AMC orders “Owner’s Manual,” unveils unscripted block

Competitive reality series Owner's Manual is set to debut in Q3 of 2013, while the U.S. cable net will unveil its Thursday night block of unscripted programming in February.
November 29, 2012

U.S. cable network AMC has commissioned the reality series Owner’s Manual and unveiled plans for an unscripted programming block on Thursday nights.

Produced by Asylum Entertainment, the eight x 30-minute series is due to premiere in the third quarter of 2013 and stars two men that, according to the network, represent “the most common divides among man – those who read the owner’s manual and those who do not.”

In each episode, Extreme Makeover Edition‘s Ed Sanders and Hammer Heads‘ Marcus Hunt will face off in a weekly challenge in which they attempt to operate powerful and complex machinery with and without using the manual.

“Every adult in the world falls into one of two categories. You either read the owner’s manual or you don’t,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s EVP of original programming, production and digital content, in a statement. “As a non-owner’s manual person, I have a whole shelf in my house dedicated to parts that never found their way into things I have assembled.”

Owner’s Manual is executive produced by Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Alex Piper and Jerry McNutt. Stillerman, Jason Fisher, SVP of production, and Mary Conlon, VP of non-scripted original programming, will oversee development and production.

Meanwhile, beginning on February 14, AMC will air a block of unscripted programming on Thursdays. The night will kick off at 9 p.m. with season two of the Kevin Smith-executive produced series Comic Book Men, followed by reality family drama Freakshow at 9:30 p.m. and the Go Go Luckey Entertainment-produced series Immortalized at 10 p.m.

The second seasons of The Pitch and Small Town Security and new commission Road Show (working title) will also air on Thursdays later in 2013.

In other AMC Networks news, The Sundance Channel has come on board as a coproducer for two new installments of Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s acclaimed crime documentary series The Staircase and will premiere the episodes in March.

The two hour-long episodes comprise The Staircase: Last Chance, the sequel to the Oscar-winning director’s eight-part, Peabody Award-winning series about the sensational murder trial of author Michael Peterson, who was recently released from prison after serving eight years of a life sentence upon originally being found guilty for the 2004 murder of his wife, Kathleen Peterson.

The Staircase: Last Chance, which premiered at Dutch festival IDFA earlier this month, chronicles the latest twists in the case following a hearing last December in which a Superior Court Judge ruled that a State Bureau of Investigation blood-spatter expert, whose testimony had been pivotal in the original murder trial, had misled jurors.

Sundance will begin airing the original, eight-part series on January 7 followed by the new episodes on March 4 and 11.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.