‘Hell on Wheels’ Season 3 Delayed as Showrunner Drops Out

Published 2 years ago by

Hell on Wheels Season 3 Delay The Preacher ‘Hell on Wheels’ Season 3 Delayed as Showrunner Drops OutFans of AMC’s brutal revisionist western Hell on Wheels had much to celebrate earlier this week. Despite a significant drop in viewership during season 2, AMC announced that it had renewed the series for another run of ten episodes.

Just days after that well-received announcement, a new press release states that AMC has temporarily suspended pre-production of Hell on Wheels’ season 3, after the departure of its main showrunner.

EW reports that John Shiban, the former writer/producer who was appointed Hell on Wheels showrunner, has dropped out of the production. Shiban issued a statement that cited no specific reason for his exit; a concurrent statement by AMC and production companies Entertainment One and Endemol says that Shiban left as the result of a, “personal decision.” So far, it appears that the split was sudden but amicable; Shiban praises the Hell on Wheels creative team as a, “. . . wonderful group of very talented people.”

Without John Shiban at the helm, Hell on Wheels finds itself lacking a single creative voice to guide the new season. As such, AMC has declared season 3 of the series on hold until Shiban’s replacement can be found. According to Entertainment Weekly, previous showrunners Joe and Tony Gayton remain as creative consultants but have not been considered to return to the series’ main chair. No names were shared as possible candidates for the top spot.

Hell on Wheels Season 3 Delay The Swede ‘Hell on Wheels’ Season 3 Delayed as Showrunner Drops OutThough this is certainly disheartening news for anyone clamoring for new episodes of Hell on Wheels, it may only be a slight bend in the tracks. AMC and its production companies have shown a knack for attracting solid talent. If anyone can reel in a new creative voice to guide Hell on Wheels – and do so quickly – it’s the same people who have shown great turnaround time for shows like The Walking Dead.

That said, one can’t help but wonder how this will affect the eventual scope and substance of the show itself. If Entertainment One and Endemol choose a showrunner outside the current Hell on Wheels creative team, the unfamiliar influence of this new voice could radically alter the series’ future. The previous choice of show veteran Shiban indicates that this is not a likely outcome, but everything is more or less up in the air at this point. Anything can happen, and this might lead to a very different sort of direction for the soot-caked western.

Hell on Wheels is still scheduled to begin production in spring of 2013, but its actual air date has yet to be determined.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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  1. Love love love love this show!!!!! And the fact it’s a good western tv series! Plz come back SOON

    • After they killed off the gorgeous blond it ruined it for me. Ill be heart broken for weeks! :( This is an EXCELLENT show. They need to bring back miss bell!

      • Thanks for ruining that for me ……some of us haven’t seen every episode yet jerk!!

        • You should get off of screenrant for Hell On Wheels if you don’t want to discuss or know about current episodes. That’s your bad. You’re extremely rude and tacky for calling someone an a@@ hole because you made the bad decision to review running viewer commentary on a show you’re behind in. Poor form and questionable sense.

        • I’m surprised your remark is posted as it clearly is a personal attack. Very classy.

        • This is a Season 3 message board. Spoilers are always possible. You take that risk when click on the link.

      • I agree completely. She was great in more ways than one lol

      • You wouldn’t know a good show if it sat in your face..

  2. Season 3 please

  3. I LOVE THIS WESTERN TYPE PROGRAM. There nothing on the silver screen like it!!!! I hope they find the writers, and get HELL ON WHEELS going again, for season 3,4,5, ect. AMC, I really like your programming, ( THE KILLING, THE WALKING DEAD, and HELL ON WHEELS!!!!!) So at least keep those 3 going. Like I said, theres nothing like them on the SILVER SCREEN!!! ALSO if you can try to write Lily back in HELL ON WHEELS. She a important part of the show. It’s easy to do that, just have her unconscious and they discover she’s still alive. A love interest fills in the the duller moments. People like romance in hard times too. IT goes good with the action of the show too.

    • Love this program BUT have not liked this season. Falling flat for me. Actually turned it off 8/24. Agree that Ms Bell was an exciting character. Do not like the new female role. May stop watching but I keep missing last seasons adventure and character mix. Too bad about the changes. You have the train but no wood to burn. Disappointed.

    • Bring back Lily somehow. Easily one of the best on the show. Great chemistry with Cullen and that is so important for a show to stand out and shine. Been a great show.

    • Best show on TV. hope it is on for season 4. I love this show!

  4. to approach hell on wheel to walking dead in any possible way is as funny as CANCER!

  5. put season3 of hell on wheels

  6. We missed the first season when it ran “live” as well as the second. My sister turned me onto the first season, via the DVD’s. I purchased the entire second season and now am primed to watch the third. I hope they keep the same gritty theme and characters and don’t “sell out” and let the show flop. I hope they continue this great series so long as it’s a good tale.

    Would so like to see more good western series and movies.

    I believe if AMC better advertised this series, it would be more popular. I had not seen very much advertising in 2011 and saw none in 2012. AMC needs to advertise on other cable channels as well.

  7. Where can we buy the series on dvd?

    • Netflix has season 1 and 2. This is an awesome show!!!! U won’t be sorry.

      • I recently discovered HELL (on wheels) on Netflix and watched all 20 episodes in 2 days. (some of which I watched on my Kindle fire HD while in bed, keeping my wife and dog awake). I need more. The dynamic duo of Bohannon & Ferguson was great, and I really have missed a good “oater”. PLEASE !!! Keep the wheels rollin’ !!!

    • Try Netflix.

    • They have highlight reels on you tube. It doesn’t give all the details, but will help you catch up and get the gist of things.

  8. Great show ,I love it.

  9. I would like to see a third season but only one problem. Lily bell dies in the en of season two and that’s very disappointing because she is attractive and I wanted to see her and bohanan get married

  10. YOU SET US UP.

    I watched the final episode of Season 2 last night. I have no idea whether to address this to the writers or the politicians in the television industry. You jumped the shark. Season 2 and YOU ALREADY JUMPED THE SHARK.


    Viewers invested their time, their emotions in your show, largely due to the impending love affair between Lilly Bell and Mr. Bohannon. Two magnetic actors who played equally great characters. The characters were rich with potential, rich with tension, electricity and passion. Each with their own demons, that looked to each other with hope of redemption. You never let their love affair be actualized. WHY? You barely got out of the pilot, only to evolve quickly and devolve even faster.

    You get us to fall for these people, as if we are part of the town or workers. Then unabashedly, disregard our connection. Who did you create the show for? Clearly not the viewer.

    Season 2 began, giving context to our rugged and authentic Mr. Bohannon. As his character got stronger, with more depth, Lily Bell’s character fell apart.


    You lead the viewer to believe they were to be each other’s salvation. She could have been taken by indians or have been fighting by Cullen’s side. Cullen needed no more torture. He had the “forever damned spirit” explained in the first episode of season 2.

    LILLY BELLE was the woman who’s grit and cunning had gotten her far in a rough and rugged landscape of lawlessness, brutality, newly freemen, both African Americans and Irishmen who hated each other, outlaws, harlots, Indian raids, and more.

    HER TENACITY kept her going after losing her husband. PURE WILL kept her going beyond all the death and ugliness a woman of her means and station would have accepted.

    SHE’S NO WALL FLOWER. Why did you let her wither? There was no reason. If her true character were to whither, it would have been after the death of her husband.

    SHE CHOSE to become the Fair Hair Maiden at the dance, knowing her power and using it, so that she could run the railroad.

    SHE WAS A SURVEYOR with money from the job, her husband’s money as well. And if she didn’t, she would have found a way to get it. To suddenly treat her like she had no options, no brain, why?

    …have been manipulated by Mrs. blank, without manipulating right back.
    …have missed the train crossing the bridge. Hell, the real Ms Belle, would have been on the train too.
    …have been demoted to paper filing girl. Seriously? She’d run the whorehouse before she did that.
    …have accepted a fate chosen for her.

    …who knew the maps were her edge and hid them accordingly to be used strategically?
    …who killed an Indian when attacked? Then saw red when she saw his hat worn by another?
    …who would rather live in a tent than with the snake Mr. blank?
    …who tried to build her own floorboards, knowing full well she had no clue how to?
    …who slapped her brother’s sister with such fierce conviction and articulation?

    You created “The Fair Hair Madden of the West” to be fiercely strong with equal grace, only to unravel her.





    …have sent Ms. Bell home alone at night after she stole the legar. As his character would know, she could have been killed by Indians, by Mr. Train guy, and or raped and or killed by the ruthless people building the train.

    …have allowed MS. BELL to be alone for one minute, knowing there was a price on her head. You make him appear daft, to have let Ms. Belle be alone.

    …have backed down after finding out that there was a contract on Ms. BELL’S head. Especially so quickly that it was laughable. Cut to MR. BOHANNON with a whip. Ms. Bell intercedes pathetically, “Oh please, no.” Mr. Bohannon says, “oh ok.” Such an unbelievable aberration to the character we fell for. This is the point at which Mr. Bohannon’s character falls apart. We believed in the passionate Mr. Bohannon with his equally passionate Fair Hair Maiden at his side, trail blazing, together.


    MR. BOHANNON DID WHAT HE CHOSE TO DO. He didn’t listen to Ms. Bell when he needed to get the Doc out of town. He interceded in a hanging of a black man and road off with him. The true character would not have been stopped from taking a pound of flesh from Mr. Durant.


    • I’ll bet anything you will watch season III. The show is known for shockers. I agree with you though, I would not have killed off Ms Bell. That was outright DUMB! There are still many ways to twist the plot in to something worth watching. Let’s hope the writers can pull their heads out of their a$$ and get this back on top again. How about a love affair between Bohannon and Ms. Durrant? Also still a possibility to bring back the ugly Dane! Last seen was him floating face down in the water, but we didn’t see the former alter-boy Indian pull him out and resuscitate him… still lots of possibilities!

    • I appreciate your enthusiasm for the show. I too loved this show. As a southern girl myself, I was very excited to watch each episode. However, I assure you that I will not be watching the third season. I had kept my Netflix membership for this show only but have since canceled.

      A show only two season’s out, can hardly be “known for shockers.” And trying to be edgy for edgy sake or whatever the reason for killing off Lily Bell, is entertainment horse s#%t, bless your heart.

      • Elle. Hell on Wheels is not real. The actress playing Lily is still alive.

        I say this because you obviously could not see that her character has run it’s course. Were her and Cullen going to settle down with a family in season 3? Boooring.

        • MovieB,

          Thank you for the clarification. I have been terribly distraught believing that Lily Bell truly was dead. I’ve looked in the obituaries to try and find the funeral time and where to send flowers. Thank you for helping me understand that television programming is fiction. It’s a huge relief to know she’s alive and well and that her name isn’t really Lily Bell.

          Before you read on, please re-read my overview that went into detail regarding the plot and all character development. If you’re still unclear, please read on.

          I’m going to assume that you’re either a disgruntled, never made it writer or a Yankee, who lacks social grace. If you are a disgruntled writer, regardless if you are good or bad, you must have taken some literature classes along the way.

          This has nothing to do with Lily Bell running her course.

          Do you understand that writers have the ability to craft each character?

          Perhaps I’m using too big of words. Read the next sentence slowly and slightly louder.

          Do you understand that a character in a TV show is created, sorry, made up by people who write words to make a story?

          Do you understand character development? These people who write words to make a story for television actually can decide how each character is portrayed. Mr. Bohannon could have equally have run his course.

          The issue, which is clearly lost on you, is that when a television show, or book begins, the writers go to great lengths to define who these people are. Before they even begin to write, they define each character, both for the writing team and the viewer. This way its crystal clear. They craft each character with purpose.

          Season 1 was great. Season 2, all character compositions lost focus. Including Mr. Bohannon in the last 3 episodes.

          I realize I’m trying to explain basic storytelling and character development which does not seem to be your forte. Have you ever written? Do you know basic story structure? The 5 parts to any storyline?

          Your post is juvenile and only makes people question your intelligence.

        • You show a remarkable lack of imagination by suggesting Lily’s character had run its course: there’s probably a dozen different trajectories that she could have taken had she lived and half of them without Bohannon. I would have liked to have seen Lily and Bohannon team up against Durant for the railroad; it would have been the most logical extension of the show.

          I was really disappointed in your observation that the show is not real. It’s a rather lame replacement for deeper thought. You might have offered that the show’s producers have their reasons for eliminating various characters and also, that they are entitled to write the series any way they want. And I am relieved to know that the actress (Dominique McElligott) who played Lily Bell is still alive.

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Thanks for pointing out what a lot of viewers and reviewers have failed to grasp: that the producers and writers of Hell On Wheels trashed both Bohannon’s and Lily’s characters at the end of Season 2. I was a huge fan of Bohannon and I adored Lily Bell and am having a tough time getting into Season 3 without Lily’s blue eyes and a very ordinary Bohannon. For a while there I thought we might have had another Clint Eastwood to admire, but the HoW team blew it.

    • BRAVO!!! Could not have summarized any better! I don’t believe there will be any more seasons. If Bohannon’s red flag was any indicator, it’s the end of the line for Hell.

  11. The show has its flaws but bohannon has been the best example of true Southern honor on television in years . I hope the writers have the good since to continue that.
    They should know that the railroad was evil and cheated people out of their property . Hope they will keep more Jesse James in the character and less Alan Pinkerton . He shouldn’t have not hung the mormon kid . I would hope my sons had the same courage to defend our family property . I would like to see more vengeance for his wife being hung and his son being burned And less enthusiasm for the railroad . Think about it what’s more honourable avenging the death of your family or building a railroad .

  12. A drop in viewership? Are these people nuts!? This is one of the best mini-series I have seen in a very long time. None of my friends or family could stop watching this. Ranks up there with the Tutors and Rome. KEEP ON BRINGING IT BACK AMC!!!!

    • I agree I think they are nuts if they believe there has been a drop in viewership maybe a drop of viewership in people who have now realized they don’t have to sit through commercials to watch great shows like this there are so many alternative ways of watching any particular shows it is impossible for viewership levels to be accurate any more networks need to stop trying to chase statistics it should be easy for these professionals to know when they have a show worth keeping or dropping it is the business they are in its not a political campaign.

  13. Ego …… again – in the way!

    • Agreed!

  14. I’m hooked now. So gather in the locker rooms boys n girls and finish what’s been started…pretty please!

  15. Please hurry back great show

  16. I attempted to watch this movie several times but each time I stopped. I find nothing interesting in this movie, and have stopped even trying.

    Ther are other much better shows on to hold my interest. As far as I am concerned you will never find a writer. The show is boring. Sorry, but that is my opinion as an adult

    • This is no movie and if he’ll on wheels is boring I can’t imagine what you think is exciting this is by far one of the most thrilling shows on tv

  17. This is one of the best for television western series I’ve seen in many years. Please bring back a new exciting season. I will be checking back often. Thanks for giving me the viewing pleasure.

  18. Its a different show for sure, but if you enjoy all things western I would recommend checking out Longmire. Season 1 is on netflix, Season 2 is on Amazon. It has some initial growing pains but by the end of Season 2 I find it one of my favorite shows. Its refreshing to escape the current TV cult of Anti-hero once in awhile and though the show can be brutal, it isn’t nihilistic. I’m saying that a person who’s all-time favorite show is Breaking Bad.

  19. One of the most curious developments in TV programming and in films in the past couple of decades is an audience preference for special effects and shocking events. The first casualty of this shift is a good story. Hell On Wheels had a pretty good story to tell but it collapsed in the last three episodes of Season 2 when the writers opted for a series of absurd twists in the plot and some serious character modifications. Bohannon was not Bohannon anymore, Lily lost her nerve, the Swede became a lunatic (he was far more interesting in Season 1), and Durant turned on Lily on a dime. These changes imply that the writers bent the show’s key characters to fit the events, not the other way around as it should be. So far in Season 3 the writers have stayed away from the surreal that characterized the Bad Moon/Bad Moon Rising episodes but unfortunately they have chosen to relate a number of short stories instead of an over-arching major story that viewers can sink their molars into and not just nibble at.

  20. I love HOW and really hope there will be a season 4.

  21. I’m a latecomer to Hell on Wheels. Having only to catch a promo on AMC. I’m now addicted to the series. I’m catching up the first two seasons on Netflix while watching S3 real time. This is a great show great acting great cast. I didn’t see what happens to miss bell yet. Too bad I like her. Maybe she can make it to prime time tv. Maybe NCIS now that there will be an opening. Hopeing for s4

  22. Please write the next season. This is a great show; appreciate the facts that are included…(like the battle of Antietum). You are great writers. Must get to Promitory Point.

  23. We have been thinking that the story line is becoming ridiculous. Losing our interest in this show FAST!

  24. I love this show. I record it every week. Anson is perfect for the leading role. Wish it was on year round. Good work. Keep it on.

  25. I love breaking bad and the walking dead but hell on wheels is by far in my opinion the best show on amc and tv for that matter. I sincerely hope AMC is smart enough to keep this show running season after season. They claim a drop in viewing I do not believe this is the case with technology expanding every day I believe the census is squed and people are watching episodes in different ways that drop the viewership on all shows therefore the polling on how many people are watching is inaccurate