dean Norris; Betsy Brandt; RJ Mitte and Bob Odenkirk.
· Sunday, August 11 at 10PM – “Low Winter Sun”
Co-production from Endemol Studios and AMC Studios; Executive Producer and Writer: Chris Mundy (“Criminal Minds,” “Cold Case”)
Starring Mark Strong (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, Zero Dark Thirty) and Lennie James (“The Walking Dead,” “Jericho,” Snatch), “Low Winter Sun” is a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption in a world where the line between cops and criminals is blurred. The series begins with the murder of a cop by a fellow Detroit detective. Seemingly the perfect crime, in reality the murder activates forces that will forever alter the detective’s life, and pull him into the heart of theDetroit underworld. The ten-episode series is based on the 2006 award-winning British two-part mini-series of the same name written by Simon Donald and produced by Tiger Aspect Productions (an Endemol Company)
· Thursday, August 15 at 9PM – “Owner’s Manual”
Produced by Asylum Entertainment (“The Kennedys,” “Addicted,” “The Locator”); Executive Producers: Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch and Alex Piper
“Owner’s Manual” will test one of the most common divides among man – those who read the owner’s manual and those who do not. Representing each side of this divide, Ed Sanders (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”) and Marcus Hunt (HGTV’s “Hammer Heads”) are put to the test in a weekly challenge where they attempt to operate today’s most advanced, dangerous and powerful machinery and technology – from a stunt plane to an off-road racing car to a locomotive, and more. With opposing points of view and conflicting methods of practice — one man works strictly from the rule book, while the other uses only his instincts — the real test will be how this “everyman” duo can collaborate to accomplish their challenge.
The series premiere will feature two new episodes, back-to-back, from 9-10pm, with one new episode and one repeat episode airing from 9-10pm each week thereafter.
· Thursday, August 15 at 10PM – “The Pitch”
Produced by All3Media America (“Undercover Boss”); Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert, Aaron Saidman and Domini Hoffman
“The Pitch” chronicles numerous interesting characters as they prepare unique creative campaigns, with big personal stakes, at their advertising agencies to try and win a major new piece of business. The show focuses on the characters who are putting their best work forward and shows the personal stakes involved in winning each client. “The Pitch” first premiered on AMC in April 2012 and earned a Critic’s Choice nomination for Best Reality Series – Competition.
As previously announced, the network will also debut the third seasons of its scripted dramas “The Killing,” which kicks off with a special two-hour premiere on Sunday, June 2 at 8PM and “Hell on Wheels” on Saturday, August 3 at 9PM. Following its two-hour premiere, “The Killing” will return to its regular time on Sundays at 9pm.
· “Talking Dead” renewed for a third season
Produced by: Embassy Row; Executive Producers: Michael Davies and Jen Kelly
AMC’s live after show, hosted by Chris Hardwick (Nerdist; G4), serves as a platform for discussion of the network’s hit series “The Walking Dead.”
· “Comic Book Men” renewed for a third season
Produced by Original Media (“LA Ink,” “Storm Chasers,” “Swamp People”); Executive Producers: Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy), Charlie Corwin, Elyse Seiden (Red State) and Brian Nashel
The series follows the crew of fan boys from Kevin Smith’s iconic comic shop, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, as they geek-out over rare memorabilia and discover treasures of the comic collecting world.
· “Freakshow” renewed for a second season
Produced by Endemol USA; Executive Producers:R. Greg Johnston and Todd Ray
“Freakshow” follows Todd Ray’s quirky family business — the Venice Beach Freakshow. Leaving behind a successful career in the music industry, Todd realized his true passion: bringing together all things bizarre and unique, including two-headed animals, strange artifacts, eccentric performers and human wonders.