AMC has been on a roll these last few years, gaining critical and audience acclaim for nearly every original series the network airs. They hope to continue the trend this winter with historical drama Hell On Wheels, now confirmed for a November 6th, 2011 premiere.
The new show comes from producers Joe and Tony Gayton, who recently worked on the well-received action flick Faster. Hell On Wheels takes place in a traveling town - following a camp of workers on the Transcontinental Railroad just after the Civil War. The main character, former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannon, takes a railroad job to search for the Union soldiers who killed his wife. Themes of vengeance and subjugation abound.
Bohannon is played by Anson Mount, star of the short-lived Law & Order spinoff Conviction and various one-off characters for shows like Lost, CSI: Miami and Smallville. Other actors currently known include rapper Common, playing a freed slave, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Colm Meaney as a firebrand preacher and Dominique McElligott as Lily Bell, a woman caring for her infirm husband.
AMC Senior Vice President Joel Stillerman had this to say about the new series:
Since Broken Trail, AMC has looked for the next expression of an original Western series. Hell on Wheels is an incredibly powerful story that captures the intensity and inspiration of the American West at a time when nothing less than the future of the nation was at stake."
Hell On Wheels' freshman season will consist of just ten episodes, although it's not known if AMC will split the show across the new year divide or simply air the episodes weekly. Alberta, Canada stands in for the Great Plains during production, which started earlier this summer.
Hell On Wheels will be AMC's sixth original series in five years, behind Mad Men, Breaking Bad (which just started its fourth season), The Walking Dead and The Killing. Rubicon (2010) is the only recent AMC show that has failed to secure a second-season order. With the notable exception of The Walking Dead, all of these shows have been nominated for at least one Emmy, with Mad Men and The Killing securing 18 and 6 nominations (respectively) this year alone.
If you're intrigued by the premise, be sure to check out the trailer for Hell On Wheels. The series begins Sunday, November 6th at 10PM.
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter