Ready to expand their scripted and non-scripted slate, AMC has greenlit 10 episodes of “Dietland,” a new drama from Marti Noxon based on Sarai Walker’s novel; announced a year-round documentary banner, “AMC Visionaries”; and ordered eight additional projects for development.
“Dietland,” which is set in the beauty industry, is a part-character drama and part-revenge fantasy, exploring “society’s obsession with weight loss and beauty in a bold, original and funny way.” It will premiere in 2018.
“This series, populated by unforgettable characters and unique storytelling approaches, will focus a wickedly entertaining lens on issues as diverse and divisive as dieting, dating, beauty and the many societal expectations that continue to dominate our culture and consciousness,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios.
“Dietland” marks Noxon’s return to AMC after her work on “Mad Men.” She will serve as executive producer, writer, and showrunner on the project, a co-production between AMC and Skydance Television. Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross are executive producers, along with Maria Grasso of Tiny Pyro, Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn of Mockingbird Pictures and Jackie Hoyt.
AMC opened a writers’ room for “Dietland” late last year under the network’s “scripts-to-series” development model, which spends several months exploring a potential series before a greenlight.
“‘Dietland’ is a wildly inventive and funny story that boasts powerful female characters against a backdrop of provocative social commentary,” said Skydance Television president Marcy Ross. “We are so fortunate to have Marti Noxon at the helm of this incredible new series and to have AMC as its ideal home.”
In addition to “Dietland,” AMC announced development on eight new scripted projects from existing creative partners including Bob Odenkirk, Chris Hardwick, Greg Nicotero, and Colman Domingo. These projects all fall under the “scripts-to-series” model from which “Dietland” came.
“We are at our best when we bet on and support exceptional talent and this diverse development slate, from exceptional creators with distinct points of view, includes multiple projects from longstanding and successful AMC partners,” said Collier. “Our deep pipeline of projects embodies our ‘eclectic by design,’ quality programming approach and our ‘scripts-to-series’ development model that puts the emphasis on the most important part of our strategy – outstanding writing, a commitment to worlds you’ve never seen on TV before, and rich character development.”
The “Untitled Rainn Wilson Project,” from Wilson and Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment, is a one-hour scripted series following an “alien entity” that takes over a poly-addicted middle-aged man living in the San Fernando Valley.
“Shock Theatre,” from Nicotero and executive producers Matt Lambert, Gail Berman, and Joe Earley, is an anthology series in which each episode tells a new sci-fi horror tale. “Shock Theatre” is a Jack Group Production.
“Underbelly,” from Dan Connolly, is a Fish Ladder Production (Hardwick and Mike Clents), and will be a “deep dive into the dark-side of popular culture” using the horror genre as a lens to explore storylines related to the fan experience in an anthology style.
Domingo and Alisa Tager bring “In The Middle of the Street,” which is inspired by Domingo’s critically acclaimed play, “Dot.” “In The Middle of the Street” centers on a family in West Philadelphia who has to deal with old secrets in order to handle the challenges of their present. It is a Collider Entertainment Production, and Domingo is set to star.
Eric Heisserer has “Liking What You See” from Ted Chiang’s short story of the same name (and Chiang is aboard as a consultant). “Liking What You See” is set in a near future saturated with media images of beauty where one town’s residents have all voluntarily undergone calliagnosia, a procedure that eliminates their ability to perceive beauty. The show is a Chernin Entertainment Production.
Sinead Daly’s “The Age of Miracles” centers on a woman named Julia whose world is literally shifted when she learns that the Earth’s rotation is suddenly and dramatically slowing down. Days and nights grow longer, gravity is affected, and people start to fall sick from mysterious illnesses. “The Age of Miracles” is a 21 Laps Production, and Karen Thompson Walker is a consultant on the project.
“Ballad of Black Tom” comes from author Victor LaValle who wrote the novella and will co-executive produce the show. The story centers on Tommy Tester, a street musician and hustler in jazz age New York who delivers an occult object to a reclusive sorceress and opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, becoming caught up in a Lovecraftian conspiracy to conjure the destruction of the world.
The non-fiction “Wicked West” from Blumhouse Television (Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman) is a horror anthology project designed to “uncover the most frightening and disturbing tales from the Wild West.”
Additionally, AMC recently opened writers’ rooms for three projects under consideration for potential series orders: “NOS4A2” from Jami O’Brien, “Pandora” from Sam Vincent & Jonathan Brackley, and “Silent History” from Claire Carré and Charles Spano.
And previously announced upcoming series like “Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics” and “James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction” are now going to fall under a year-round documentary banner entitled “AMC Visionaries,” per Collier.
“‘AMC Visionaries’ is all about going deep into areas of fan passion,” Collier said. “In addition to Robert Kirkman on comics or James Cameron on sci-fi, that AMC is going to be the home of Eli Roth’s deep dive into horror makes perfect sense given our decades-long commitment to the genre. He’ll shed light on the stories and storytellers that keep us up at night, while hip-hop royalty Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter will bring fans a unique look at the stories behind hip-hop’s global influence. We’re all in and excited for these leaders to share their vision.”
“AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror” will bring together storytellers and stars to explore the genre’s biggest themes and talk about inspiration. “AMC Visionaries: Rap Yearbook,” which is based on Shea Serrano’s best-selling “The Rap Yearbook,” will debate and deconstruct the most important moments and songs from the biggest years in the history of hip-hop with each episode centered on the story of one key song but featuring a special guest MC as well as a select group of core contributors including legendary rap artists, acclaimed music experts and other fresh voices.
Other “AMC Visionaries” projects that the network is developing include “History of Video Games,” “Outlaws of the Internet,” and “History of Martial Arts.”