AMC Expands Saturdays with Return of

"Hell on Wheels" to launch third season Aug. 3

AMC is expanding to a third night of original programming beginning Aug. 3 with the Saturday premiere of the third season of “Hell on Wheels.”

The cabler has typically shown off its movie roots on Saturdays, with a particular focus on Westerns, but is evolving to include in its programming that night original series “Hell,” which will air along with such newly incorporated Paramount Picture films such as “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “The Shootist.”

In addition, AMC has acquired TV series “Rawhide,” starring Clint Eastwood, which joins “The Rifleman” on Saturdays beginning April 20, and will also air miniseries “Lonesome Dove” and for the first time “Return to Lonesome Dove.”

“A new episode of ‘Hell on Wheels’ on Saturday night after a full day of western fan favorites is going to be like the saddle on top of the horse,” AMC prexy/g.m. Charlie Collier said. “This is a programmer’s dream – to have a genre specific, 14-hour lead-in to one of your highest rated originals.”

John Wirth, Mark Richard and Endemol Studios creative affairs topper Jeremy Gold exec produce “Hell,” which stars Anson Mount, Common and Colm Meaney. Wirth said the new season “will be a western about work — the building of the railroad, the binding of the nation after the Civil War and the rehabilitation of the men who lived and fought their way through those exploits.”

The season-two finale of “Hell” drew 2.4 million viewers overnight and 3.2 million in L+7. AMC’s next series premiere will be “Low Winter Sun,” coming this summer.

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