As expected, Hell On Wheels will be returning for a fifth season. But it will be AMC’s unsung ratings hero’s final go-around. The network has given a 14-episode fifth season pickup to the Western period drama. Like it has done with its other signature series, including Mad Men and Breaking Bad, AMC will split the final season of Hell On Wheels into two, with seven episodes airing in 2015 and seven in 2016.
AMC’s decision to set an end date for Hell On Wheels is surprising. The show opened up a new night of original programming for the network on the low-trafficked Saturday and has held up well there — it actually grew its audience in the move from Sunday. Hell On Wheels‘ current season is delivering an average of 3.4 million viewers in Live+3 to date. That is up a fraction from the Season 3 viewership of 3.3 million and way up the averages for AMC’s freshman dramas Turn (2 million) and Halt and Catch Fire (1.3 million), both of which were renewed for a second season. Both are owned by AMC, Hell On Wheels is not.
“With season five of Hell On Wheels, we are proud to bring our trans-continental journey to conclusion for the large, loyal audience that has traveled with Cullen Bohannon and his crew for so many years,” said AMC President Charlie Collier. “We look forward to appropriately honoring Hell On Wheels in this final season.”
Through the first 10 episode of Season 4, Hell On Wheels is averaging 3.4 million total viewers, 1.3 adults 25-54 and 965,ooo adults 18-49 in Live+3, posting big increases vs. Live+Same day (+59%, +86% and +98%, respectively).
In its fourth season, Hell On Wheels has become a top-20 ad-supported cable drama, and the show’s social media community has spiked. Also, Hell On Wheels for the first time this season appeared in multiple weeks on the list of top 20 Xfinity On Demand shows.
Starring Anson Mount and Colm Meaney, Hell On Wheels was developed by Endemol USA. The series is produced by Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures. John Wirth is expected to return as showrunner.