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AMC Searches For Its Next ‘Walking Dead’ With New Development Slate

TCA: The new projects in the works include offerings from Blumhouse Television and Rainn Wilson.

Walker - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Gene Page/AMC

Even while established series like “The Walking Dead” continue to perform, AMC has its eyes on the future. The network announced Saturday, July 29 its upcoming slate of new series currently in development, including new projects from Rainn Wilson, “Walking Dead” director Greg Nicotero, and Blumhouse Television.

Three of the announced series in development are anthology-oriented, while nearly all feature some level of genre element. This includes the B-movie homage “Shock Theatre” as well as “Wicked West,” Blumhouse’s non-fiction take on “the most frightening and disturbing tales from the Wild West.”

There are also two high-concept premises mentioned: “Liking What You See” depicts a world where people voluntarily choose to surrender their ability to appreciate beauty, while “The Age of Miracles” is a drama about what happens to one woman’s family after the world learns that the earth’s rotation is slowing down. That’s not even the weirdest one mentioned — that prize may go to “The Ballad of Black Tom,” based on Victor Lavalle’s novel, which brings Lovecraftian horror to jazz age New York.

How many of these shows will ever see the light of day isn’t clear, but they all reflect AMC’s current commitment to smart genre-driven content. Check out the full programming announcement below.

“Untitled Rainn Wilson Project”
Rainn Wilson, executive producer, actor
Naomi Odenkirk, executive producer
Marc Provissiero, executive producer
A Odenkirk Provissiero Production
Description: A one-hour scripted series that follows an alien entity which takes over the body of a poly-addicted, middle-aged man living in the San Fernando Valley.

Credits: Rainn Wilson: “Roadies” (Recurring Role) Showtime, “The Office” (Series regular, NW Producer) NBC, “Blackstrom” (Series Regular, NW Producer) FOX
Odenkirk Provissiero: “Better Call Saul” AMC

“Shock Theatre”
Greg Nicotero, director and executive producer
Matt Lambert, executive producer
Gail Berman, executive producer
Joe Earley, executive producer
A Jackal Group Production
Description: An anthology wherein each episode will be a brand-new sci-fi horror tale in the style of the B movie classics.

Credits: Greg Nicotero: “Fear The Walking Dead” (NWEP, Director) AMC, “The Walking Dead” (NWEP, Director) AMC
Matt Lambert: “Into The Badlands” (Co-producer) AMC, “South of Hell” (Co-EP, Creator)
WE tv
Jackal Group: Gail Berman “The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again” (FBC), “Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life” (FBC)

“Underbelly” by Dan Connolly
Dan Connolly, executive producer
A Fish Ladder Production (Chris Hardwick, Mike Clements)
 
Description: A deep dive into the dark-side of pop culture. Using the lens of the horror genre, this anthology explores storylines related to the fan experience, celebrity, greed, alienation, obsession and vanity. The sensibility of the series is darkly funny, shocking, subversive and trippy. If pop culture is a kind of new religion, this show is the deranged heretic who interrupts the service and gets thrown out.
 
Credits: Dan Connolly: “The Son” (Supervising Producer) AMC, “Into The Badlands” (Supervising Producer) AMC, “Colony” (Co-Producer) USA

“In The Middle Of The Street” by Colman Domingo
Colman Domingo, executive producer
Alisa Tager, executive producer
A Collider Entertainment Production
Inspired by Colman Domingo’s critically acclaimed play “Dot”
Description: A family in fading West Philadelphia must confront old secrets in order to face the challenges of their present.  Inspired by Colman Domingo’s critically acclaimed play “Dot,” the series unflinchingly tackles aging parents, marriage, sexuality, and politics with humor and joy.
 
Credits: Colman Domingo: “Selma” (cast) Paramount Pictures, “Fear The Walking Dead” (Series regular) AMC, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (cast) The Weinstein Company
Alisa Tager: “Arthur Newman” (Producer) Cross Creek Pictures
 
“Liking What You See” by Eric Heisserer
Eric Heisserer, executive producer
Ted Chiang, consultant
A Chernin Entertainment Production
Based on Ted Chiang’s short story “Liking What You See”
Eric Heisserer wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for the film “Arrival,” based on Ted Chiang’s short story Arrival.
Description: Set in a near future saturated with advertising and media images of beauty, the exception being the community of Saybrook, whose residents have all voluntarily adopted calliagnosia, a reversible, non-invasive procedure that eliminates their ability to perceive beauty. Once you have calliagnosia, no one looks prettier or uglier than anyone else; the people of Saybrook judge each other purely on their merits. But is this something the rest of the world is ready for?
 
Credits: Eric Heisserer: “Arrival” (Screenplay, EP) Paramount Pictures, “Lights Out” (Writer, Producer) New Line Cinema
Ted Chiang (Author/Consultant; Source Material “Story of Your Life” adapted into Arrival)
Chernin: “Hidden Figures” (Fox 2000), “New Girl” (FOX)
 
“The Age of Miracles” by Sinead Daly
Sinead Daly, executive producer
Karen Thompson Walker, Consultant
A 21 Laps Production
Description: Julia’s world is shifted, literally, when a shocking fact is made public: Earth’s rotation is suddenly, dramatically and inexplicably slowing down.  As the days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, and people start falling sick to a mysterious new illness. Julia is also forced to cope with the normal disasters of everyday life as her parents’ marriage falls apart and she struggles with lost friends and first love.
 
Credits: Sinead Daly: “The Get Down” (Story Editor) Netflix, “Blue Bloods” (Staff Writer).
21 Laps: “Stranger Things,” “Table 19,” “Arrival,” “Why Him”

“Ballad Of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle
Victor LaValle, Co-executive producer
Based on the novella The Ballad Of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Description: Tommy Tester is a street musician and hustler in jazz age New York who works odd jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over his father’s head. But when he delivers an occult object to a reclusive sorceress, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and becomes caught up in a Lovecraftian conspiracy to conjure the destruction of the world.

Novel Credits: Victor LaValle: Big Machine, The Changeling, The Devil in Silver

“Wicked West” (Non-Fiction)
Producing Studio: Blumhouse Television (Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman)
Description: Nonfiction horror anthology produced by Blumhouse Television (“Get Out,” “The Jinx” “Split”), “Wicked West” uncovers the most frightening and disturbing tales from the Wild West. And they’re all true. “Wicked West” utilizes Blumhouse’s chilling cinematic style on this weekly series, telling stories of sadistic serial killers, murderous black widows, bloodthirsty family clans and local legends laced with the supernatural. With a tense horror, modern cinematic style, “Wicked West” brings a haunting approach to the untold stories of the bloodbath known as the American West.

Credits: “The Jinx” (HBO); “The Normal Heart” (HBO); Judgement Day Prison or Parole; “Get Out” (film); “Split” (film); “Paranormal Activity” (film); “Insidious” (film); “The Purge” (film); “Ouija” (film); “Sinister” (film)

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