After a somewhat tumultuous 2013, in which the channel balanced record ratings for two of its series with a constant stream of spinoff and split-season announcements that suggested it was pretty much just giving up, man, AMC appeared at the Television Critics Association winter press tour to show off its new Revolutionary War spy series Turn but not, pointedly, to give reporters a chance to ask the network’s executives any questions. (This isn’t exactly unusual. HBO, for instance, did the same thing, but it also had six series to present to AMC’s one.) Instead, those executives showed up mostly to unleash a hail of premiere dates. And because we are dutiful repeaters of information we have heard, we will share those premiere dates with you!
Probably of most interest to you is that the first half of Mad Men’s seventh and final season will debut on April 13, running for seven weeks from there. It will be paired with Turn, but since Turn has a 10-episode order, it will debut a week earlier—April 6—which seems like a weird way to launch a new, untested show with a challenging pilot, but whatever floats your boat, AMC.
Of second most interest to you: Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul will begin airing in November. There was some speculation that the Saul Goodman-centric series would hold down Walter White’s old summertime real estate, but that slot, instead, is going to Halt And Catch Fire, a new drama about the ‘80s tech boom in Texas that debuts in June. The trailer for that one looked really good, so, naturally, it’s being given an unprotected timeslot, because AMC is good at television. Also back in the summer is Hell On Wheels, the rare series to actually see its fortunes improved by a move to Saturdays, to the degree that its fourth season will be 13 episodes, instead of 10, as all previous seasons have been.
Also, The Walking Dead will return for a fifth season in the fall, but you probably suspected that already because that always happens.
In terms of unscripted stuff, the channel launches Game Of Arms, its latest attempt to make the large reality audience notice it exists, on Tuesday, February 25. May will bring new seasons of Small Town Security (which is actually pretty good TV, but if you tell people we said that, we will deny ever praising a reality show, even one with some of the spirit of early Errol Morris films) and Freakshow.
Finally, in the most important news of the day, AMC renewed Talking Dead for season five. Chris Hardwick’s media empire is safe!
AMC also brought along its cool younger sibling Sundance Channel, the network everybody’s crazy about nowadays but won’t be in five years, when it’s developing Rectify Again and Another Top Of The Lake. That channel brought along Rectify’s producers to tease season two, which hasn’t even started filming yet and will debut its 10 episodes in the summer. It also paneled The Red Road, a fascinating new series about tensions between a Native American tribe and a small town in New York, which debuts Feb. 27. Finally, it announced that a second season of The Returned, everybody’s favorite French zombie drama, will return in “late 2014,” which hopefully does not mean “December 31, 2014,” because then we would have to review something over the holidays.
Because you were nice and read all of that, here is a new Turn trailer.