AMC is home to the biggest scripted show on cable (and frequently on everything), "The Walking Dead," so it's hardly hurting. But with "Breaking Bad" over and "Mad Men" in its last (split up) season, the network is clearly entering a new era, and all eyes are on its new series. "Low Winter Sun" didn't take off, but the Revolutionary War-set "Turn" and '80s tech drama "Halt and Catch Fire" are both set to premiere next year, and today the network announced that it has ordered two new pilots, "Knifeman" and "Galyntine," both of which will be produced by AMC Studios in 2014 for consideration for series for 2015.
"Knifeman" is set in 18th century London and follows John Tattersal, a hard-drinking, hard-living surgeon/"barber" trying to push the boundaries of modern medicine in an age of prayer and blood-letting, even if it takes digging up a few graves to do it. John makes his living running an unlicensed operating room out of his home, but also picks up extra cash harvesting organs for his brother Julian, who's the prized physician of the St. Stephen's teaching hospital. The project is based on Wendy Moore's biography of John Hunter "The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching and the Birth of Modern Surgery." Rolin Jones ("United States of Tara," "Friday Night Lights," "Weeds") wrote the pilot for "Knifeman," which was developed by Jones and Ron Fitzgerald ("Last Resort," "Prime Suspect"). The two will serve as executive producers alongside Media Rights Capital ("House of Cards"), Josh Donen and Robert Zotnowski.
The fantasy/sci-fi series "Galyntine" takes place after a technology-induced disaster has resulted in a new society that has eschewed any form of technology. The series will explore this post-apocalyptic world in which the catastrophic event has left small groups of survivors scattered around the world, forced to adapt to isolation and unique challenges. Jason Cahill ("Halt and Catch Fire," "Fringe") wrote the pilot and is executive producing alongside Greg Nicotero ("The Walking Dead") and David Zucker and Ridley Scott (through Scott Free's first-look deal with AMC).
"These are both highly original and ambitious pilots that take us into worlds that we haven't seen on TV before," said AMC's Joel Stillerman. "The bawdiness and fun of 'Knifeman' and London in the mid-18th century; and the completely unique take on a post-apocalyptic 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 ground-breaking television."