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With The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul and Killing Eve all set to end in 2022, AMC is wasting little time in building out its next franchise.
The basic cable network has handed out a series order for Anne Rice’s Lives of the Mayfair Witches, which joins Interview With the Vampire at AMC. The formal green light comes three months after AMC announced it was developing Mayfair as the next show in its Rice universe.
The eight-episode series will be written and exec produced by Masters of Sex duo Esta Spalding and Michelle Ashford. Spalding — who has an overall deal with AMC — will serve as showrunner on Mayfair, which is produced internally at AMC Studios.
Mayfair will revolve around an intuitive young neurosurgeon who discovers that she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches. As she grapples with her newfound powers, she must also contend with a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations.
“The world of witches has fascinated and terrified for centuries, and yet Anne Rice’s particular lens on witches explored something new altogether — women who are powerful, and often brutal, and always committed to subverting our current power structures. We are so excited to join our partners AMC and Gran Via Productions in making this mysterious and provocative world come to life,” Spalding and Ashford said in a joint statement announcing the news Wednesday.
Interview, starring Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid, will premiere in late 2022 at AMC. Mayfair will follow at a date to be determined. Casting has not yet been determined, either. Interview was picked up to series last summer after the cabler landed rights to that and 17 other works — including Mayfair — as part of a deal with Rice in May 2020. In announcing the Vampire series order, AMC enlisted Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) to steer its Rice franchise alongside the author and her son, Christopher Rice.
“With the cornucopia of rich characters, worlds and stories that Anne Rice has given millions upon millions of readers around the world, AMC now has the privilege of creating a multitude of fascinating, entertaining, and very distinct television series,” Johnson said. “My good fortune as an executive producer of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire has now been more than doubled with what Esta Spalding and Michelle Ashford are imagining with The Mayfair Witches. While both shows couldn’t be more different, they nevertheless find themselves bound under the same bewitching and engaging umbrella.”
AMC, which has been the subject of sale rumors over the past year-plus, will wrap up its Breaking Bad universe next year with the conclusion of prequel Better Call Saul. The flagship Walking Dead series will also come to a close and lead into a spinoff starring fan-favorites Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus, with an episodic anthology, Tales of the Walking Dead, also expected to launch in the coming new year. What’s more, Emmy favorite Killing Eve will also end its run alongside the second and final season of Kevin Can F**k Himself. In addition to the new shows in the Scott M. Gimple-led TWD franchise, AMC has a slate of scripted originals that include 61st Street and Dark Winds, among others.
“[Next year] will be the biggest year for original programming in the history of our company, and we are literally over the moon that it will now include the first two series in an expanding Anne Rice universe built around stories and characters that have captivated millions of fans around the world,” said Dan McDermott, the recently promoted president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “We are also extremely fortunate to have such talented storytellers as Esta and Michelle guiding this adaptation, which will follow the first season of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire late next year.”
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