November 28, 2012 9:32am PT by Michael O'Connell
AMC Launching Unscripted Thursday Block in February, Orders New Series
AMC is increasing its investment in unscripted programming -- so much so that it's added a new night of originals to its schedule.
The network announced Wednesday that three unscripted ventures will air on Thursdays starting Feb. 14. Furthermore, it has ordered eight episodes of another unscripted project, Owner's Manual.
AMC's unscripted block will kick off with the second season of Comic Book Men, airing at 9 p.m. At 9:30 p.m., the previously announced Freakshow (from Greg Johnston of Endemol USA and Todd Ray of Living Wonders) will follow the family behind the Venice Beach Boardwalk's titular tourist attraction. Taxidermy competition Immortalized (executive produced by Go Go Luckey Entertainment) will debut at 10 p.m.
“With an expanding slate of unscripted series, it makes perfect sense for us to create and build a new night for these great stories, in the same way we have made Sundays a true destination for our award-winning original dramas,” said AMC executive vp original programming, production and digital content Joel Stillerman. “We are excited to have Thursday night as the new home for unscripted on AMC as we continue to showcase distinct storytelling that explores authentic characters and original worlds.”
When those three series end their runs, the second seasons of unscripted efforts The Pitch, Small Town Security and the recently ordered Road Show (working title) will join Thursdays.
Owner's Manual comes from Asylum Entertainment. It pits stars Ed Sanders (Extreme Makeover) and Marcus Hunt (Hammer Heads) against each another in a duel over whether a task can be performed better using a manual or not.
"The minute we saw this show, we knew it was a great concept,” said Stillerman. “Every adult in the world falls into one of two categories. You either read the owner's manual or you don't. As a non-owner's manual person, I have a whole shelf in my house dedicated to parts that never found their way into things I have assembled. Watching Ed and Marcus go at it every week in the great tasks that Asylum is putting together is going to be truly compelling entertainment, no matter what side of the Owner's Manual divide you live on."
The series is executive produced by Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Alex Piper and Jerry McNutt. AMC’s Stillerman, senior vp production Jason Fisher and vp nonscripted original programming Mary Conlon oversee the development and production for the network’s unscripted fare.