AMC is doubling down on genre programming with a new slate of developing series, including a Rainn Wilson alien project and adaptations of speculative novels and stories.
The upcoming slate, announced at the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour on Saturday, includes an untitled project executive produced by “The Office” actor Rainn Wilson in which an alien entity takes over the body of a middle-aged man (played by Wilson) in the San Fernando Valley. The series is executive produced by Odenkirk Provissiero, which does “Better Call Saul” on the network.
AMC is embracing horror and genre subjects with a few potential projects, including an adaptation of the Lovecraftian novella “The Ballad of Black Tom” by author Victor LaValle, a nonfiction anthology series from Blumhouse called “Wicked West” that tells thrilling tales from American Western mythology and “Shock Theatre,” an anthology that draws inspiration from B-movie sci-fi.
Additionally, Chris Hardwick’s production company Fish Ladder is working with AMC to develop a series called “Underbelly,” which will explore the “underbelly” of pop culture and fandom.
Out of the eight series that are being pushed through AMC’s “script-to-series” program, seven are inspired by horror and sci-fi.
“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,” Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios, said in a statement. “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.”
Whichever series get greenlit will join AMC’s lineup of genre works, including “The Walking Dead,” “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Preacher.”
Check out the development slate below.
“Untitled Rainn Wilson Project”
Rainn Wilson, executive producer, actor
Naomi Odenkirk, executive producer
Marc Provissiero, executive producer
A Odenkirk Provissiero Production
Description: A one-hour scripted series that follows an alien entity which takes over the body of a poly-addicted, middle-aged man living in the San Fernando Valley.
Greg Nicotero, director and executive producer
Matt Lambert, executive producer
Gail Berman, executive producer
Joe Earley, executive producer
A Jackal Group Production
Description: An anthology wherein each episode will be a brand-new sci-fi horror tale in the style of the B movie classics.
“Underbelly” by Dan Connolly
Dan Connolly, executive producer
A Fish Ladder Production (Chris Hardwick, Mike Clements)
Description: A deep dive into the dark-side of pop culture. Using the lens of the horror genre, this anthology explores storylines related to the fan experience, celebrity, greed, alienation, obsession and vanity. The sensibility of the series is darkly funny, shocking, subversive and trippy. If pop culture is a kind of new religion, this show is the deranged heretic who interrupts the service and gets thrown out.
“In the Middle of the Street” by Colman Domingo
Colman Domingo, executive producer
Alisa Tager, executive producer
A Collider Entertainment Production
Inspired by Colman Domingo’s critically acclaimed play “Dot”
Description: A family in fading West Philadelphia must confront old secrets in order to face the challenges of their present. Inspired by Colman Domingo’s critically acclaimed play “Dot,” the series unflinchingly tackles aging parents, marriage, sexuality and politics with humor and joy.
“Liking What You See” by Eric Heisserer
Eric Heisserer, executive producer
Ted Chiang, consultant
A Chernin Entertainment Production
Based on Ted Chiang’s short story “Liking What You See”
Eric Heisserer wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for the film “Arrival,” based on Ted Chiang’s short story Arrival.
Description: Set in a near future saturated with advertising and media images of beauty, the exception being the community of Saybrook, whose residents have all voluntarily adopted calliagnosia, a reversible, non-invasive procedure that eliminates their ability to perceive beauty. Once you have calliagnosia, no one looks prettier or uglier than anyone else; the people of Saybrook judge each other purely on their merits. But is this something the rest of the world is ready for?
“The Age of Miracles” by Sinead Daly
Sinead Daly, executive producer
Karen Thompson Walker, Consultant
A 21 Laps Production
Description: Julia’s world is shifted, literally, when a shocking fact is made public: Earth’s rotation is suddenly, dramatically and inexplicably slowing down. As the days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, and people start falling sick to a mysterious new illness. Julia is also forced to cope with the normal disasters of everyday life as her parents’ marriage falls apart and she struggles with lost friends and first love.
“Ballad of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle
Victor LaValle, Co-executive producer
Based on the novella “The Ballad Of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle
Description: Tommy Tester is a street musician and hustler in jazz age New York who works odd jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over his father’s head. But when he delivers an occult object to a reclusive sorceress, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and becomes caught up in a Lovecraftian conspiracy to conjure the destruction of the world.
“Wicked West” (Non-Fiction)
Producing Studio: Blumhouse Television (Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman)
Description: Nonfiction horror anthology produced by Blumhouse Television (“Get Out,” “The Jinx” “Split”), “Wicked West” uncovers the most frightening and disturbing tales from the Wild West. And they’re all true. “Wicked West” utilizes Blumhouse’s chilling cinematic style on this weekly series, telling stories of sadistic serial killers, murderous black widows, bloodthirsty family clans and local legends laced with the supernatural. With a tense horror, modern cinematic style, “Wicked West” brings a haunting approach to the untold stories of the bloodbath known as the American West.