If it’s one true statement anyone can make, it’s that AMC’s line up is full of the widest range of shows. “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” are just two dramas that made a name on the cable network, ranging from 1940s public relations to modern day action. “The Walking Dead” is the channel’s highest rated premiere, bringing zombie fears to the television screen, while “Hell on Wheels” is the second highest rated premiere with 4.4 million viewers. This show follows the life of a Civil War solider.
Deadline reports that “Hell on Wheels” had such success during its first season that AMC renewed the drama for a second season. The show follows a confederate soldier who has a personal vendetta to seek revenge on Union soldiers who killed the love of his life. “Hell on Wheels” draws over 2 million viewers each week, and though the number declined over weeks, AMC is confident in the show’s success.
In a time when networks give few shows a chance to develop a following, AMC may seem to be taking a risk. For a cable channel, 2 million viewers is a great success, but this can be attributed to AMC’s reputation for great drama. “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” are two of the most talked about dramas, while “The Walking Dead” appeals to not only comic book lovers, but anyone who loves a suspenseful story. Without the cult following of AMC viewers, would this show be such a success? The storyline is strong and unique, but the show had potential to get lost in the thousands of cable channels.
“Hell on Wheels” was created by Joe and Tony Grayton and stars Common, Dominique McElligott and Colm Meaney. Watch “Hell on Wheels” Sundays at 10p/9c.