AMC Announces Two New Drama Series: ‘Turn’ and ‘Halt & Catch Fire’

Published 2 years ago by

Amc New Shows Turn and Halt and Catch Fire  AMC Announces Two New Drama Series: Turn and Halt & Catch Fire

At the moment, AMC remains at the top of the heap when it comes to cable drama series. With The Walking Dead still raking in millions of viewers and slavish fanbases looking forward to the next seasons of Mad Men, Hell on Wheels, and Breaking Bad, the channel looks to stay that way for the foreseeable future. However, the long-term doesn’t bode so well for the network. Mad Men‘s immense budgetary needs are stripping other shows of capital; Hell on Wheels‘ season 3 has been delayed while it searches for a new showrunner; and, of course, Breaking Bad will be ending definitively next summer.

Perhaps with an eye toward potential future chasms in their programming lineup, AMC has begun acquiring new dramatic content. In addition to the recent revelation that the network may once again show The Killing with the backing of Netflix, AMC has announced that it has acquired the rights to two new series: Turn and Halt & Catch Fire.

Executive-produced by the men behind Breaking Bad and Bones, respectively, both series are period dramas – though each of a decidedly different sort. Easily the more interesting of the two upcoming dramas, Turn is a dramatic telling of the formation of The Culper Ring, George Washington’s personal spy network. Taking place in 1778, the story will follow Abraham Woodhull, the real-life spymaster who formed the Ring from a circle of childhood friends and like-minded patriots. The series is apparently adapted from the nonfiction book Washington’s Spies, by Alexander Rose. Turn is being written by Craig Silverstein (Nikita).

AMC Turn Halt Catch Fire AMC Announces Two New Drama Series: Turn and Halt & Catch Fire

Halt & Catch Fire is also technically historical, though focusing on a period in living memory: the early 1980s. The show will revolve around a group of electronics pioneers as they navigate the exploding personal computing boom of the time. Created by the journeyman writing team of Chris Cantwell and Chris Rodgers, it sounds as if Halt & Catch Fire is a dramatic reinterpretation of the rise of major computing figures such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. As a note, the series’ unusual name is derived from a term for a computing code specifically designed to destroy a machine’s CPU. Does this provide a clue to the sort of cutthroat tech geekery Halt & Catch Fire will eventually display?

On paper – and judging only from the short plot blurbs provided by AMC – neither new series has the high-concept spark that has distinguished many of the network’s television series. Turn sounds as if it has the potential to be crackerjack spy entertainment, but it could just as easily end up being stuffy and staid (not to mention AMC’s poor track record when it comes to spy dramas). Halt & Catch Fire‘s stated premise sounds like a mixture of boredom and possible cheese, already summoning visions of melodramatic early 1980s hacking sequences.

AMC Halt Catch Fire Paul Allen Bill Gates AMC Announces Two New Drama Series: Turn and Halt & Catch Fire

Will ‘Halt & Catch Fire’ feature pastiches of computing’s pioneers?

That said, “Ad executives navigate personal and professional peril in the 1960s” doesn’t exactly sound like a dynamite idea for a TV show when displayed in a vacuum. Yet, five seasons after it first aired, Mad Men continues to dominate as a critical and commercial darling. Depending on how it’s spun, Halt & Catch Fire could easily end up being fantastic entertainment, even if it is from an unlikely source. Personally, my money is on Turn, its sister show, being the surprise standout. Whether either series will help AMC maintain its reign over cable drama in a post-Breaking Bad world remains to be seen.

Turn and Halt & Catch Fire are scheduled to begin production in early 2013.

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  1. Turn sounds interesting but the other one, not so much.

    • Seriously, Sounds Like Pirates of Silicon Valley The Series

    • Actually I think the exact opposite

  2. Hope its not another “Hell on Wheels” !
    Otherwise these shows could be interesting !

    • Hell on Wheels is a great show aimed towards intellectual people, who care and understand American History!

  3. I hope Halt and Catch Fire is good. My Dad helped with that “revolution”, I was also in school studying Computer Science in the early 80’s. Ill look out ans see if I recognize any names.
    FX has 80’s spy drama coming out in January. Glad too see this genre coming back.

  4. Good Show–I ertainly hope that it will return another season. My husband and I haven’t watched regular TV programs for too many years because with the exception of Jag and NCIS and sports, we could not get into any of the new shows being offered. When we lost our religiously viewed Jag, we were lost. We just could not get into any of the weekly series until this season. Now our DVR’s are always full because we like more than one show on rival networks showing at the same times. HOW REFRESHING–Iinstead of saying “there is nothing on tonight, we are asking what do we watch and what do we record tonight.

  5. Are there any peoductions pictures of TURN the movie pilot AMC picked up?

  6. Hell on Wheels is one of the best shows on tv! Love the story line and the excellent cast. AMC’s doing a great job!

  7. I think the show turn is going to be awesome.i cant wait to see it

  8. Didn’t like turn. It was very boring. I think halt and catch fire sounds interesting.

  9. I saw the series, will there be a second one next year.?

  10. Is turn coming back? Love the series.

  11. You crossed over the line and you have lost me as a viewer

  12. After making a good show like Walking dead. I can not believe you made a show like Turn! I Hate turn!