AMC lost its two most acclaimed shows, Mad Men and Breaking Bad — two of the most acclaimed shows in television history — yet it’s still doing remarkably well. How is this possible? Well, having the ratings bonanza that is The Walking Dead helps. But a channel needs to be more than just one show. In 2015, AMC — a top-five network for the first time — launched Fear the Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, and Into the Badlands, which “ended up scoring the three highest-rated cable openings in history,” according to Vulture. If it ain’t broke, etc.
None of those three are quite as respected as Mad Men and Breaking Bad, although Better Call Saul appeared on numerous best-of lists, but I don’t think AMC is complaining. Things should get even rosier in 2016: The Walking Dead returns on Valentine’s Day; Better Call Saul, a day later; strong word of mouth is likely to bring some new viewers to Halt and Catch Fire; and Preacher, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s highly anticipated adaptation of the comic book series of the same name, has the makings of a monster hit.
There’s also the return of Fear the Walking Dead, which network exec Charlie Collier is quick to note isn’t a spin-off; it’s a “companion series.” Well, the companion series may soon have a companion of its own. When asked by Vulture whether there’s a reason “not to explore” a third Walking Dead show, Collier responded, with dollar signs in his eyes:
The answer is we are open to ideas that feel organic to the creators in whom we’ve put our trust. So if Robert [Kirkman] had a world he wanted to explore, you can bet that we are not just leaning into that conversation, but we’re actively engaging in it. Right now we’re not in that conversation, and there’s nothing to report at all. I’m a huge believer in Robert and the executive producers of these shows. We wanted to create a place where they would bring us their creative dreams and bring us their passion projects. If Robert had another one, we would absolutely engage. This is a world that is rich enough to handle it. Right now we’re just focused on these two. (Via)
If NBC can air four Law & Orders at the same time, why can’t AMC do the same with The Walking Deads? At least that’s what they’re telling themselves. It’s either that, or 73 more seasons of Comic Book Men.