Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

AMC lost the phenomenal Breaking Bad this year, and they're losing the prestigious Mad Men in 2015 (it would have been next year, had they not decided to split the final season), so they're on the hunt for new hits. The Walking Dead is a ratings juggernaut that beggars belief, so they're working on a spin-off nobody was demanding, but clearly they need to start thinking about their future. After all, nobody really cares about their Western drama Hell on Wheels (although It keeps being renewed in lieu of anything better to replace it with), and The Killing's has now been offloaded to Netflix for an improbable fourth season.

So the big hopes for AMC rest with pilot orders for Knifeman, Galyntine, White City, Line of Sight, Halt & Catch Fire, and Turn.

Knifeman is based on the biography of 18th-century London doctor John Hunter; a hard-drinking genius physician who broke new ground in the world of anatomy by performing autopsies on corpses stolen from graves. The pilot is written by Rolin Jones (Low Winter Sun). I'm imagining a Victorian version of Master of Sex, given the pioneering science aspect... only with more blood n' guts and less rumpy-pumpy?

Galyntine is a sci-fi drama about a future society that has shunned technology after a particularly nasty technology-induced disaster. It sounds similar to NBC's Revolution, but hopefully the differences will be starker than they initially appear. It will be hard to launch a show with a similar premise to a show already on-air, that isn't exactly a ratings heavyweight. It seems Galyntine will have a more global viewpoint, so there's that. It's written by Jason Cahill (Halt and Catch Fire), co-produced by Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead), and executive produced by David Zucker and Ridley Scott.

White City is another new drama, following Western diplomats and journalists living and working in Afghanistan.

Line of Sight, created by Blake Masters, with a pilot directed by Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs), concerns a National Transportation Safety Board investigator (played by The Walking Dead's David Morrissey) who survives a mysterious plane crash and resolves to find the cause. It had better be damned mysterious to fuel an ongoing weekly drama, right?

Halt & Catch Fire is a 1981-set drama about the personal computing boom, seen through the eyes of a visionary (Pushing Daisies' Lee Pace), an engineer (Scott McNairy) and a prodigy (Mackenzie Davis). I've read very favourable reviews of the script for this one.

Turn, based on the book Washington Spies by Alexander Rose, concerns a group of 18th-century spies who fight for America's independence. The pilot is directed by Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), written by Juan Jose Campanella.

Oh, and there's also that potential Preacher pilot from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, based on the explicit and violent 1990s supernatural comic-book, which will hopefully launch a series. I'm excited, until I remember the Rogen and Goldberg pairing wrote 2011's The Green Hornet.

What are your first impressions of that line-up? I really want Preacher as a companion piece to The Walking Dead, and have high hopes for Halt & Catch Fire. Knifeman also sounds interesting, as does Galyntine (provided it feels separate to what Revolution is doing). Care to share your own thoughts below?