AMC will make Saturdays a third night of original programming with Hell On Wheels. The third season of the period Western will premiere on Saturday, August 3 at 9 PM and air on the night, once a popular destination for TV originals, which has rarely housed original series in the past decade. Meanwhile, AMC has established Saturdays as a destination for Westerns, airing acquired series and movies in the genre for over a decade. Along with the scheduling of Hell On Wheels, the cable network has picked up a selection of classic Western films from Paramount Pictures for Saturdays, including El Dorado (1967), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), The Shootist (1976) and The Sons Of Katie Elder (1965). “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,” said Charlie Collier, President and General Manager, AMC. “This is a programmer’s dream – to have a genre specific, 14-hour lead-in to one of your highest rated originals. The move follows AMC’s recent expansion into Thursdays with an all-unscripted lineup. Sunday remains AMC’s signature night of original programming where its other scripted dramas air.
Season 3 of Hell On Wheels lands in the year 1867, the third year of the building of the transcontinental railroad. Cullen Bohannon leaves (Anson Mount) his vengeance-seeking behind and invests in the new American landscape…the beginnings of big business, big religion, and the new role of Wall Street in the White House. Bohannon must contend with racism, greed and murder as he single-mindedly leads the Union Pacific in its race across the country against the Central Pacific Railroad. New Hell On Wheels showrunner John Wirth, who succeeded John Shiban, said that the new season “will be a western about work — the building of the railroad, the binding of the nation after the Civil War, and the rehabilitation of the men who lived and fought their way through those exploits. This season we’re placing Cullen Bohannon at the center of the show, and taking him away from the revenge motive which propelled him into the series.” Hell On Wheels is produced by eOne and Nomadic Pictures and exec produced by Wirth, Mark Richard and Endemol’s Jeremy Gold.
Also on Satursdays, AMC will mark the 60th anniversary of Hondo (1953) and the 50th anniversary of McLintock!(1963), both starring John Wayne, as well as the 45th anniversary of Hang ‘em High (1968) and the 40th anniversary of High Plains Drifter (1973), both starring Clint Eastwood. These films will join the classics including Chisum (1970), The Cowboys (1972), Rio Bravo (1959), The Alamo (1960), The Undefeated (1969), Joe Kidd (1972), A Fistful Of Dollars (1964), For A Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good The Bad And The Ugly (1966), which are already licensed by AMC. Moreover, the network has also acquired the television series, Rawhide, starring Clint Eastwood, which joins Rifleman beginning April 20. Additionally the network will air the miniseries Lonesome Dove and, for the very first time on AMC, its sequel, Return To Lonesome Dove.