AMC saddles up to Emmys night

'Trail' earns network its most Emmy gold ever

“Broken Trail” has officially become the trail blazer for AMC.

The cabler’s multi-part Western has now earned AMC its most Emmy gold ever — four wins, including three top prizes on Sunday.

Out of 16 noms, “Broken Trail” picked up wins for outstanding miniseries, the longform actor statue for Robert Duvall and supporting actor for Thomas Haden Church. (The fourth was won at the Creative Arts Emmy presentation last week.)

The Emmy haul adds to the momentum the Rainbow Media-operated AMC is coming off this summer, having recently scored some of its biggest raves ever — for critical fave “Mad Men.”

“Mad Men,” which bowed after eligibility closed for this year’s kudofest, could very well keep AMC in the Emmy hunt next year as well.

Beyond “Mad Men,” AMC’s original skeins include “Hustle” (a co-production with BBC), which bowed its fourth season earlier this year, and the upcoming entry “Breaking Bad.” Channel also has development deals with scribes such as Tom Fontana, Karen Hall, Kip Koenig and David Semel, and Freddy DeMann and William Finkelstein.

AMC hasn’t turned its back on the movie biz; the channel’s slogan remains “TV for movie people.”

But the success of “Broken Trail” has accelerated the channel’s homegrown programming plans as well. Channel hopes to eventually program one original series night per week.

“It confirmed where we were going,” AMC programming, packaging and production exec VP Rob Sorcher said earlier this year. “We’re seeking to bring a level of cinematic quality to the TV screen and bring our own take to some of the genres.”

“Broken Trail” attracted 9.7 million viewers in its premiere last year — AMC’s best-ever numbers, and the top-rated cable movie of 2006. Mini also won Hill a DGA Award, and earned several Golden Globe noms.

Given the mini’s success, AMC is already developing new Western projects with both Hill and Church (who’s working on the four-hour mini “Last Horseman,” about an African-American cowboy).

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