Railroad story 'Hell on Wheels' gets series order

AMC is riding the rails with a series order for “Hell on Wheels,” a period Western about the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

“Hell on Wheels” reps a return to the oater genre for AMC, which first burst on to the original scripted scene with the mini “Broken Trail.”

Endemol USA is behind the show, one of the first major scripted series to come out of Jeremy Gold’s division at the production company. Entertainment One TV (eOne TV) is also attached.

Set in the post-Civil War era, “Hell on Wheels” follows a Confederate soldier (Anson Mount), bent on revenge, who travels west to work on the construction of

the first transcontinental railroad. Drama aims to capture the greed and corruption associated with the railroad-building boom, as well as examining the wave of immigration and the plight of emancipated slaves during the Reconstruction period.

Joe and Tony Gayton (“Faster”) created the show and wrote the pilot; David Von Ancken (“Californication”) directed the pilot, shot this fall in Alberta, Canada.

Gold, Endemol’s senior VP of scripted programming, is also exec producing. Endemol North America chairman David Goldberg, eOne TV CEO John Morayniss and creative affairs senior VP Michael Rosenberg are attached as well, along with Nomadic Pictures’ Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes.

“AMC’s commitment to the Western is long-standing, and the genre is an important part of our brand and history as a channel,” said Joel Stillerman, the net’s senior VP of original programming, production and digital content. “This show has some incredibly original twists and turns and a contemporary sensibility that we think will bring a very broad audience to our newest drama series.”

“Hell on Wheels” stars Mount, Colm Meaney, Dominique McElligott, thesp-musician Common, Ben Esler, Philip Burke and Eddie Spears.

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