AMC has quickly become a go-to network for original drama. Shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead are considered to be among the absolute best series on television – even the net’s one early cancelation, Rubicon, got rave reviews and garnered a fanatical [if a hair too small] audience.
On April 3rd, 2011, AMC premieres The Killing – a series about the investigation of the murder of a young girl in Seattle. Each episode will cover one day in the investigation. The official press release follows the jump.
Given that it never achieved the kind of ratings gotten by Mad Men and Breaking Bad, I guess it makes sense that AMC, after getting extraordinary ratings for The Walking Dead, would choose to cancel its suspenseful conspiracy series, Rubicon.
AMC’s third series [and first cancelation], Rubicon was smart, finely textured, richly detailed and mesmerizing. And now it’s gone. A statement from the network says, "Rubicon gave us an opportunity to tell a rich and compelling story and we’re very proud of the series. This was not an easy decision, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a phenomenally talented and dedicated team."
Wow, Sunday night Television is getting packed. We have Football (usually the week’s marquee game), HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and now AMC joins the party with their amazing new dense series The Walking Dead. I’m not a fan of Zombies, always found them really boring, so it’s a good thing AMC’s new series is about how people live in a Zombie infested world and not just Zombie killing 101.
A police car pulls into what seems to be an encampment of some sort and a man in uniform gets out, holding a gas can. He walks through the encampment until he spots a young girl [from behind]. When he calls to her, she turns to face him – and he sees that she is partially decomposed. Drawing his sidearm, he shots her in the head. Roll opening credits. Welcome to The Walking Dead [AMC, 10/9C].
I have to admit that one of things I was excited about covering at Comic Con was the new AMC horror/drama show, The Walking Dead which is based on the graphic novel of the same name written by Robert Kirkman. The Walking Dead tells the story of life following a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, traveling in search of a safe and secure home. Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually, Teachers, Strike Back) will portray the lead role of Rick Grimes while actor Jon Bernthal (The Pacific, The Ghost Writer) will portray the character Shane, who worked with Rick in the police department before the zombie disaster. Other cast includes Laurie Holden (The Shield), who plays Andrea, one of two sisters who join the survivors of the zombie plague, Steven Yeun as Glenn, an expert scavenger and Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), who plays Rick’s wife Lori.
Reporters in the round table interviews got the chance t oto sit down with writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, special effects/makeup designer Greg Nicotero and stars Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori Grimes), Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh), Laurie Holden (Andrea), and Emma Bell (Amy). After listening to the writers and cast talk about the show, I was not disappointed at all. In my opinion, this new series is going to rock!
Check out the video with writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont and special effects/makeup designer Greg Nicotero.
Last week AMC released the first two Zombie photos from Walking Dead, today we get the first shot Rick Grimes walking. Yeah, it’s a boring shot, but it’s what the series is, him walking from place to place battling Zombies.
AMC is getting a reputation for taking their time and getting it right when they greenlight an original series. It was true for Mad Men and it was true for Breaking Bad – each of which has won multiple Emmys. Now, AMC is announcing that production will begin on its third original series, Rubicon, in New York City, on March 29th. Rubicon, which stars James Badge Dale [The Pacific, The Departed] is described as being a conspiracy thriller. Details from the press release follow the jump.
When Bryan Cranston won the Emmy for Best Actor, last year, it came as a surprise to most of the Awards show’s audience. After all, Mad Men’s Jon Hamm had all the buzz for that series going for him. That and Cranston’s Breaking Bad role, chemistry teacher Walter White, being a guy who decides, upon learning that he has terminal lung cancer, decides to provide for his family by going into the crystal meth business. The DVD release of the truncated first season [seven episodes, down from nine, bcause3 of the writers’ strike] shows that Cranston was consistently amazing throughout – but also that the entirety of the show’s cast is just as remarkable.
Walt has a nuclear family – him and his pregnant wife, Skyler [Anna Gunn] and son Walter Jr. [R.J. Mitte], a high school student who has cerebral palsy [as does the actor who plays him] – and a brother in law who works for the DEA, Hank Schrader [Dean Norris]. Hank’s wife [Skyler’s sister], Marie [Betsy Brandt] rounds out the family. Walt’s partner in crime is Jesse Dupree [Aaron Paul], a high school dropout whom Walt failed in chemistry.
The series is a black comedy that follows Walt as, bit by bit, he goes down the wrong path as his disease worsens. At first he hides his disease from his family as he starts up his meth lab [making the purest stuff Jesse has ever seen], but he eventually tells Skyler and the rest of the family persuade him to take chemotherapy. Along the way, Walt is faced with increasingly difficult choices – like what to do with a couple of dealers who try to horn in on his and Jesse’s set up – and, invariably, makes the wrong choices [though always from a place of good intentions…].
Series creator Vince Gilligan has created a darkly comic series that more than lives up to its intriguing title [Gilligan says that it’s slang for “raising hell”]. Even as we wonder what the heck Walt is thinking as he goes down the path into his personal dark side, we can understand his motivation – and even sympathize. Like the blurb on the box says, “…Walt will stop at nothing to make sure his family is taken care after he’s gone, even if it means putting all their lives on the line.”
Features include: Deleted Scenes on every disc; Audio Commentaries by Gilligan and Cast for the Pilot and Crazy Handful of Nothin’; Making of Breaking Bad; Inside Breaking Bad; Vince Gilligan’s Photo Gallery; AMC Shootout: Interview With Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston and Mark Johnson, and Screen Tests.
Grade: Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season – A+
Here’s a clip from this Sunday’s Breaking Bad on AMC. Here’s a brief synopsis. This week’s Episode 3 of Breaking Bad, … And the Bag’s in the River, Walt and Jesse clean up last week’s mess and Walt must face holding up his end of the deal. Walter’s DEA agent brother-in-law, Hank (Dean Norris), warns Walt, Jr. (RJ Mitte) about the dangers of drugs.