AMC announced during their TCA presentation this week that they have ordered six one-hour episodes of a documentary series on the history of science fiction from James Cameron, to air sometimes in 2018.
James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction will have each episode asking one of the “Big Questions” that humanity faced all through history, and looks at how science fiction has attempted to answer those questions and steer humanity into the future.
“When I was a kid, I basically read any book with a spaceship on the cover and I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey many, many times,” Cameron said. “The movie inspired me to become a filmmaker. I liked the special effects, but I really loved the ideas and the questions behind them: How will the world end? Will technology destroy us? What does it mean to be human?”
The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle will consult on the series.
James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction will be produced by Left/Right, and executive produced by Cameron, Maria Wilhelm, Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver.
Wasting no time as usual, AMC during a Television Critics Association panel confirmed that they’ve already ordered up a second season of spinoff series Fear The Walking Dead, with 15 episodes. The first season of six episodes starts August 23rd.
FTWD is set in Los Angeles and deals with the outbreak of the virus and will address the collapse of civilization and the response of the government and the military.
AMC has held to their pattern of early pickups and ordered a sixth season of its record breaking series The Walking Dead just ahead of the 5th season debut this Sunday.
The Walking Dead has been riding a high, topping the TV charts for adults 18-49 for two straight years and finished off its fourth season with a 15.7 million viewer finale – 3.3 million higher than the previous season finale. It averaged 13.3 million viewers over the whole fourth season.
Almost a year after it gave a pilot order for Line of Sight, a science fiction drama that was to star The Walking Dead‘s Governor David Morrissey, the network decided to pass on making it a series, according to Deadline.
We’re still not sure what made the show science fiction exactly – presumably it would be unveiled as they story went, but we’d watch Morrissey again. I might also add that he played eponymous “Next Doctor” in the 2008 Christmas episode of Doctor Who.
AMC plans to create a spin-off series of hit show The Walking Dead, and is working with executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert to launch the series in 2015.
Not much more is known about the series at this time, other than according to AMC president/GM Charlie Collier, “It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse.”
Kirkman, who wrote the original comic book on which the show is based, added, “After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn’t be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe. The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.”
The Walking Dead returns October 13th for its fourth season.
ABC has given a pilot order for the SF drama Line of Sight from Blake Masters (Brotherhood), to be co-produced by Fox TV Studios and AMC Studios.
Line of Sight is the story of Lewis Bernt, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator who survives a mysterious plane crash, bringing him on an emotionally disorienting quest to discover the accident’s cause. It isn’t clear what the science fiction element is, but I have a feeling this may play out a bit like Lost. Joel Stillerman, AMC’s executive VP of original programming, said, “Blake Masters has created a world and set of characters that defies the traditional boundaries of drama and sci-fi. It’s got great elements of both genres while also having that unique blend of a conspiracy thriller. It is genuinely unexpected and unconventional.”
AMC is working with Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion) to develop Ballistic City, a futuristic series described as the “story of a former cop thrust into the criminal underworld of a city housed in a generational space ship destined for an unknown world.”
AMC looks to be expanding into genre programming after the success of The Walking Dead, as they’ve just purchased a new one-hour drama project called Thunderstruck, from the writing/directing team of Paul Boardman and Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism Of Emily Rose) and producer David Eick (Battlestar Galactica). The show is described as “about powerful and enigmatic entities that begin appearing all over the world. After one shows up in the town of Great Falls, Montana, the local citizens must grapple with the dramatic effects and growing mystery of repeated visitations.”
It seems that the abrupt departure of Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont is still shrouded in mystery, and if the reports are correct, rather disturbing on the part of network AMC. According to The Hollywood Reporter, AMC may be strong-arming the cast and crew to not speak at all about the departure.
Everyone was surprised by the announcement of his departure, when the cast and crew were brief in separate meetings by Ben Davis, AMC’s vice president of scripted series, but without explanation as to why. Now sources from the inside explain the lack of anyone from the cast talking to the press as AMC “terrorizing” them, given that “They’re on a zombie show. They are all really easy to kill off.”
There is still much to be learned about the situation, but it may be a long way off before we really know the story. But it seems that AMC, relatively new to original scripted programming, is having trouble grasping how to handle that programming.
After just airing its second episode, AMC has already ordered a 13-episode second season of its smash hit The Walking Dead. “I wish all programming decisions were no brainers like this one,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, SVP Scripted Programming. “No other cable series has ever attracted as many Adults 18-49 as ‘The Walking Dead.’” according to Charlie Collier, President of AMC. “This reaffirms viewers’ hunger for premium television on basic cable. We are so proud to be bringing back ‘The Dead’ again, across the globe.”
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics. Shot on location in Atlanta, it is led by a cast that includes Lincoln (Teachers, Love Actually) as Rick Grimes, Jon Bernthal (The Pacific, The Ghost Writer) as Shane Walsh, Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break) as Lori Grimes, Laurie Holden (The Shield, Stephen King’s The Mist) as Andrea, Jeffrey DeMunn (Stephen King’s The Mist, The Green Mile) as Dale, Steven Yeun (The Big Bang Theory) as Glen, Emma Bell (The Bedford Diaries) as Amy and Chandler Riggs (Get Low) as Carl Grimes.