AMC has opted to pass on both of the drama pilots it produced this year as prospective series for 2015.
The decision to nix series orders for “Galyntine” and “Knifeman” comes as the cabler has at least four new series on tap for next year, starting in February with the much-anticipated “Breaking Bad” prequel “Better Call Saul.”
The cabler also has martial arts dramas “Badlands,” which earned a straight to series order in July, and the futuristic robot drama “Humans,” a co-production with Channel 4 that AMC took over from Xbox Studios a few months ago. AMC is also closing in on a deal with the BBC to nab the espionage-themed limited-series “The Night Manager,” toplined by Hugh Laurie.
There’s also a strong prospect that a “Walking Dead” companion series will be greenlit. Another project, “Preacher,” based a graphic novel about a maverick Texas clergyman, is said to be heating up for a pilot order. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are writing that adaptation for Sony Pictures TV and Original Film.
AMC is under the microscope next year as the cabler will be waving goodbye to its signature drama “Mad Men” after a spring run of seven episodes. The pressure is on to seed the next generation of distinctive AMC hits — although the boffo numbers delivered by “Walking Dead” certainly provides a cushion.
AMC sources emphasized that the execs still aim to stay in business with future development with the creative teams behind “Galyntine” and “Knifeman.”
But the decision to pass on series orders for both is a sign of how tough it is even for the largest cablers to get new series off the ground unless insiders have extreme confidence in a show’s potential, not only on air but in international and SVOD markets. AMC also made the tough call earlier this month to put the brakes on its unscripted series production and development activities in order to better focus time and resources on its core scripted drama business.
“Galyntine” is a post-apocalyptic vehicle about survivors of a technology-induced disaster. It was penned by Jason Cahill who exec produced by Cahill, Greg Nicotero (who directed the pilot) through Ridley Scott’s Scott Free banner.
“Knifeman” is set in 1771 London and revolved around a rogue surgeon. Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald penned the pilot for Media Rights Capital.
This isn’t the first time that AMC has taken a big pass on development. In 2011, the cabler opted not to produce any pilots after developing a half-dozen drama scripts.
The next round of AMC pilot orders are expected to hit by the end of November.