An Overabundance of Quality (and Controversy)

Carole Segal/AMC

AMC sports some of the most buzzworthy programs on television -- and a healthy history of controversty involving their producers.

Mad Men
Production started Aug. 8 on the Jon Hamm-directed season-five opener, but it won't air until March. Many believe the delay is due to the long negotiations among AMC, Lionsgate and Weiner, whose new deal reportedly pays him nearly $10 million a season for at least two more seasons. Not so, says Collier. "Matt gets blamed for things that have nothing to do with him," he told THR.

The Killing
After fans revolted when Rosie Larson's killer wasn't revealed in the season finale, Stillerman admitted at its TCA panel that the network "definitely didn't manage expectations the way that they should have been managed." On the bright side, star Mireille Enos scored an Emmy nom, and creator Veena Sud, who is about to start writing season two, says the killer will be identified early on.

Breaking Bad
Rocky negotiations over costs for season five led producer Sony Television to briefly consider taking the meth drama starring three-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston elsewhere. But sources say cooler heads have prevailed, and the two sides will likely work out a deal. In the meantime, the show's extended hiatus kept it out of Emmy contention this year.

Hell on Wheels
AMC has high hopes for the Nov. 6 bow of its sixth original series, a post-Civil War railroad drama from writer-producers Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster, Murder by Numbers) and John Shiban (The X-Files, Breaking Bad). Will audiences tune in to a primetime Western? "We're feeling confident that it's going to start strong," Stillerman said at TCA.