AMC has tapped “Walking Dead” star Jeffrey Dean Morgan to host a weekly talk show with his wife, actor Hilarie Burton Morgan, that will originate from the couple’s farm in upstate New York.
Set to bow at 10 p.m. ET on April 17, “Friday Night In With the Morgans” will originate from the couple’s 100-acre spread in Dutchess County, about two hours north of New York City. The half-hour show will feature the two connecting via video streaming sessions with famous friends and other guests for conversations about life in the time of social distancing. There will be a strong focus on feel-good stories and efforts to find joy and humor in unprecedented times. The homey atmosphere will be quite the contrast to the heavy character of Negan that Morgan has played on “Walking Dead” since 2016.
“We have been a part of the AMC family for a long time and are honored to create this comforting space with them,” said Morgan and Burton Morgan. “From our home here at Mischief Farm, we look forward to shining a light on those who are doing good in the world, catching up with old friends and connecting with the awesome fan base we’ve gotten to know over the years.”
AMC is proudly billing the effort as a programming experiment in response to the demands of the moment, according to Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks’ entertainment group and AMC Studios. The series hails from producer Michael Davies’ Embassy Row banner, with Davies, Tammy Johnston, Brandon Monk and Steve Markowitz executive producing along with Morgan and Burton Morgan.
“This really will be an experiment – it’s the antidote to the overly rehearsed, overly manicured glimpse into somebody’s perfect life – it will be full of heart, messy conversation, hardworking humans who are on the frontlines, and guests who might reveal some previously unknown talents,” Barnett said. “Ultimately, it’s a shot at some raw and real entertainment that will uplift and connect with our audiences.”
The series is also an effort to tap into the “Walking Dead” fan community at a time when AMC like other networks has felt the pinch of the coronavirus clampdown on production as it impacts the pipeline of new content coming to the cabler. AMC had to delay the “Walking Dead” season 10 finale episode that was set to air this month because social distancing orders hampered the final post-production work on the episode.
Guests set for “Friday Night In” include Morgan’s fellow “Walking Dead” troupers Christian Serratos and Sarah Wayne Callies. Also on board are Mark Duplass, Jensen Ackles and physician and Morgan family friend Dr. Sharagim Kemp.
Burton co-starred in WB Network/CW’s “One Tree Hill” as well as Fox’s “Lethal Weapon” drama series. She has chronicled her move with Morgan and their two young children to the 100-acre farm about two hours north of New York City in a memoir “The Rural Diaries: Love, Livestock, and Big Life Lessons Down on Mischief Farm,” to be released May 5 by HarperCollins.
Morgan is repped by UTA, attorney Stuart Rosenthal of Goodman Genow and Viewpoint. Burton is represented by APA, Authentic Talent and Literary Management, attorneys Jordan Manekin and Robert Strent of Grubman Shire.