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The cable network has ordered 14 more episodes for the Saturday drama, splitting the final run into two half-seasons, a rollout strategy it has employed for prestige offerings, such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad. The first seven episodes will air next summer with the final seven premiering in summer 2016.
“With season five of Hell on Wheels, we are proud to bring our transcontinental journey to conclusion for the large, loyal audience that has traveled with Cullen Bohannon and his crew for so many years,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. “We look forward to appropriately honoring Hell on Wheels in this final season. Enormous thanks to the terrific writers, cast and crew for all they have achieved and for all that lies ahead in the Wild West.”
Hell on Wheels is averaging 3.4 million viewers on Saturdays in live-plus-three ratings, with 965,000 in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49 demographic and 1.3 million among adults 25 to 54. The Western drama wraps up its fourth season Nov. 22.
AMC moved Hell on Wheels to Saturdays ahead of its third season, a decision that was initially seen as a death knell. However, the Anson Mount-led drama has proven resilient, maintaining an audience over the past two seasons and establishing a brand-new evening of original programming for AMC.
Colm Meaney, Phil Burke, Robin McLeavy, Dohn Norwood, Christopher Heyerdahl, MacKenzie Porter, Jake Weber, Jennifer Ferrin, Chelah Horsdal, Kasha Kropinski, Tayden Marks and Common also star in the fourth season. Endemol USA developed the series, which is produced by Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures.
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