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.
I reviewed the first few episodes of Hell on Wheels‘ second season and though I found some aspects promising, overall it didn’t seem a worthy contender on a night already jammed-packed with exceptional programming (a shame, because the first season started out quite well). To help with ratings, AMC might consider moving the show to another night or scheduling it to pair with The Walking Dead again in 2013.
Despite strong performances from Anson Mount and Common to anchor the series, Hell on Wheels has never really felt like it’s fulfilled its potential, with too much time spent on secondary characters that were unlikable or not well fleshed out, and resorting to extraordinary amounts of violence to cover up narrative holes.
Still, congrats to Hell on Wheels for getting another 10 episodes to tell its harrowing tale of life in the west at the end of the 19th century — hopefully the third season will find its way a little more clearly than the second.