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Hell on Wheels

Hell on Wheels AMC TV seriesNetwork: AMC
Episodes: Ongoing (hour)
Seasons: Ongoing

TV show dates: November 6, 2011 – present
Series status: Has not been cancelled

Performers include: Anson Mount, Common, Dominique McElligott, Eddie Spears, Tom Noonan, Ben Esler, Phil Burke, Colm Meaney, and Christopher Heyerdahl.

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TV show description:
This contemporary Western follows a former Confederate soldier named Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount). Following the rape and murder of his wife at the hands of Union soldiers, Cullen sets out to exact revenge on them. His journey takes him west to the mobile town called “Hell on Wheels,” a dangerous, raucous, and lawless melting pot. It travels with and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, an engineering feat unprecedented for its time. Cullen is ultimately torn between the cycle of revenge he has unleashed over his wife’s death and his tiring of this violence.

In addition to following Cullen’s story, this TV series also highlights the engineering and construction of the first transcontinental railroad, the institutionalized greed and corruption, the immigrant experience, and the plight of newly emancipated African-Americans during Reconstruction.

Elam Ferguson (Common) is an emancipated slave who’s working to achieve true freedom in a heavily prejudiced world. He struggles to come to terms with who and what he is: half white and half black. He doesn’t feel at home in either world but refuses to be treated as anything less than a man. Elam and Cullen’s fates continue to be bound together, not only by their common Southern roots, but also by circumstances.

Lily Bell (Dominique McElligott) is a newly widowed woman who’s trying to survive in a man’s world. Following the death of her husband, she continues to wrestle with the idea of the railroad being the end of the West. She feels a connection to the pristine landscape and worries that the approaching railroad and Hell On Wheels will despoil the West forever. Her desire to fulfill her husband’s dream ultimately becomes her own and she slowly gains respect in an ever difficult world.

Joseph Black Moon (Eddie Spears) struggles with the difference between his cultural heritage and the ever-changing world around him. He hates the idea but tries to bring his people into the reservation, hoping his people’s safety can be guaranteed.

Reverend Nathaniel Cole (Tom Noonan) is chiefly concerned with avoiding a war with the Indians, a war that he knows they can’t win. After riding with John Brown in Kansas and serving as a minister for the Union Army in the Civil War, Cole is sick of the slaughter. He genuinely wants to help the whites and Indians avoid another war and he sees Joseph as a means to this end. Cole struggles with his own personal demons while preaching a path of peace.

As young Irish immigrant brothers heading to the West to find their fortune, cracks develop in the relationship of Sean and Mickey McGinnes (Ben Esler and Phil Burke). They exploit business opportunities in Hell on Wheels and use more and more underhanded tactics. Mickey eventually questions what Sean is doing and resents his brother for using him as a pawn.

Thomas “Doc” Durant (Colm Meaney) is a greedy entrepreneur who takes full advantage of the changing times. As the railroad comes closer to completion and he becomes rich beyond his wildest dreams, he becomes more and more concerned about securing his place in history.

Thor “The Swede” Gundersen (Christopher Heyerdahl) is Thomas Durant’s ruthless head of security. The Swede’s tactics help him maintain a degree of control over the chaotic Hell on Wheels, but he abuses his power to extort money from its residents. The Swede suspects that Cullen Bohannon is a murderer and schemes to prove it.
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Series Finale

Episode —
Has not ended yet.
First aired: —

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Claudia Obermiller August 19, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Longmire on A&E and Hell On Wheels are two of the best shows on TV!!. Why hasn’t Longmire and Hell On Wheels been nomated for Emmys?. They both deserved nomatons and to win!!.

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Mike July 31, 2014 at 7:25 am

I cant wait for the hell on wheels season 4 premiere this saturday, not sure how its going to be without Common but it’s always entertaining to watch Anson Mount kick some ass.

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Susan May 27, 2014 at 7:59 pm

This is one of the best shows on tv and there are only a few that I can count on one hand. Why was it cancelled ? I also follow Anson Mount on FB and it is a sad mistake to cancel it. It has awesome entertainment as well as historic value. Please consider bringing the show back. I know it had tons of viewers. Thanks !

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Linda April 8, 2014 at 7:43 pm

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I follow Anson Mount on FB and he announced a few days ago that HOW has been cancelled. I am sorely disappointed by this news. Why doesnt this site seem to know? Could they have changed their minds (again) while Anson’s been away camping?

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Sabrina February 13, 2014 at 11:16 am

This is my husbands favorite show!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He would be greatly disappointed if it is not renewed. There is only a handful of shows that he even watches. Please bring it back.

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Mary Henshaw November 15, 2013 at 6:22 am

I’m thrilled this show was renewed for another season. It became my favorite show after Copper was cancelled.

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Mark October 31, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hell on wheels is, to me an extremely important show that is near to the truth of the Old West as anything I have seen. It is far closer to the truth than anything that is taught in schools these days (although there are parts that are politically adjusted for modern morale). With all the totally depraved and alternative lifestyle crap flooding the tube these days, it is nice to have something a little more real and well written. Just my humble opinion, but it is what I think.

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Beverly Lacey October 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

PLEASE do NOT cancel this show, it’s one of the best, besides Breaking Bad, that has ever been made. But, after watching the end of this season, it looks like the show is ending. How can it go on without Common???? OMG! please don’t cancel it!!!

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Sheila October 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

AMC seems to be cancelling some of the best shows on TV; and yes why put a show in a Saturday time slot is a well-known “kiss of death”. Was this deliberate? And, “The Killing;” why?

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Bob R September 9, 2013 at 11:35 am

To put one of the BEST shows on TV on a Saturday night is truly the Kiss of Death.
What are they thinking? Did I mention that it is one of the best shows?

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A Cole September 6, 2013 at 8:46 am

This is one of the best shows on TV by far! My husband and I wait all year for this show to start again. We have all the seasons so far on DVD to sustain us while we wait for the next season to start. Keep this one going–in fact, make the seasons longer!!

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Sharon May 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I can’t wait for Hell On Wheels to be back. I love all Westerns new and old but this is by far one of my favorites. Plot is very interesting and the view is great. Anson, Common, Anson, Common, Anson, Common. I am a happy girl.

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Beverly Lacey October 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm

oh yeah….:) <3

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william zahorchak April 5, 2013 at 11:57 am

I will be greatly disappointed if this show is not renewed

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Betty October 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

KEEP THIS HOW SHOW GOING!

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