At their upfront on Wednesday AMC announced that, following a successful push into drama with the likes of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, they are moving into comedy. The network has greenlit their first comedy pilot We Hate Paul Revere. In addition, the network announced a slew of drama projects that they have in development as well as renewing Comic Book Men for a fourth season.
On the drama side, AMC has projects in development from Chris Carter, Michael Tolkin, Tom Kelly, Alexander Woo, Michael Perry, Jan Oxenberg and Amy Lippman. The network has also inked an overall deal with Sons of Anarchy‘s Dave Erickson, who will serve as an executive producer on the upcoming The Walking Dead spin-off. While AMC is developing a new drama with ScottFree Productions under the first look deal the network has with the company and they have also optioned the rights to novels Somewhere East of Life and Silent History. As part of their push into comedy, AMC is also developing projects with John Leguizamo, Wyatt Cenac, Andrea Abbate and Danny Comden.
“2013 was by all meaningful measures the most successful year in AMC’s history and we are building on this momentum in every imaginable way. AMC is introducing more hours of original programming and the most robust, diverse development slate in our network’s history. Unwavering is our commitment to the eclectic, quality dramatic series that have come to define our brand and to the unconventional unscripted worlds we love to explore. And today we also happily dive head-first into our first-ever scripted comedy pilot,” said Charlie Collier, President of AMC. “It is a personal point of pride for all of us to be working with a roster of such creative, talented and successful professionals, many of whom are entrusting us with personal passion projects. We appreciate their confidence and look forward to working collaboratively to bring their visions to fruition.”
While Joel Stillerman, AMC’s Executive Vice-President of Original Programming, Production and Digital Content, added: “We’re very excited to continue our growth in original programming over the coming year. Along with some great new dramas, and our growing slate of unscripted series; we’ll be expanding our brand of unexpected and unconventional original programming into scripted comedy. As always, we’ll continue to look for unique creative voices to pair with passionate audiences through stories you’d never expect to see on television. We’ve got some terrific comedy projects in development, and are thrilled that we’ll be making our first comedy pilot this year. In We Hate Paul Revere, we’ll explore the characters that history forgot. For more than 200 years, Paul Revere has had a pretty good ride. It’s about time someone took him down a peg!”
Full Details of AMC’s Scripted Development Slate Follows Below:
We Hate Paul Revere
The comedy project, which has received a pilot order at AMC, was written, executive produced and stars Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner. We Hate Paul Revere tells the story of brothers Hugh and Ebenezer Moody and their struggle to find their place and the recognition they believe they deserve as they live in the shadow of history in Colonial Boston. The pilot will shoot in Q3 and will be considered for AMC’s 2015 schedule.
Untitled John Leguizamo Project
Written Leguizamo and Sal Stabile, the untitled project follows a group of men in Queens, The Bronx and upper Manhattan wrestling with careers, relationships, family, ambition, and getting older. Leguizamo is attached to star an will executive produce alongside Stabile, Jeff Golenberg and Sam Maydew.
No Money Down
The comedy, written by and starring Wyatt Cenac, follows a guy who bottoms out and begins working at an Austin car dealership with a variety of personalities. The executive producers are Cenac, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan and Liza Chasin.
Penned by Andrea Abbate, Random Acts follows two single girls in their early 30’s, Katie and Lisa, as they work through issues with relationships, family, and growing up. As contract killers in Echo Park, Katie and Lisa also work through issues with drug lords, crooked cops and unpaid debts. The executive producers are Abbate, Big Talk Productions’ Kenton Allen, Todd Holland and Karey Burke.
From Danny Comden and Barry Schwartz, Sober Buddies is about Jonesy, a loveably washed up pro surfer turned sober coach who works to help Jason, the privileged, ne’er-do-well son of a wealthy industrialist. Together 24-7 in a sort of arranged marriage, the two will come to rely on one another since as of yesterday, Jonesy isn’t exactly sober. The executive producers are Comden, Schwartz, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver.
From The X-Files and The After creator Chris Carter, Area 51
is based on the New York Times best-seller “Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base” by Annie Jacobson. The project is described as a contemporary conspiracy thriller revealing the true story behind Area 51, America’s most mysterious military installation. The Walking Dead executive producer Gale Ann Hurd is attached to executive produce alongside Carter.
Penned by Michael Tolkin, Police State follows Ollie, a big-box store security guard, who is secretly recruited by an NSA-like organization. Starting as an observer, a person who can see everything by manipulating our electronic devices, Ollie will rise to power in hopes of changing the system but will ultimately compromise his intentions. The executive producers are Michael Tolkin, Josh Applebaum, André Nemec, Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner.
The first series to come from AMC’s overall deal with Tom Kelly, Kingmakers follows follows a former campaign manager forced to get back into politics when his friend and current gubernatorial candidate is assassinated during a campaign speech. Kelly is writing the script and will serve as the executive producer.
The fragile peace in present day Birmingham, Alabama is shattered when a murderer from 1963 is discovered and buried demons from the Civil Rights Era resurface. The script is being written by Alexander Woo who is executive producing alongside Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment.
Penned and executive produced by Michael Perry, The Sparrow tells the story of a Jesuit-led mission to make first contact with an alien race.
The drama, written by Jan Oxenberg, follows Dinah, a commitment-phobic artist and the world’s most unlikely caregivers she cobbles together an unusual and very modern family when she moves in with her boyfriend, his daughter, and her estranged father Jerry (who has early onset Alzheimers). Although Dinah thinks she is saving Jerry by taking him in, Jerry’s unusual perspective on the world ends up saving Dinah, and the rest of the family. The executive producers are Oxenberg, David Shore, Eric Gunn and Wendy Richie.
Paradise Lost hails from Amy Lippman and tells the story of a group of friends who withdraw from society to create a new, more positive community in which to raise their families – but at what cost?
The latest project to emanate from AMC’s firs look deal with Scott Free, Strange Angel is based on the book, “Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons” by George Pendle, based on the life of Jim Parsons, a brilliant rocket scientist and co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While a pioneer in research that had only recently been dreamed up in science fiction, his bright future gave way to ruin as Parsons headed down another, darker path into the occult community of mid-century Los Angeles.
From AMC’s overall deal with Double Feature Films, Outer Darkness is described as a grounded take on exorcism by exploring everyday evil in an idyllic midwestern town. The script is being written by Jim McDermott. The executive producers are Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg.