The “Mad Men” network has two new scripted shows ready to go — and its president is unfazed by chatter that the ad-agency-themed flagship may be winding down
AMC has become an Emmy powerhouse since the debut of the retro ad agency drama "Mad Men" in 2007.
In the three years since, the network's two original series — "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" — have brought home a total of 13 Emmy awards, including "Mad Men's" back-to-back wins for Outstanding Drama Series in 2008 and 2009.
Now AMC is attempting to build on that success with the launch of two more new originals: "Rubicon" and "Walking Dead."
"Rubicon" is a thriller about a shadowy government conspiracy, with Miranda Richardson and "The Pacific's" James Badge Dale. AMC gave viewers a sneak peek at "Rubicon" on June 13 by running the show's first episode after the third-season finale of "Breaking Bad." It starts airing in earnest on Aug. 1.
"Walking Dead," which launches in October, is an adaptation of a comic series set in a zombie apocalypse (yes, another zombie apocalypse), directed by "Shawshank Redemption" scribe Frank Darabont and written by Robert Kirkman.
AMC President Charlie Collier wouldn't say how much hardware he expects to take home at the Emmy Awards ceremony in August, but he's conficent about the future of the network.
"We'll have four scripted series on air and they'll all be crafted by the best talent in the business," he told TheWrap.
Indeed, AMC has a lot riding on the new shows. "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner reportedly has said he plans to end the series in 2012.
So is the flagship show coming to an end? Collier seemed unfazed.
"Matt's vision for 'Mad Men' has been just pitch-perfect from the start." he said. "He has a vision for this show and knows it better than anyone. If 'Mash' can make the Korean War go on longer than a decade, then we'll take this for as long as he can continue to picture the world of Sterling Cooper."
Regardless, he thinks AMC is in a good position to continue their strategy of finding innovative original series to complement its extensive classic movie library — which he describes as the "thread going through all of" the original series.
"Really, what we set out to do is create original scripted television that could stand side-by-side with a library of the best films of all time … We do very much view ourselves as a movie network," he said.
To that end, AMC has tried to create pairings between its original shows and movies.
For example, "Walking Dead" will premiere alongside AMC's annual "Fearfest" horror movie marathon. "When you have the library that we have, it gives you the ability to curate in a unique way," Collier said.
He's clearly bullish about his network's prospects for the Emmys and beyond.
"We're feeling pretty good right now."
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