AMC continues to explore new places and genres with a pilot order to White City, a geopolitical drama focused on Western diplomats and journalists living in Afghanistan. An adventure story set in the somewhat surreal ex-pat world of near-present Afghanistan, White City was among the scripts vying for a pilot order at the network’s 2014 annual script showcase held in the spring. The show focuses on Jon Liston, a war junkie who has spent the better part of the last decade in Kabul with a front-row seat to the carnage. In the pilot, against the advice of everyone from American embassy staffers to tweeting tribal leaders to the French journalist he’s in a relationship with, Jon tragically overreaches in an attempt to talk with insurgent leaders. In the series, Jon must find a new role in Kabul as he attempts to address his guilt, frustration and doubts about whether there is good left for him or any Westerner to do in Afghanistan.
Related: 2014 AMC Pilots
The project, produced by AMC Studios, comes from co-writers and co-executive producers Nick McDonell, a novelist (Twelve) and journalist who has covered Iraq and Afghanistan for TIME, and John Dempsey, former long-time resident of Kabul and senior advisor on Afghanistan to the late US diplomat, Richard C. Holbrooke. Executive producers are Chris Mundy, a former journalist for Rolling Stone and showrunner of Criminal Minds and AMC’s Low Winter Sun, and Tom Freston, the former CEO of Viacom and a former resident of Afghanistan who is currently an advisor to VICE and MOBY Group, an Afghan media corporation. “This is a story born from a creative team in Chris, John, Nick and Tom that has both an incredibly deep understanding of one of the most misunderstood regions of the world, and a fantastic sense of how to tell a compelling story about the lives of people who are drawn to the world’s hot spots,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s EVP of original programming, production and digital content. “It’s not a war story, it’s a character story that will tackle some of the most complicated issues of our time.” White City joins AMC’s other drama pilots, Galyntine and Knifeman, both well into casting and production.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.