Wirth takes over the role from Vince Calandra, who was the showrunner of the first season of the series. The show was renewed for a second season in June shortly after it debuted.
This marks Wirth’s return to AMC Networks, as he was previously the showrunner on the AMC series “Hell on Wheels” for four seasons and an executive producer on the Sundance TV series “Hap and Leonard.” His other credits include “Wu Assassins,” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Nash Bridges,” and “Picket Fences.”
“We are thrilled to welcome John Wirth, someone we know well and have collaborated with so successfully on multiple shows – most notably ‘Hell on Wheels’ – to the ‘Dark Winds’ creative team,” said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “This series quickly became one of the breakout hits of the year, on both linear television and streaming, and we are looking forward to the ride continuing next year.”
“Dark Winds” is based on the Leaphorn & Chee book series by Tony Hillerman. Set in 1971 on a remote outpost of the Navajo Nation near Monument Valley, the series follows Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon) of the Tribal Police as he is besieged by a series of seemingly unrelated crimes. The closer he digs to the truth, the more he exposes the wounds of his past. He is joined on this journey by his new deputy, Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon). Chee, too, has old scores to settle from his youth on the reservation. Together, the two men battle the forces of evil, each other and their own personal demons on the path to salvation.
“’Hap and Leonard,’ ‘Hell on Wheels,’ ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,’ ‘Nash Bridges’ – John Wirth is someone who needs no introduction and knows his way around a compelling and highly watchable story,” said McClarnon and Chris Eyre. “Tony Hillerman gave us so much rich material to explore, we are excited to dive into season two with the rest of the creative team and John as our showrunner. Together, we aim to return with something special for the fans of ‘Dark Winds.’”
“I’m delighted to be returning home to AMC to join the ‘Dark Winds’ team for season two and roll up my sleeves alongside Zahn McClarnon, Chris Eyre, George RR Martin, Robert Redford and others,” Wirth added. “I’m a long-time fan of the Tony Hillerman novels and am looking forward to working with my indigenous partners to bring his books and the world of the Navajo Nation to life on screen.”
The six-episode second season of “Dark Winds” is expected to launch on AMC and AMC+ in 2023. Graham Roland created the series and serves as executive producer. McClarnon executive produces in addition to starring. Robert Redford, George R.R. Martin, Annie Hillerman, Chris Eyre, Vince Gerardis, and Tina Elmo also executive produce. AMC Studios produces.