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AMC is bulking up its pilot orders.
The cable network home to The Walking Dead and Mad Men has picked up to pilot Knifeman and Galyntine, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Set in 18th century London, Knifeman tells the story of a charming, arrogant, decorum-breaking genius who challenges societal norms to transform his visions into cutting-edge discoveries. Developed by Media Rights Capital, Rolin Jones (United States of Tara, Friday Night Lights) penned the pilot and will executive produce alongside Ron Fitzgerald, Josh Donnen and Robert Zotnowski. The drama is inspired by Wendy Moore‘s John Hunter biography The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching and the Birth of Modern Surgery.
For its part, Galyntine is an original story rooted in both fantasy/action-adventure and sci-fi. The drama takes 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. Jason Cahill (Halt & Catch Fire, Fringe) penned the pilot and will executive produce alongside The Walking Dead’s Emmy-winning EP/VFX master Greg Nicotero. David Zucker and Ridley Scott will also executive produce through Scott Free’s first-look deal with AMC.
Both pilots will be produced by AMC Studios in 2014 for series consideration in 2015. Unlike Breaking Bad (Sony Pictures Television) and Mad Men (Lionsgate), AMC will retain ownership of both projects, a growing priority for the New York-based cable network. (The Walking Dead and its planned companion series as well as upcoming dramas Halt & Catch Fire and Turn are all AMC productions.)
“These are both highly original and ambitious pilots that take us into worlds that we haven’t seen on TV before,” AMC exec vp programming, production and digital content Joel Stillerman said. “The bawdiness and fun of Knifeman and London in the mid-18th century; and the completely unique take on a postapocalyptic world in Galyntine are right in AMC’s wheelhouse of making television that is both unexpected and unconventional. They’re both driven by creative and production teams that we know are capable of delivering groundbreaking television.”
The pilots join previously announced David Morrissey (The Walking Dead) starrer Line of Sight in the works at the cable network. The orders come as AMC looks to replenish its original scripted programming following the cancellation of The Killing, the conclusion of Breaking Bad and as the network is poised to say farewell to Mad Men in 2015. In addition to freshman dramas Turn and Halt & Catch Fire — both of which will premiere in 2014 — the cable network is developing a Walking Dead companion series and Breaking Bad prequel (Better Call Saul). Low-rated freshman scripted drama Low Winter Sun is not expected to see a second season, though a formal decision has not yet been made.
Should any of the current crop of pilots move to series, they would join the fourth season of Hell on Wheels, The Walking Dead and the final season of Mad Men on the network.
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