AMC has passed on White City, its geopolitical drama pilot directed and executive produced by Stephen Gaghan. Focused on Western diplomats and journalists living in Afghanistan, the show came from co-writers/co-executive producers Nick McDonell, a novelist and journalist who has covered Iraq and Afghanistan for Time, and John Dempsey, former longtime resident of Kabul and senior adviser on Afghanistan to the late U.S. diplomat Richard C. Holbrooke. Executive producers were Chris Mundy (Low Winter Sun) and former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, a former resident of Afghanistan and currently an adviser to Vice and Moby Group, an Afghan media corporation.
White City was among several projects set in parts of the world associated with the war on terror that were put in motion last year. They included USA drama pilot Stanistan, which followed the staff at the American compound in the fictional Middle East country of Stanistan, and the latest season of Showtime drama Homeland, set in Pakistan. USA also recently opted not to proceed with Stanistan.
While AMC relied solely on pilot development in its early days of original programming player, it since has added to the mix the the straight-to-series model, most recently with the upcoming martial arts drama Badlands, and international co-productions, including Humans and The Night Manager.
On the traditional development side, AMC has pilot Preacher and is considering scripts for its next round of pilot orders.