AMC has renewed their freshman drama Hell on Wheels for a second season. The series, which revolves around the creation of the United States’ first transcontinental railroad, brought the cable channel’s second-highest series premiere (behind The Walking Dead) on November 6th. The debut drew an impressive 1.9 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 4.36 million total viewers.
The ratings declined a bit but remained quite impressive for several weeks. Once Walking Dead finished for the year however, the ratings took a big tumble. The most recent episode drew a 0.6 rating in the demo and 2.27 million.
Here’s the press release about the renewal:
AMC RENEWS “HELL ON WHEELS” FOR SEASON TWO
Series is Second Highest Rated Drama Series on AMC
New York, NY – December 27, 2011 -AMC has announced the renewal of “Hell on Wheels” for a second season. The original series reigns as the second highest rated series on AMC, averaging 3.2 million viewers and 1.5 million Adults 25-54.* Season one’s finale is Sunday, January 15th at 10pm EST. “Hell on Wheels” is created and written by Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster/Uncommon Valor/Salton Sea/Bulletproof), who also serve as executive producers. John Shiban (“The X-Files,” “Breaking Bad”), Jeremy Gold, Endemol’s SVP of scripted programming and David Von Ancken, who also directed the pilot, serve as executive producers. The series is executive produced by Endemol USA with Entertainment One (eOne) serving as the studio. eOne’s Television CEO John Morayniss and SVP creative affairs Michael Rosenberg oversee production in partnership with co-producers Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes at Nomadic Pictures.
*Source: The Nielsen Company (L+SD), HOW Sun 10pm (11/6/11 – 12/18/11). P2+ and A25-54 rtg, (000)
“Hell on Wheels” tells the epic story of post-Civil War America, focusing on a Confederate soldier (Anson Mount) who sets out to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who have killed his wife. His journey takes him west to ‘Hell on Wheels,’ a dangerous, raucous, lawless melting pot of a town that travels with and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, an engineering feat unprecedented for its time. It examines the railroad’s institutionalized greed and corruption, the immigrant experience, and the plight of the newly emancipated African-Americans during reconstruction. Over time, “Hell on Wheels” chronicles this potent turning point in our nation’s history, and how uncivilized the business of civilization can be.
“Hell on Wheels” stars Anson Mount (City by the Sea, Cook County) as Cullen Bohannon, a former soldier hell bent on avenging his wife’s death; Colm Meaney (Get Him to the Greek) as Thomas “Doc” Durant, a greedy entrepreneur taking full advantage of the changing times; musician/actor Common (Just Wright, Date Night) as Elam Ferguson, an emancipated slave working to achieve true freedom in a world entrenched in prejudice; Dominique McElligott (“The Philanthropist”) as Lily Bell, a newly widowed woman trying to survive in a man’s world; Tom Noonan (“Heat”) as Reverend Cole; Ben Esler (“The Pacific”) as Sean McGinnes and Philip Burke (“Law & Order,” “Mercy”) as Mickey McGinnes, two young brothers looking to find their fortune in the new West; and Eddie Spears (“Into the West”) as Joseph Black Moon, a Native American man torn between his culture and the changing world around him.
Shot on location in Alberta, Canada, the series is produced with assistance of the Government of Alberta, Alberta Film Development Program.
AMC’s Joel Stillerman, SVP of original programming, production and digital content, Susie Fitzgerald, AMC’s SVP of scripted programming and Jason Fisher, SVP of production oversee development and production for “Hell on Wheels.”
AMC reigns as the only cable network in history to ever win the Emmy(R) Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row, as well as the Golden Globe(R) Award for Best Television Series – Drama for three consecutive years. Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade or creating acclaimed original programming, the AMC experience is an uncompromising celebration of great stories. AMC’s original stories include “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Killing” and “Hell on Wheels.” AMC further demonstrates its commitment to the art of storytelling with its slate of unscripted original series, as well as curated movie franchises like AMC’s Can’t Get Enough and AMC’s Crazy About. Available in more than 97 million homes (Source: Nielsen Media Research), AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Story Matters HereSM.
eOne (LSE:ETO) is a leading international company that specializes in the acquisition, production and distribution of entertainment content. The company’s comprehensive network extends around the globe including Canada, the U.S., the UK, Ireland, Benelux, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Through established Entertainment and Distribution divisions, the company provides extensive expertise in film distribution, television and music production, kids programming and merchandising and licensing. Its current rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 20,000 film and television titles, 2,400 hours of television programming and 45,000 music tracks.
About Endemol USA
Endemol USA is a leading producer of television programming specializing in unscripted and scripted genres for network and cable television. The company produces the hit shows “Wipeout,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Deal or No Deal,” and “Big Brother.” Endemol USA is a division of the Endemol Group, a leading international content developer, producer and distributor of television and online programming. The company, headquartered in the Netherlands and the UK, has subsidiaries and joint ventures in 26 countries, including the major European markets, the U.S., South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. Endemol is owned by a consortium consisting of Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Mediaset Group and Cyrte Group. For more information, please visit http://www.endemolusa.tv. Endemol is a privately held company.
What do you think? Are you glad that Hell on Wheels has been renewed? Given the big fall in ratings without Walking Dead, do you think it should have been cancelled instead? Are you still interested?
Image courtesy AMC.