AMC has decided to renew its Reconstruction-Era Western drama Hell on Wheels for another season, despite speculation that the final episode of its current season was potentially its last. The series itself seemed to be unsure of its future by concocting a season finale that could have reasonably acted as a series finale. In fact, given the ways things left off, it may difficult to see where a third season would even take the show.
Hell on Wheels‘ viewer numbers suffered this year thanks to a lack of The Walking Dead as a strong lead-in, as well as the kerfuffle with Dish Network, which dropped AMC for several months. For more on the show’s second season (spoiler-free!), hit the jump.
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. After a plot-based first season, Season 2 is focusing much more on the characters, their histories and their ambitions, where they come from and what makes them tick. The show also stars Common, Colm Meaney, Dominique McElligott and Christopher Heyerdahl.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, actor Anson Mount talked about how Hell on Wheels is really a show about ambition and where those ambitions come from, that his character starts in a more savage place this season, how the best part of the job is getting to be on a horse, on an almost daily basis, that Cullen Bohannon has both a hero and a villain in him, how he’s never had so much freedom, in film or television, where the relationships will be progressing this season, and what it’s been like to have such great directors on the show. He also talked about how he came to be in the ABC pilot for the mid-season drama series Red Widow, from Melissa Rosenberg (writer of The Twilight Saga franchise), about one woman’s (Radha Mitchell) dangerous journey into the world of organized crime, all in the name of keeping her family safe. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
The first two episodes of AMC’s post-Civil War Western drama Hell on Wheels almost immediately remedies everything that made it likable but ultimately very uneven fare last year. I reviewed that first season knowing the series was not Deadwood and couldn’t be, but given the similarities of timeframe and location, comparisons were inevitable. Though Hell on Wheels‘ primary protagonist Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), a Confederate vigilante, shares somewhat similar emotional reluctant-hero complexities with Deadwood’s Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), railroad magnate Doc Durant (Colm Meaney) is no Al Swearengen (Ian McShane). There are plenty of character parallels to be drawn, and Deadwood wins almost all of them, but it doesn’t mean Hell on Wheels isn’t good television. It’s just not great television. At least, it wasn’t. But its second season is already looking up. Hit the jump for why you should consider tuning in for another dose of this worthy Western.
Earlier this month, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul teased the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad, and now AMC has officially announced the premiere date for the drama series this summer. The first eight episodes of the final season will begin airing on July 15th at 10/9c, and the final eight episodes will air sometime in the summer of 2013. I thought the break between the second season of The Walking Dead was brutal for fans, but this just almost seems cruel.
Following in the criminal footsteps of Cranston and Paul will be a low level team of law enforcement in Small Town Security. Details on the new series, as well as the return of Hell on Wheels can be found after the jump.
AMC continues their commitment-high track record as they’ve renewed this year’s freshman series Hell on Wheels. The cable network has now picked up 5 of their 6 original scripted series for further seasons, with Rubicon being the outlier. The post-Civil War-set show debuted to a strong 4.4 million viewers, and has aired seven out of the season’s 10 episodes so far. Deadline first reported the pick-up, and notes that while the series’ ratings have subsequently dropped, it still pulls in around 2 million per episode. I wasn’t particularly taken with the pilot and didn’t have the drive to stick around, but it appears the show definitely has an audience. The Walking Dead returns for the final six episodes of its second season in February, followed by the premiere of the fifth season of Mad Men (FINALLY!) on March 16th.
On the AMC Western drama Hell on Wheels, actor Christopher Heyerdahl plays Thor Gundersen, also known as The Swede, who is Thomas Durant’s (Colm Meaney) ruthless head of security. His tactics help him maintain a degree of control over the chaotic traveling town, but he abuses his power to extort money from its residents.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Christopher Heyerdahl talked about how he came to be a part of Hell on Wheels, what he enjoys about playing such a complex and complicated character as The Swede, that he’s developed the character through extensive research both in books and in his own Norwegian heritage, and the challenge of shooting the Western concurrently with his SyFy series Sanctuary. He also talked about playing the ancient Volturi vampire Marcus in the Twilight Saga films, the deleted scene from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 that he hopes will end up on the DVD, what audiences can look forward to with Breaking Dawn – Part 2, and what it’s been like to have the support of genre fans. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
On the new AMC Western series Hell on Wheels, actor Anson Mount plays Cullen Bohannon, a former soldier hell bent on avenging his wife’s death. Cullen starts out as a fractured and broken man, as a result of the rape and murder of his wife and the loss of his homeland, but soon becomes torn between the cycle of revenge he has unleashed and wanting to end all of the violence.
During a recent interview, Anson Mount talked about creating a character with morals and values from the past, the joy of playing such a bad-ass, and how much fun it is to live out childhood fantasies of playing cowboys and Indians. He also talked about the decision he made three years ago to change the career path that he was on, that he’d love to work with David Lynch, and how he’d like to put on 35 pounds and play The Doors frontman Jim Morrison in the last week of his life. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
The AMC television series Hell on Wheels is a contemporary Western that centers on former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount), whose quest for vengeance has sent him on the hunt for the Union soldiers who have killed his wife. He ends up in a dangerous and lawless town that travels with and services the westward construction of the Union Pacific – the first transcontinental railroad. The series documents the railroad’s engineering and construction, as well as the immigrant experience and the plight of newly emancipated African-Americans during Reconstruction, while showing just how brutal and corrupt it all was. The show also stars Colm Meaney, Common, Dominique McElligott, Ben Esler, Phil Burke and Eddie Spears.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, show creators/executive producers/writers Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster) talked about how Hell on Wheels came about, the three-year journey it has taken to reach viewers, the challenges of telling the story of their own set of characters in the historical context of building the railroad, what made Anson Mount their leading man, and just how violent the series will get. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
After making their original programming debut with the Emmy-winning miniseries Broken Trail back in 2006, AMC makes their return to the western genre with Hell on Wheels, a new drama series that aims to follow in the successful footsteps of series like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. Though a mostly strong cast and compelling story make for decent television, the series premiere feels like a weaker version of Deadwood without the raw energy, violence and language that made the HBO series pack a much more potent punch. Of course, the series isn’t devoid of quality or entertainment with stunning locations, remarkable production design, and a tone and style that is all too fitting of AMC’s current dramatic line-up of slow burning, but genuinely engaging original content. More after the jump!
On the new AMC Western series Hell on Wheels, actor Colm Meaney plays Thomas “Doc” Durant. Based on a real life character, Durant is a rich entrepreneur taking full advantage of the changing times, as he becomes more and more concerned about his place in history.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, Colm Meaney talked about how he thought the pilot for Hell on Wheels was one of the best things he’s ever read, how good writing is very easy to learn and perform, that Durant is a man on a quest, and how show creators Joe and Tony Gayton have been a tremendous help in the research for the time period. He also talked about another historical story he’s a part of, with the drama feature Bel Ami (starring Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci), what it’s like to have been a part of Star Trek (with The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine), and why he loves returning to the theater. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
On the new AMC Western series Hell on Wheels, Irish actress Dominique McElligott plays Lily Bell, a newly widowed woman trying to survive in a man’s world. After the death of her husband, Lily has the desire to fulfill her husband’s dream, which ultimately becomes her own dream, as she slowly gains respect in a world where even the toughest of men would fail.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, Dominique McElligott talked about doing her first American television series, how the authenticity and complexity of Hell on Wheels really appealed to her, that she loves playing the strong outsider on an emotional journey, that the average lifespan for the real women who arrived in Hell on Wheels (what they called the traveling town that serviced the construction of the first transcontinental railroad) was only 17 months, and how the challenge of working out in the elements while weighted down by the costumes and covered with mosquito bites only adds to her performance. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
Though I’m still getting over the fact that we have to wait almost another year for the return of Breaking Bad, more great television is (hopefully) just around the corner. A new trailer has been released for AMC’s new series Hell on Wheels. The show takes place in post-Civil War America and tells the story of a former confederate soldier whose quest for vengeance leads him westward to work on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad (wheels, get it?). AMC’s got a pretty great track record, and I like the idea of a serialized Western, so I’m definitely looking forward to checking this out.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Hell on Wheels premieres on AMC Sunday, November 6th, at 10/9c.
Prior to the AMC presentation at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, Joel Stillerman – Senior Vice President of Original Programming, Production and Digital Content for the network – took some time to give some status updates and talk about some of the already established and much-talked about AMC series, including The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Killing and the upcoming western drama Hell on Wheels. Here are the most interesting points:
- Season 5 of Mad Men starts filming on August 8th, with show star Jon Hamm making his directorial debut.
- Glenn Mazzara is indeed taking over as showrunner for Season 2 of The Walking Dead, now that Frank Darabont has departed the series.
- AMC is still on track with filming for The Walking Dead, allowing them to make their already announced October 16th premiere for Season 2.
- If they had known the strongly negative reaction the ending of The Killing was going to cause with fans, they would have handled the marketing of Season 1 differently.
- Although AMC is pleased with the performance of the current season of Breaking Bad, there has been no Season 5 pick-up yet.
Hit the jump for a lot more:
Back in December we learned that AMC had picked up a new western drama called Hell on Wheels for 10-episode first season. This will be their first return to the western genre since their first original programming, Broken Trail. Now with a whole slew of successful shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad in their backpocket, it appears AMC knows no bounds as this new series looks like another winner. The series follows the story of a former confederate soldier Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount) whose quest for vengeance has led him westward to work on the construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad. No date is set, but the series will premiere sometime this year. I’ll let the trailer speak for itself after the jump along with a more detailed synopsis.
Continuing their perfect track record for taking a pilot to series, today AMC announced their pick-up of Hell on Wheels for a 10 episode run. The drama goes back to AMC’s roots in original programming by journeying back into the Western genre (their first original programming venture was Broken Trail) with the story of a former confederate soldier Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount) whose quest for vengeance has led him westward to work on the construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad. It’s unclear when the series will air, and since 2011 will be crowded with new seasons of Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead, not to mention the premiere of The Killing, we may not see the series until 2012.
For news on Comedy Central’s renewal of their animated comedy Ugly Americans, hit the jump.