‘Hell on Wheels’ Renewed for Season 3

Published 2 years ago by

Hell on Wheels Renewed ‘Hell on Wheels’ Renewed for Season 3

The television network once known as American Movie Classics isn’t much known for featuring movies anymore. Nowadays, the network is better recognized for its stable of popular and critically acclaimed original television series like Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

While AMC’s Hell on Wheels hasn’t enjoyed the critical accolades of Mad Men or the titanic audience of The Walking Dead, it has garnered a respectable viewership and more-than-decent reviews. Just weeks after the grim n’ gritty Western drama ended its second season, the show has been placed on track for season 3, set to air in 2013.

According to Deadline, AMC has officially ordered ten new episodes of Hell on Wheels. This is quite the win for the Western, as the show saw a hefty decrease in viewership over the course of its second season, due largely to the loss of the tremendously popular Walking Dead as a lead-in. Despite the audience drop-off between seasons, Hell on Wheels managed to hold onto a sizable (and increasingly loyal) viewership. As such, the decision to renew the property was probably not a tough one for AMC executives.

Though Hell on Wheels will return with all the gun-fighting, scheming, ruthless frontier capitalism, and bloody revenge of its previous seasons, it will do so without two crucial elements to its success: Showrunners Joe and Tony Gayton are stepping down from the drivers’ seats. Having fulfilled their two-year contract to write and direct the series, the Gaytons have decided to move on to other projects. In their place, writer/director John Shiban will take over as the primary creative engine of Hell on Wheels’ third season (and perhaps beyond).

hell on wheels common ‘Hell on Wheels’ Renewed for Season 3

The departure of prime movers can signal a major shift in the tone and direction of any creative enterprise. This is especially true of closely controlled television series like Hell on Wheels, the first twenty episodes of which saw a lot of writing input from the Gayton brothers. John Shiban has written and directed several episodes of Hell on Wheels already, so the show no doubt displays his personal stamp, as well. The real question is whether or not that stamp will come to redefine the series as something very different – and perhaps even better – than before.

Hell on Wheels should return to its manifest destiny mid-2013.


Sources: Deadline

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  1. Rather surprising, but it’s welcome. Good on AMC for showing some faith in this show.

  2. I am glad they renewed it. There are soo many interesting scenerios that can happen from the season finale. With Breaking Bad ending next season AMC will have to come up another show that can at least bring in some of that rating back. I don’t think Hell on Wheels will bring in that big of a draw but at least it will buy some time for AMC to come up with another show.

  3. Glad they renewed it. I’m one of those who was not up in arms over Lilly’s death. Though sad, Bohannon story was never gonna be a happy one. it’s only gonna get darker.

  4. I would’ve been satisfied with just the 2 seasons but now I’m very excited. This just amps up that final scene where Bohannon plants the flag at the end.

    I’m looking forward to it getting darker and being less romantic (even though it’s hardly been)about the west expansion.

  5. This show only got better in its second season. The chemistry of the cast was solid, and the western genre is a welcomed change from all of the CSI, NCIS, and Law and Order clones that dominate television.

  6. Great news. In response to the drop in viewership, the AMC / Dish squabble kept those of us who subscribe to Dish blacked out since they weren’t airing AMC for the entire season. I would be curious to see the numbers if that hadn’t happened.

  7. I;m so excited Hell on Wheels is coming back the actors are strong characters & the chemistry between all of them has really improved. That show can really expand, I see a great future for the show. Hope there is another Lily for Bohannan it keeps the female viewers happy to balance out all the violence works well on Sons of Anarchy,


    • I hope they bring Lily back from the dead.

    • Bohannan is so cute.

  8. We need more Westerns on television like Hell On Wheels.

  9. HOORAY!

  10. Great show but needs more advertising on fox tell as to when series returns as we missed first 3 episodes due to no advertising it’s return

  11. I hope Lilly comes back to life. She and Bohannon were great!! Please bring her back. Romance is so important. Thank you!

  12. So Glad that it is returning…this is a nice change for a series. It is so much better than all of those stupid non-realistic CIS type shows…so borning and regurgitated garbage….Hell on WHeels is pure genius….something different and a new heart throb with Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon….such beautiful eye candy….hopefully there will be another love interest for him…..Lilly was perfect…she shouldn’t have died….Can’t wait to watch season three…

    • Molly you are spot on I dont even have to comment, eye candy alright and love the show and storyline… keep going hell on wheels….

  13. Why did they kill off Lilly in the first place? :-/

    • I was wondering the same thing Joe. I can’t believe they
      killed off Lilly. She brought some sunshine in the show.
      Can she come back from the dead?

  14. Yahoooo, I am so glad the renewed it. I enjoy the shows with western settings. Also Bohanann isn’t hard to look at either.

  15. Lily is probably still alive.. the actres playing her never gave an interview discussing or confirming Lillys death.. which is very strange. That usually always happens when a major character gets killed off…. she’s been quiet as a mouse since it ended.. AMC may have told her to keep quiet so people think she is dead……

  16. Whew! So happy we can look forward to another season of HOW.

  17. I hope Lilly is still alive. Bohannon doesn’t trust people easily, n he already had learned to trust lilly, it will b hard for him to trust n fall in love again Bohannon deserves to b loved.

  18. Glad to see It got renewed. Hope they bring back Lilly. No way she can be dead! Can’t believe they would mess up the chemistry of the characters. Bohannon is the baddest character on tv these days. Who will replace the sinister Swede? Bring them all back.

  19. I am so glad that they decided to renew for a third season. I was devastated when I thought the show was over. I love the western theme. The characters really kept you drawn in. You just never knew what to expect next. Alot of suspense. I can’t wait for the new shows to start.

  20. I’m so glad they decided to do another season of Hell On Wheels!!! I was glued to the screen for every episode excited to see what the new season will bring.

  21. Hope someone with a little bit of Civil War and Post CW history knowledge guides this thing next season. This show has so much potential if they would cut out some of the melodrama and stay more in line with historical facts, which are just as riveting if not more so, than what they’ve done so far.

    The Indians should be much more a part of this show – they could cut back and forth between what was happening in the Indian Nation in that time that would affect the railroad construction.

    The true role of women and Blacks should be better explored rather than have the false representations of these groups we’ve seen so far. There are no children in this show — there are always children, camp followers,and tough women who were neither prostitutes nor “angels”, just living a harsh, backbreaking life out there on the plains with their men.

    Where are the Black women? Don’t tell me all those African American men were there alone. Why should they be?

    I sorely miss the character “Doc”, who had known Bohannan since childhood in Meridian, Miss. The actor who portrayed him had depth and intelligence and pathos. Can’t he be resurrected somehow?

    Re African Americans on this show – this was a year or two after the Civil War. This camp had a lot of former Confederates who were traumatized by their losses; these kinds of men are often dangerous (Bohannan fits the mold in some ways).

    Those former Confederates would never have countenanced the hostility they were getting from the Black workers. I wasn’t there, so this is conjecture, but in my lifetime here in the South, right up to today, Blacks do not behave this way.

    While the railroad was being built, the Ku Klux Klan was being formed in Giles County, Tennessee, and the KKK raged across the South for more than 100 years, in various degrees. It still exists in various forms today.

    Tragically, it took 100 years for us to pass a Civil Rights Act. The racist attitudes we’ve seen even in the past decades were much more hardened, institutionalized, and recalcitrant in the late 1860s than they are today.

    A modest proposal: Show the small victories African Americans were achieving, portray a leader such as those who served on the Underground Railroad during the slave era, let us walk in their shoes and care about them.

    To everybody who loved the Lilly character – I don’t think they will bring her back – there is no reason to. She had served her purpose on the show. How could she have continued in that town with Durant’s tough wife there, having had an affair with Durant (yuk) and no role in the railroad any more (and she loved power).

    She had slept with Bohannan and where could that have gone except in the tank, since we women (in general) prefer to stay in one place, have a home and children, etc. And Bohannan’s not a settling down kind of guy. Lilly was one of those imaginary female characters somebody dreamed up who could not, would not, have existed in that environment. I like the actress who portrayed her, though.

    The title of this blog is “Screen Rant” and I’ve ranted here. I care about this show because of its potential to show an important part of our country’s history. I had a direct ancestor serving at that time with the Union army, just ahead of where the railroad was being built. He was a former Confederate, imprisoned a year by the Federals, and then given a chance to serve in the Union army in the west. They were called “Galvanized Yankees”.

    HOW – best of luck this year and I’ll be watching again! :)

  22. Best show on television. Would like to see them take chapters from Blood Meridian by Cormac Mc Carthy for an episode or two. Or at least adopt that kind of tone. The Glanton gang could actually cross paths with the Hell on Wheels gang in an episode. Would like to see Bohanon face off against the Judge. Hope the show is on for many years to come.

  23. MID 2013?!?!? Really? So a show that wasn’t “quite what they wanted” in reviews and audience is being pulled for 10 months?!?! WTH???? They may have faithful viewers but if the show isn’t brought back soon, people may begin to forget about it. Personally I LOVE Anson Mount, there’s NO forgetting about him or this show for me, but some people I know who used to watch it now consider the last episode of Lilly dying the last one they’ll watch. Pick up the pace, AMC!! People want this show back, waiting this long isn’t a wise idea.
    BRING BACK HOW!!!!! :)

  24. Ready for hell on wheels bring it back!

  25. I have been waiting for the 3 season, so glad they renewed it. It ranks right up there with Walking Dead to me, I love it. Can’t wait for the next season

    • I agree dstratton56, It’s definitely right up there with Walking Dead.
      I love them both, c’mon guys; let’s get this show on the road!

  26. Realizing they cannot bring the character Lily back since they killed her off last season, how about bringing a new character as her sister, or cousin, to the show, who looks like her? (use the same actress so the chemistry will be there).

  27. Bring it back! There are few good television shows to watch anymore, and when they get something good going,it seems to go by the wayside.
    Reality shows suck…

  28. Looking forward to the Swede becoming a puppet master of Bohannon’s fate. Thinking he died in the river yet haunted by the uncertainty and only revealed in the last 3 episodes, The Swede!!! (From Norway)

  29. Will miss Lily — must bring her back …