AMC Passes on Drama Pilots 'Knifeman,' 'Galyntine'

A surprise given the cabler's renewed focus on scripted originals
Ridley Scott  AP Images

AMC is passing on two drama pilots.

The cable network, which has a renewed focus on scripted, has opted to pass on both Knifeman and Galyntine, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

"We have enormous admiration and appreciation for everyone associated with these projects. We are grateful to have ongoing relationships with several of these talented creators and look forward to working together again," an AMC spokesman said in a statement.

AMC owned and produced both dramas, a key component in the cable network's bottom line. For Knifeman, it marks the end of the road for the project developed by Media Rights Capital in March 2012. Both pilots were picked up at 2013 and developed during the same cycle.

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Set in 18th century London, Knifeman told the story of a charming, arrogant, decorum-breaking genius who challenges societal norms to transform his visions into cutting-edge discoveries. Rolin Jones (United States of Tara, Friday Night Lights) penned the pilot and exec produced alongside Ron FitzgeraldJosh Donnen and Robert Zotnowski. The drama was inspired by Wendy Moore's John Hunter biography The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching and the Birth of Modern Surgery.

Galyntine, meanwhile, was an original story rooted in both fantasy/action-adventure and sci-fi. The drama took place at a time after a cataclysmic technology-induced disaster has resulted in a new society that has eschewed any form of technology. This catastrophic event leaves small numbers of survivors scattered around the planet and forced to adapt to isolation and unique challenges. Catherine Dent starred. Jason Cahill (Halt & Catch Fire, Fringe) penned the pilot and exec produced alongside The Walking Dead's Emmy-winning EP/VFX master Greg NicoteroDavid Zucker and Ridley Scott also exec produced through Scott Free's first-look deal with AMC.

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Pilots still in the works at AMC include its Walking Dead companion series, Afghanistan drama White City and its first comedy We Hate Paul Revere, all of which are being developed on different cycles.

For AMC, the decision to pass on both pilots comes after the cable network home to The Walking Dead dropped nearly all of its unscripted programming to focus on rebuilding its scripted roster after the conclusion of Breaking Bad and with the end of Mad Men in sight. The cabler more recently has looked beyond the traditional in-house pilot process for its originals, picking up Sony Pictures Television's Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul straight to series. The network also swooped in and picked up sci-fi drama Humans, a co-production originally developed for Xbox; and ordered Entertainment One's martial arts drama Badlands straight to series for late 2015 or 2016. This week, AMC returned to the miniseries space that helped launch it into scripted originals with the BBC co-production of Tom Hiddleston-Hugh Laurie starrer The Night Manager.

Meanwhile, the network has already renewed monster hit The Walking Dead for a sixth season and has a companion series in the pilot stage. AMC's original programming roster also includes the second seasons of dramas Halt & Catch Fire and Turn as well as Better Call Saul (already renewed for a second season after it was bumped from the fall to early 2015). Western Hell on Wheels, which hasn't yet been renewed, could join that roster. Also in the works is a high-profile adaptation of controversial comic Preacher, which remains in development but has not yet been ordered to pilot.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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