AMC backing away from unscripted

With the exception of Comic Book Men (pictured) and Talking Dead, U.S. cable net AMC is pulling the plug on its unscripted productions, in order to focus on scripted fare.
October 10, 2014

U.S. net AMC is pulling the plug on its unscripted productions in order to focus on scripted fare, with the exception of Kevin Smith’s reality series Comic Book Men (pictured) and The Walking Dead unscripted companion series Talking Dead.

“Scripted originals are at the core of the AMC brand. Iconic shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead have driven AMC’s evolution into a must-have television network,” said an AMC spokesperson in a statement shared with realscreen.

“We are proud of our efforts in unscripted programming and the unique worlds we have been able to introduce, but in an environment of exploding content options for viewers, we have decided to make scripted programming our priority.”

Comic Book Men, which is set in Smith’s comic book shop, has completed three seasons and will return for a fourth on Sunday, while Talking Dead - a talk show about the popular scripted series The Walking Dead – will also kick off its fourth season this weekend.

However, the production and development of other unscripted shows – such as the recently greenlit Billy Corgan-helmed wrestling project as well as the series Game of Arms and Small Town Security, among others - will be discontinued.

The net has said that producers will have the opportunity to find other homes for their projects, with AMC’s full cooperation.

The net has around 10 staff working in its New York and Los Angeles offices, and expects staffing reductions as a result of the unscripted cut, but a spokesperson notes that it will have ongoing staffing needs for the remainder of its programs.

AMC’s unscripted division was originally meant to eventually replace its films, but the net says that films have been doing well in ratings.

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