E1 to produce ‘Hell on Wheels’

AMC pilot covers building of Transcontinental Railroad

Canadian-based E1 Entertainment has signed on as a producer for the AMC pilot “Hell on Wheels.”

A contemporary Western that centers on the post-Civil War construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, “Hell on Wheels” is also being produced by Endemol USA. With E1 on board, the two shingles will share global rights. Endemol will hold all television distribution rights across Europe, with E1 having all remaining territories.

“AMC felt comfortable with E1 as the studio,” John Morayniss, CEO of E1 Television told Daily Variety. “From our perspective, I love finding indies we can partner with. … Once we made a deal with AMC, I got into a quick negotiation with Endemol on how to partner the international sales part of it.”

Pilot was written by Joe and Tony Gayton, who will also exec produce with Jeremy Gold, Endemol’s senior VP of scripted programming.

Production of “Hell on Wheels,” which is looking likely to be committed to series, will begin next month in Alberta, Canada. David Von Ancken has been tapped to direct.

This is one of the first scripted ventures for Endemol, which normally specializes in reality content, including “Wipeout” and “Big Brother.” E1 produces HBO comedy “Hung,” ABC summer drama “Rookie Blue” and Syfy’s “Haven.”

Also contributing to the production is local Alberta production company Nomadic Pictures, which worked on AMC longform “Broken Trail.”