AMC renewed the proverbial best show you’re not watching, Halt and Catch Fire, for a fourth and final season yesterday, one day before the season three finale (that’s tonight!). This is both good and bad news. The good: Halt, which has been on the verge of cancelation since episode one, can end on its own terms; the bad: it’s so good, you guys, but soon it will be gone. Maybe that’s why co-creator Christopher Cantwell spent Tuesday morning tweeting about the show’s origins. It’s come a long way from the discouraging pilot, with Lee Pace’s Joe MacMillan as the paint-by-numbers anti-hero, to the critically acclaimed prestige drama — with a talented ensemble led by Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé, and Toby Huss — that it is today.
Cantwell and fellow creator Christopher C. Rogers came up with the idea for Halt in January 2011, when they wrote “the first 8 pgs of Joe walking down an IBM hallway at my DTLA apt on 7th & Spring.” A few months later, after getting married and quitting his job at Disney, Cantwell finished the pilot, which “went to the slush piles of a handful of networks. But AMC read it.”
They met with AMC on Oct. 23, the same day President Obama was in Los Angeles, so “it took 2 hrs to get home,” Cantwell tweeted. “But when I got there, we had an email from our agent. AMC was interested.” Interested doesn’t mean AMC was ready to say yes, though. That would take until November 2012 — after Cantwell and his wife, poet and teacher Elizabeth Cantwell, nearly ran out of money — when the pilot was officially greenlit.
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