The success of The Walking Dead has set a promising precedent for AMC, as even amidst the current zombie fashion that has gripped modern media, there was always an element of risk attached to commissioning a weekly drama steeped in all the blood and guts of the horror genre. Nonetheless, The Walking Dead has become AMC's most commercially successful property so far, with producers excitedly talking about keeping the series going for ten years or more. That may be one of the reasons why AMC has now elected to move forward into another genre of speculative fiction: science fiction.
Line of Sight was announced as an AMC slated project earlier this year, and was conceived by Brotherhood creator Blake Masters. The show is about a National Transportation Safety Board investigator named Lewis Bernt, who somehow manages to survive a devastating plane crash and is subsequently driven to find out what caused the accident in a search that leads him quite out of his depth.
Deadline reports that Line of Sight is now moving ahead with Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of the much-acclaimed 1991 Thomas Harris adaptation The Silence of the Lambs, signed on to executive produce the show and direct the pilot episode.
Demme's career in recent years has been oriented towards documentary filmmaking, though he has also begun exploring the world of television by directing episodes of Enlightened and A Gifted Man. His two most recent feature drama films were Rachel Getting Married and The Manchurian Candidate, both of which were very well-received, and he recently completed filming of Fear of Falling, an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's play The Master Builder. Perhaps if he continues with a career in television, we might one day see him directing an episode of Hannibal.
When Line of Sight was originally announced as one of the projects being slated for production, AMC's EVP of original programming Joel Stillerman characterized the show as:
"A world and set of characters that defies the traditional boundaries of drama and sci-fi. It’s got great elements of both genres while also having that unique blend of a conspiracy thriller. It is genuinely unexpected and unconventional.”
Shows with an element of mystery to them - particularly those with a sci-fi edge - have the potential to make for extremely compelling television, since the desire to get to the root cause of an event like Lewis' plane crash can keep audiences coming back to the show week after week. Though The Walking Dead's story steered closer to exploring the original cause of the zombie outbreak towards the end of season one, that particular plot thread seems to have been abandoned for now, and as such mystery isn't really at the heart of AMC's flagship horror show.
For fans of mystery, science fiction and suspense, Line of Sight could be an intriguing addition to the airwaves if it gets ordered to series. While waiting for the pilot episode, you can catch some of Masters' more recent work in the summer release of action comedy 2 Guns, for which he wrote the script.
Line of Sight hasn't yet been picked up for a full series, but we'll keep you updated on the production of the pilot.