There’s always been one universally accepted and unwritten rule of television scheduling that’s not in the Network Executiving for Dummies book: Don’t schedule new primetime programming on Saturday. Just don’t! Saturday is the day when Americans go out and spend all night being Americans and celebrating the freedom of the weekend, according to conventional wisdom. No one is even home to watch television, so just air infomercials and aging sketch shows (and Rules of Engagement).
But conventional wisdom doesn’t set trends, conventional wisdom isn’t a maverick, and conventional wisdom can suck it, says AMC. The basic cable network announced today that it’s moving its Western drama Hell on Wheels to Saturdays for the show’s third season, which premieres Saturday, August 3. Though banishment to Saturday is usually seen as a death sentence, this is is in no way a demotion for Hell on Wheels. According to AMC, the idea is to make Hells on Wheels the capper on the network’s longstanding tradition of airing Western movies on Saturdays.
“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,” AMC president Charlie Collier said in the network’s official statement. Oh sure, but what’s going to be the cowboy, Mr. Collier?
AMC’s move could be about more than just keeping a consistent theme, however. Television’s exponential growth in the last five years has meant a more crowded schedule from Sunday to Friday. Sunday night, where AMC normally programs its scripted originals, is a murderer’s row of quality television, and there isn’t a different day of the work week that’s particularly inviting for new shows. Logically, branching out to Saturdays makes sense with the economy keeping people inside more often on the weekends, DVRs time-shifting shows on viewers’ schedules, and viewers’ growing preference of online streaming. And Hell on Wheels, one of AMC’s lower-profile scripted dramas, is the perfect show to experiment with.
Jennifer Ferrin, who’s currently pursuing Kevin Bacon on The Following, is joining the third season of Hell on Wheels as a series regular, TVLine has learned exclusively.
The actress will play Louise Ellison, a smart, witty and flirtatious journalist hired by the New York Sun to cover the “story of the century” — the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Louise imbues her work with an element of human emotion as well as thorough, blunt, truthful fact-finding. She is strong and independent and demands to be treated with the same respect that any man in her position would be given.
The gig reunites Ferrin with her former Cape EP John Wirth, who was recently named Wheels‘ new showrunner.
In addition to The Following and The Cape, Ferrin’s resume includes stints on CBS’ late soap As the World Turns and ABC’s Life on Mars.
AMC’s period Western is slated to kick off its 10-episode third season this summer.
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.
This is the latest AMC series hit by major creator/showrunner departures. The Walking Dead‘s Frank Darabont left in Season 2, Rubicon creator/exec producer Jason Horwitch exited during production on its first and only season, and Hell On Wheels now is looking to continue without its creators and showrunner. Before joining Hell On Wheels, The X Files alum Shiban worked as a consulting producer on another AMC series from a former X Files writer-producer, Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad.
Hell On Wheels wrapped 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 Jeremy Gold and David Von Ancken.
AMC has renewed Hell On Wheels for a 10 episode third season, Deadline reports.
Raise hell indeed!
It’s been a long summer waiting for our favorite brooding cowboy to return to our TVs, but Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) is back and damn does he look good.
We’re just a few short weeks away from the season two premiere of AMC’s epic post-Civil War drama Hell on Wheels. And if you aren’t watching, well you should be. Cowboys, horses, gorgeous scenery and some fantastic drama, what’s not to love?
And if this new season poster, of a hot gun-slinging cowboy with eyes that could pierce your soul, doesn’t entice you to watch, well we don’t know what will.
The new season of Hell on Wheels follows Bohannon back into the lawless traveling town. Old enemies, new alliances, and the struggle for power while building a route West will continue with a vengeance. And guns, lots of guns.
Between Cullen Bohannon’s quest for retribution, Elam Ferguson’s (Common) struggle for freedom, Lily Bell’s (Dominique McElligott) resolve to survive in the West without her husband and Thomas Durant’s (Colm Meaney) determination to build a transcontinental railroad, the road West is paved in struggle and very good drama. And cowboys. Did we mention the hot brooding cowboys?
So drool over a dirty gun-wielding Anson Mount and set your DVRs. Season two of Hell on Wheels premieres August 12 at 9 p.m.
Can’t wait for the new season of Hell on Wheels? Dust off your cowboy hat and sound off in the comments!
Some people would call TV season over since all the primetime shows are officially on hiatus, but there’s still a crazy amount of good television coming our way in the summer!
We poked through the list of returning shows and brand spanking new series and chose ten of then that were are just dying to see during the sweltering months of the summer. That’s why air conditioning was invented, right?
Awkward, June 28 (MTV): Praise Ricky Schwartz (or, you know, don’t!), our quirky little show that could is finally coming back to us! Though Jenna (Ashley Rickards) chose good guy Jake (Brett Davern) over first love/bad boy Matty (Beau Mirchoff) in the finale, this epic high school love triangle is far from over. Plus, Jenna’s mama will also be getting a love triangle of her own when an old flame, played by Ringer’s Kris Polaha (swoon!) stops by! Oh, and you’re welcome.
Breaking Bad, July 15 (AMC): Um, how about Breaking Badass?! We’re talking about Walter White aka Heisenberg (Bryan Cranston), of course, who in the season finale revealed himself to be the most evil drug lord Albuquerque’s ever seen. If he’s willing to murder an innocent child, what could possibly be next? We can’t wait to find out.
Hell on Wheels, Aug. 12 (AMC): Where have all the moody cowboys gone? Or at least that’s how we think that song goes. With a cast to swoon over, a gorgeous setting and a vengeance-seeking lead that would make Emily Thorne proud, we can’t wait to see what might bring Cullen (Anson Mount) back to the railroad. And we’re happy to announce that our girl crush on the awesome Lily Bell (Dominique McElligott) has not abated over the hiatus.
Pretty Little Liars, June 5 (ABC Family): Mona (Janel Parrish) is ‘A’. The end, right? Wrong. Even though little miss crazy hair is locked up, Rosewood’s fab four are still going to be tormented this season by their text-message-loving bully. Or is it bullies? These girls just can’t seem to have peaceful small-town lives and we’ve gotta say, we wouldn’t have it any other way! This is one of the most intriguing mystery shows on TV and season three is going to be no exception.
So You Think You Can Dance, May 24 (Fox): Our beloved dance competition is being cut from two episodes a week to one (boo!), but they are making up for it by crowning two winners—a guy and girl. And we’re all winners when Cat Deeley brings the pretty to our TV screens.
Teen Wolf, June 3 (MTV): Need an update? Scott (Tyler Posey) and Allison (Crystal Reed) are the new Romeo and Juliet. Derek (Tyler Hoechlin) is the Alpha. Jackson (Colton Haynes) is now a werewolf. Lydia (Holland Roden) is now…something. Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) continues to be the best. As for us? We’re just counting down the days until this guilty pleasure comes roaring back into our lives.
The Newsroom, June 24 (HBO): Just based off the trailer alone we are intrigued, but the great Aaron Sorkin (perhaps you’ve heard of him) at the helm pretty much guarantees that HBO’s new series will be a must-watch in the summer. Oh, and the cast is nothing to sneeze at either. They had us at Sam Waterston.
True Blood, June 10 (HBO): Are you ready fangbangers? Because we can already tell that season five is going to be a rollercoaster ride of sheer awesomeness! SVU‘s Christopher Meloni joins the already genetically gifted cast as “The Authority,” and we’ll learn Tara’s (Rutina Wesley) fate. Meanwhile, Sookie (Anna Paquin) will gain control of her powers, and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) and Bill (Stephen Moyer) form the sexiest alliance ever. Oh, and Alcide (Joe Manganiello) takes his shirt off again. Need any more reasons to watch? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
White Collar, July 10 (USA): Matt Bomer. Matt Bomer. Matt Bomer. Did we mention Matt Bomer? Sure, it’s a great show that’s a blast to watch, but the fact that the star of it is a dreamy blue-eyed living Disney prince does not hurt a damn bit. Plus, the cliffhanger from last season makes the wait for the first episode back agonizing. We can’t wait to see what Neal is up to!
Wilfred, June 28 (FX): It’s the ultimate boy and his (lewd pot-smoking Australian) dog story. We love this wacky dark comedy so so much. And with Ryan’s (Elijah Wood) existential crisis in the first season’s end and Wilfred’s (Jason Gann) memory loss, we’re not quite sure how the two BFFs will be reunited. What is the smoke monster? Who are the others? Wilfred is at its best when things get really dark—like a dog with a god complex in the pouring rain—so we want to see things get weird. Bonus: Wilfred’s Bear will be back for season two. Don’t deny it, we know you’re excited about that.
AMC ANNOUNCES SUMMER PREMIERES FOR SCRIPTED AND UNSCRIPTED SERIES
“BREAKING BAD” PREMIERES SUNDAY, JULY 15 AT 10PM WITH 8 EPISODES
FINAL 8 EPISODES OF EMMY(R)-WINNING SERIES TO AIR SUMMER 2013
Network Also Debuts New Unscripted Series, “Small Town Security,” July 15 at 11pm
“Hell on Wheels” Season 2 Returns Sunday, August 12 at 9pm
New York – May 21, 2012 – AMC announced today its summer programming slate, including the highly anticipated premiere of the first part of “Breaking Bad’s” final season on Sunday, July 15 at 10pm ET/PT. The final season of the Emmy(R) Award-winning and critically acclaimed drama, produced by Sony Pictures Television, consists of 16 episodes, with the first eight episodes beginning July 15 and culminating with the series’ final eight episodes next summer 2013. Also this summer, the network debuts its newest unscripted series, “Small Town Security,” on Sunday, July 15 at 11pm ET/PT and season two of the epic western “Hell on Wheels” Sunday, August 12 at 9pm ET/PT.
Over four seasons, “Breaking Bad” has garnered a total of six Emmys(R) wins; a Peabody Award; it has been named to the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of the “Top 10 Programs of the Year” (2008, 2010, 2011); and been heralded as one of the best TV dramas on television. Filmed on location in Albuquerque, NM, the series stars 2008, 2009 and 2010′s Emmy(R) Award winner for Outstanding Lead Actor Bryan Cranston; 2010 Emmy(R) winner for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Aaron Paul; Anna Gunn; Dean Norris; Betsy Brandt; RJ Mitte; Bob Odenkirk; and Jonathan Banks. “Breaking Bad” is produced by High Bridge and Gran Via Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television for AMC. “Breaking Bad” Season 4 will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 5. For more information, visit http://www.sphepublicity.com
AMCTV.com recently posted the following clip featuring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul on set in Albuquerque: http://www.amctv.com/breaking-bad/videos/on-the-season-5-set-with-bryan-cranston-and-aaron-paul-breaking-bad
Immediately following “Breaking Bad” is AMC’s new unscripted series, “Small Town Security” (formerly “JJK Security”), which focuses on a small, family-owned private security company located in rural Georgia. Executive produced by Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver from Left/Right (“This American Life,” “Boomtown,” “Mob Wives”), season one consists of eight, half-hour episodes.
The second season of “Hell on Wheels” continues its epic story of post-Civil War America, focusing on Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), a former Confederate soldier, and his dramatic journey west as he struggles to leave his past behind. Executive produced by John Shiban (“Breaking Bad,” “The X-Files”), Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster, Uncommon Valor) and Endemol USA’s Jeremy Gold, the show depicts the traveling town known as ‘Hell on Wheels,’ a dangerous, raucous, lawless melting pot that follows and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. “Hell on Wheels” also stars Common as Elam Ferguson; Colm Meaney as Thomas “Doc” Durant; Dominique McElligott as Lily Bell; Christopher Heyerdahl as The Swede; and Robin McLeavy as Eva; Tom Noonan as Reverend Cole; Ben Esler as Sean McGinnes; Philip Burke as Mickey McGinnes; and Eddie Spears as Joseph Black Moon. The series is executive produced by Endemol USA with Entertainment One (eOne) serving as the studio. Season two consists of 10, one-hour episodes.