AMC is keeping its perfect pilot-to-series record intact with a series order to Hell on Wheels, the 1860s drama pilot from Entertainment One and Endemol USA. The order is said to be for 10 episodes, including the pilot.
Speculation about a pending series order for Hell of Wheels started shortly after AMC canceled drama Rubicon after one season as the pilot had just been screened to warm reception by the network brass, and the cancellation opened a spot on AMC’s full dance card.
Set in post-Civil War America, Hell on Wheels centers on 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. The series was created and written by Joe and Tony Gayton who will executive produce. Endemol USA’s SVP scripted programming Jeremy Gold, who originally developed the project, is also executive producing Hell on Wheels, which marks the company’s first scripted series. eOne Television CEO John Morayniss and SVP creative affairs Michael Rosenberg will oversee production. “AMC’s commitment to the western is long standing, and the genre is an important part of our brand and history as a channel,” said AMC’s SVP original programming Joel Stillerman. “This show brings some incredibly original twists and turns; and a contemporary sensibility that we think will bring a very broad audience to our newest drama series.”
Hell on Wheels marks a return to the Western genre for AMC, which started its original programming efforts in the arena with the miniseries Broken Trail. It also marks the sixth pilot for AMC, all of which have now gone to series: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Rubicon, Walking Dead, and, most recently, The Killing, which will premiere next year.