9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead' Star Norman Reedus to Host AMC Motorcycle Docuseries
AMC is expanding its relationship with Norman Reedus.
The cable network is teaming with the Walking Dead star for a six-episode docuseries exploring motorcycle culture.
Set to debut in 2016, each hourlong episode of Ride With Norman Reedus (a working title) will see the actor behind The Walking Dead's Daryl Dixon explore local motorcycle culture and its history by taking rides through different cities with a riding companion. Each week, the motorcycle enthusiast will ride with a fellow actor, musician, friend or local who shares his passion to journey to a new destination. Along the way, they'll stop at locations including custom-bike shops, tattoo parlors, collector warehouses and more, in addition to showcasing various types of motorcycles, including vintage, minis and cruisers.
Produced by Left/Right Productions, Ride is executive produced by Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver (This American Life). Ride reunites Druckerman and Tarver with the network after their unscripted series Small Town Security ended its run after three seasons in 2014 when AMC largely abandoned reality fare and shifted its focus to scripted TV.
"We love being the home of people’s passion projects, and there is nobody more passionate about motorcycles than Norman Reedus,” said AMC and SundanceTV original programming and development president Joel Stillerman. “He is an avid rider and aficionado who is deeply immersed in motorcycle culture. There is also nobody more fun to hang out with. This show will bring those two elements together for a weekly ride into the incredible world of motorcycles and the people who live and breathe them.”
The pact comes as Reedus' motorcycle-riding Walking Dead alter ego continues to be a fan favorite, with multiple "If Daryl Dies We Riot" campaigns urging the zombie drama to keep Daryl — who isn't featured in the original comic series — alive and well.
"Norman’s interest in motorcycle culture and his natural ability to make friends wherever the road takes him are just two of the key ingredients that make this show so exciting for us," said Left/Right co-president Druckerman. "We look forward to taking viewers on a fun, imaginative and revealing ride."
Added Reedus: "I’m incredibly excited and thankful to AMC for giving me the opportunity to share a passion of mine with our fans and hopefully a whole new audience. I had a lot of fun filming and exploring, and I hope it shows."
Ride comes as AMC has been more strategic about its unscripted orders after largely abandoning the genre in 2014. Ride joins a roster of unscripted fare that complements the network's scripted programming and includes The West, The Making of the Mob and Talking Dead.
AMC senior vp nonfiction and alternative Eliot Goldberg and vp unscripted programming Marco Bresaz are overseeing for the network.
Reedus, who originally auditioned to play Merle on the zombie drama but had the role of Daryl written specifically for him, is repped by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment and attorney Jeff Bernstein.