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AMC Has Ordered Its First Scripted Comedy Pilot, Is Developing New Series From Chris Carter, Wyatt Cenac and Billy Corgan

Photo of Alison Willmore By Alison Willmore | Indiewire March 26, 2014 at 4:59PM

Ahead of its upfront presentation today, AMC has unveiled the projects it has in development, among them the network's first scripted comedy "We Hate Paul Revere," which has been order to pilot and will shoot later this year.
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Heather Lind and Jamie Bell in "Turn."
Antony Platt/AMC Heather Lind and Jamie Bell in "Turn."

Ahead of its upfront presentation today, AMC has unveiled the projects it has in development, among them the network's first scripted comedy "We Hate Paul Revere," which has been order to pilot and will shoot later this year for 2015 series consideration. "We Hate Paul Revere" is written, executive produced and starring Ethan Sandler and Adrian Wenner ("My Boys," "Whitney"), and is about brothers Hugh and Ebenezer Moody, who struggle to find their place as they live in the shadow of history in Colonial Boston.

AMC's in a transition moment, with "Breaking Bad" over and "Mad Men" coming to an end. "The Walking Dead" is a mammoth success and has spawned one of two upcoming spin-offs (the other being "Better Call Saul," which premieres this fall), but the network's in search of fresh hits.

AMC recently hired directors for the two drama pilots it's shooting this year, the period medical drama "Knifeman" and the post-apocalyptic "Galyntine," both of which are in pre-production. In addition to the slate below, the channel also has the high profile graphic novel adaptation "Preacher" in development, with the "This is the End" team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg writing the pilot.

Here's the full slate of potential series from AMC:

SCRIPTED DRAMA DEVELOPMENT

Note: All show titles are Working Titles

"Area 51"

Writer and Executive Producer: Chris Carter (“The X Files”); Executive Producer: Gale Anne Hurd (“The Walking Dead,” “The Terminator”)

Based on the NY Times best-seller “Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base” by Annie Jacobson. A contemporary conspiracy thriller revealing the true story behind the infamous Area 51, America's most mysterious military installation.   

"Police State"

Writer and Executive Producer: Michael Tolkin (“The Player”); Executive Producers: Josh Applebaum, André Nemec, Scott Rosenberg & Jeff Pinkner

A dark comedic tale of Ollie, a big-box store security guard, who is secretly recruited by an NSA-like organization. Starting as an observer, a person who can see everything by manipulating our electronic devices, Ollie will rise to power in hopes of changing the system but will ultimately compromise his intentions.

"Kingmakers"

Writer and Executive Producer: Tom Kelly (“Blue Bloods,” “Copper”); Co-Production with Endemol Studios

Based on the French series, “Les Hommes De L’Ombre,” “Kingmakers” follows a former campaign manager forced to get back into politics when his friend and current gubernatorial candidate is assassinated during a campaign speech. This series marks the first project in AMC’s overall deal with Kelly.

"Bombingham"

Writer and Executive Producer: Alexander Woo (“True Blood”); Executive Producer: Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment

The fragile peace in present day Birmingham, Alabama is shattered when a murderer from 1963 is discovered and buried demons from the Civil Rights Era resurface.

"The Sparrow"

Writer and Executive Producer: Michael Perry (“The River,” “Paranormal Activity 2”)

Based on Mary Doria Russell's acclaimed science-fiction epic, “The Sparrow” tells the story of a Jesuit-led mission to make first contact with an alien race.  

"Jerry’s World"

Writer and Executive Producer: Jan Oxenberg (“Once and Again”); Executive Producers: David Shore and Erin Gunn of Shore Z and Wendy Riche (“Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County”); Co-production with Sony Pictures Television

This drama follows Dinah, a commitment-phobic artist and the world’s most unlikely caregivers she cobbles together an unusual and very modern family when she moves in with her boyfriend, his daughter, and her estranged father Jerry (who has early onset Alzheimers). Although Dinah thinks she is saving Jerry by taking him in, Jerry’s unusual perspective on the world ends up saving Dinah, and the rest of the family. 

"Paradise Lost"

Writer and Executive Producer Amy Lippman (“Masters of Sex,” “Party of Five”)

“Paradise Lost” is the story of a group of friends who withdraw from society to create a new, more positive community in which to raise their families – but at what cost?

FIRST LOOK DEVELOPMENT

AMC’s first-look deal with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free yielded pilot "Galyntine," from Greg Nicotero ("The Walking Dead") and Jason Cahill ("Halt and Catch Fire"),  and the previously announced development project "Raiders," from writer and executive producer Evan Wright ("Generation Kill"), who's being joined by pilot script supervising and executive producer John McNamara.

"Strange Angel"

Executive Producers: Ridley Scott and David Zucker of Scott Free

AMC has optioned the book, “Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons” by George Pendle, based on the life of Jim Parsons, a brilliant rocket scientist and co-founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While a pioneer in research that had only recently been dreamed up in science fiction, his bright future gave way to ruin as Parsons headed down another, darker path into the occult community of mid-century Los Angeles.

AMC’s overall deal with Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg’s Double Feature Films has yielded a project in development:

"Outer Darkness"

Writer and Co-Executive Producer: Jim McDermott; Executive Producers: Stacey Sher (“Pulp Fiction”) and Michael Shamberg (“Django Unchained,” “Pulp Fiction”) of Double Feature Films

A grounded take on exorcism by exploring everyday evil in an idyllic midwestern town.

SCRIPTED COMEDY DEVELOPMENT

"Untitled John Leguizamo Project"

Writer, Executive Producer and Star: John Leguizamo (“Ice Age”); Writer and Executive Producer: Sal Stabile (“Revenge”); Executive Producers: Jeff Golenberg and Sam Maydew of Silver Lining Entertainment

Drawing inspiration from John’s real life, this half hour follows a group of men in Queens, The Bronx and upper Manhattan wrestling with careers, relationships, family, ambition, and getting older.  

"No Money Down"

Writer, Executive Producer and Star: Wyatt Cenac (“The Daily Show”); Executive Producers: Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan and Liza Chasin of Working Title; Co-Executive Producer: Daniel Pipski of Working Title

The comedy series follows a guy who bottoms out and begins working at an Austin car dealership with a variety of personalities. 

"Random Acts"

Writer and Executive Producer: Andrea Abbate (based on her play of the same name); Executive Producers: Todd Holland and Karey Burke of Dark Toy Entertainment and Kenton Allen of Big Talk Productions

As single girls in their early 30’s, Katie and Lisa work through issues with relationships, family, and growing up.  As contract killers in Echo Park, Katie and Lisa work through issues with drug lords, crooked cops and unpaid debts.

"Sober Buddies"

Writers and Executive Producers: Danny Comden (“Pretty Persuasion”) and Barry Schwartz; Executive Producers: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and James Weaver (“This is the End”) of Point Grey Pictures

Jonesy, a loveably washed up pro surfer turned sober coach works to help Jason, the privileged, ne’er-do-well son of a wealthy industrialist.  Together 24-7 in a sort of arranged marriage, the two will come to rely on one another since as of yesterday, Jonesy isn’t exactly sober. 

BOOK OPTIONS:

AMC also announced that the network has optioned three books for scripted drama series development, including:

"Somewhere East of Life"

Author: Brian Aldiss 

Set in the near future, this book tells the story of a man as he tries to reclaim his identity after having the last ten years of his memories stolen.  

"Silent History"

Serialized, exploratory novel for iPad and iPhone created by: Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby and Kevin Moffett; Executive Producer: Amy Lippman (“Party of Five,” “Masters of Sex”)

Chronicling a generation of children born without the ability to communicate.

UNSCRIPTED DEVELOPMENT

Note: All show titles are Working Titles.

"Untitled Billy Corgan Wrestling Project" 

Produced by Left/Right, LLC (“Small Town Security,” “This American Life,” “Mob Wives”); Executive Producers: Banks Tarver, Ken Druckerman, Billy Corgan and Ghen Maynard.

Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan pulls back the curtains on the pro-wrestling world as he takes over creative direction for the independent wrestling company Resistance Pro.

"Bronx Pop"

Produced by Richard Devinki Productions, LLC and Red Hot Poker Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television, Executive Producers: Anne Clements and Mike Wittlin 

A comedic docu-soap following tough guys and lifelong friends Ralph Rubino and Nicky D’Angelo, as they hit the streets to launch an old fashioned soda pop company, Bronx Pop.

"Prison Redemption"

Produced by Custom Redtail Partners, LLC (“The Devil’s Ride,” “$24 in 24 Hours”); Executive Producers: Chris Burke, Jared Cotton and Steve Stockman

A docuseries that takes a gritty, no holds barred look at life for both the inmates and the employees of the Pierce County Jail in Tacoma, Washington.

This article is related to: Television, TV News, AMC







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