by Paul Shirey
AMC’s breakout hit “Hell on Wheels” has been renewed for a second season, further paving the way for the network’s growing staple of quality original shows. The series is now the second highest rated series on AMC, averaging 3.2 million viewers and 1.5 million Adults 25-54, falling just behind The Walking Dead.
Created and written by Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster, The Salton Sea), the series explores the post-Civil War era during the expansion period, focusing on the character of Cullen Bohannon (City by the Sea‘s Anson Mount), a former confederate soldier hell bent on avenging his wife’s death at the hands of Union soldiers. His quest for revenge takes him to “Hell on Wheels” a “traveling” town that provides for the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. There he encounters a mix of characters, including emancipated slaves (Smokin’ Aces’ Common), greedy tycoons (Get Him to the Greek‘s Colm Meaney) and struggling Native Americans (Into the West‘s Eddie Spears).
It’s a little surprising to me that this has already been renewed and I’m guessing it’s mostly over viewership numbers more so than fan reaction. I’ve heard mixed feelings on the show, ranging from “awesome” to “o-kay” so I haven’t been sold on checking it out yet. However, with a renewal in the cards I may be more prone to giving it a gander. Nothing sucks more than investing in a show only to have it abruptly cancelled, so perhaps this will be a worthy watch. Either way, AMC seems to be taking their original series’ pretty seriously (even though Mad Men is, what, two years away from airing again?).
What are your thoughts on the show?