TCA: AMC doubles scripted series lineup, announces “Humans,” “Making of Mob”

AMC continues to dominate as one of cable TV’s hottest properties with mega hits like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and the hugely anticipated Vince Gilligan spinoff Better Call Saul. At the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, AMC president and general manager Charlie Collier promised a substantial increase in the number of originals for 2015.

Making of Mob comig to AMCCollier said AMC will have “nearly double the number of scripted series between returning shows like The Walking Dead and Mad Men, TURN: Washington Spies, Halt and Catch Fire and Hell on Wheels along with new series, including Better Call Saul, Humans, Badlands and another project we will be announcing today [The Making of the Mob, pictured  above].”

As for The Walking Dead, everyone knows the series returns Sunday, Feb. 8, but to put into perspective the 14.6 million viewer universe the series is averaging, Collier teased with the following: “If there were 14.6 million zombies in the world and each one bit just one person a day, the entire world would truly be walking dead in just nine days.”

Here’s what’s coming in 2015:
Better Call Saul – The Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould spin-off to Breaking Bad stars Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman (aka Jimmy McGill) [see our interview with Bob] will debut Sunday, Feb. 8 at 10pmET (immediately after The Walking Dead midseason premiere at 9pm), with another episode airing Monday, Feb. 9 at 10pmET- as part of its two-night season premiere. The series regular timeslot will be Mondays.

The Making of the Mob: New York – The eight-part series is planned for this spring/summer. It’s part documentary, part scripted series and will combine historical and interview footage with reenactments. Making of the Mob: New York traces the formation of the American mafia, showing the rise of gangster greats like Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy” Siegel. The series features interviews with historians, law enforcement personnel, family members and actors like Joe Mantegna and Drea de Matteo, mob attorneys and former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman. Each episode of Making of the Mob will be preceded by an iconic film from the network’s extensive Mafia-film archive that includes: The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Goodfellas, American Gangster, Donnie Brasco, Scarface, Casino and Carlito’s Way.

Humans_AMC_webHumans – This new drama series reminds a bit of Extant and A.I. with the human-like robots, and stars William Hurt. Press materials describe the series as being set in a parallel present where the must‑have gadget is called a “synth,” a highly developed artificially intelligent robotic servant that is eerily similar to a living being.  It follows one family’s purchase of  a refurbished synth and how their world turns upside down and the complexities that lead to welcoming (and for some family members not welcoming) this non-human into their lives. As with all electronics, short circuits and breakdowns can cause chaos – looks like the same may happen here.

What’s in development/production for AMC:

The Night Manager – The new miniseries will star House alum Hugh Laurie and The Avenger’s Tom Hiddleston. The press materials detail the miniseries as a contemporary interpretation of le Carré’s espionage drama, The Night Manager and states that it brings together love, loss and revenge in a complex story of modern criminality. ‘The series follows former British soldier Jonathan Pine (Hiddleston) as he navigates the shadowy recesses of Whitehall and Washington where an unholy alliance operates between the intelligence community and the secret arms trade. To infiltrate the inner circle of lethal arms dealer Richard Onslow Roper (Laurie), Pine must himself become a criminal.’

The Walking Dead Companion Series: Cobalt  – Collier said the series is about to shoot its pilot. No air date was given. The pilot is being created by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson. The series will take place in the same zombie apocalypse time frame as TWD but follows a different group of people including a teacher and a female guidance counselor.

White City – The pilot is in post production. This geopolitical drama was announced earlier this year and is about Western diplomats and journalists living in Afghanistan. The show focuses on 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.

Preacher – Collins gave no further details on the 1990s comic book series Preacher, other than acknowledging that they are producing the pilot. Preacher is about a small town Texas Preacher, named Jesse Custer, who merges with a creature that has escaped from heaven and suddenly has the ability to make anyone do anything he says.