AMC Developing Shock Theatre, Wicked West, Underbelly, Eli Roth’s History of Horror, Ballad of Black Tom, and More

If you’re a follower of TV news, you’re well aware that the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour is in full swing; and AMC definitely brought a boatload of announcements to the event. The network has a slew of new projects in development, and most fall on the horror or sci-fi side of the fence.

We have all the details right here – check ’em out, and let us know what show sounds most intriguing to you!

From the Press Release:
AMC announced a current slate of select scripted and non-fiction projects in various stages of development for 2018 and beyond. New projects include many from existing AMC creative partners like “Better Call Saul” producers Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment; “Talking Dead” host Chris Hardwick’s production company Fish Ladder; and “The Walking Dead” executive producer, director, and special FX make-up designer Greg Nicotero, among others.

“We are at our best when we bet on and support exceptional talent; and this diverse development slate, from exceptional creators with distinct points of view, includes multiple projects from longstanding and successful AMC partners,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV, and AMC Studios. “Our deep pipeline of projects embodies our ‘eclectic by design,’ quality programming approach and our ‘scripts-to-series’ development model that puts the emphasis on the most important part of our strategy – outstanding writing, a commitment to worlds you’ve never seen on TV before, and rich character development.”

AMC’s upcoming development slate includes:

“Shock Theatre”
Greg Nicotero, director and executive producer
Matt Lambert, executive producer
Gail Berman, executive producer
Joe Earley, executive producer
A Jackal Group Production

Description: An anthology wherein each episode will be a brand-new sci-fi horror tale in the style of the B-movie classics.

“Ballad of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle
Victor LaValle, co-executive producer
Based on the novella “The Ballad of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle

Description: Tommy Tester is a street musician and hustler in jazz age New York who works odd jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over his father’s head. But when he delivers an occult object to a reclusive sorceress, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic and becomes caught up in a Lovecraftian conspiracy to conjure the destruction of the world.

“Wicked West” (Non-Fiction)
Producing Studio: Blumhouse Television (Jason Blum, Jeremy Gold, Marci Wiseman)

Description: Non-fiction horror anthology produced by Blumhouse Television (Get Out, “The Jinx,” Split), “Wicked West” uncovers the most frightening and disturbing tales from the Wild West. And they’re all true. “Wicked West” utilizes Blumhouse’s chilling cinematic style on this weekly series, telling stories of sadistic serial killers, murderous black widows, bloodthirsty family clans, and local legends laced with the supernatural. With a tense horror, modern cinematic style, “Wicked West” brings a haunting approach to the untold stories of the bloodbath known as the American West.

“Underbelly” by Dan Connolly
Dan Connolly, executive producer
A Fish Ladder Production (Chris Hardwick, Mike Clements)

Description: A deep dive into the dark-side of pop culture. Using the lens of the horror genre, this anthology explores storylines related to the fan experience, celebrity, greed, alienation, obsession, and vanity. The sensibility of the series is darkly funny, shocking, subversive, and trippy. If pop culture is a kind of new religion, this show is the deranged heretic who interrupts the service and gets thrown out.

“Liking What You See” by Eric Heisserer
Eric Heisserer, executive producer
Ted Chiang, consultant
A Chernin Entertainment Production
Based on Ted Chiang’s short story “Liking What You See”

Description: Set in a near future saturated with advertising and media images of beauty, the exception being the community of Saybrook, whose residents have all voluntarily adopted calliagnosia, a reversible, non-invasive procedure that eliminates their ability to perceive beauty. Once you have calliagnosia, no one looks prettier or uglier than anyone else; the people of Saybrook judge each other purely on their merits. But is this something the rest of the world is ready for?

“The Age of Miracles” by Sinead Daly
Sinead Daly, executive producer
Karen Thompson Walker, Consultant
A 21 Laps Production

Description: Julia’s world is shifted, literally, when a shocking fact is made public: Earth’s rotation is suddenly, dramatically and inexplicably slowing down. As the days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, and people start falling sick to a mysterious new illness. Julia is also forced to cope with the normal disasters of everyday life as her parents’ marriage falls apart and she struggles with lost friends and first love.

“Untitled Rainn Wilson Project”
Rainn Wilson, executive producer, actor
Naomi Odenkirk, executive producer
Marc Provissiero, executive producer
A Odenkirk Provissiero Production

Description: A one-hour scripted series that follows an alien entity which takes over the body of a poly-addicted, middle-aged man living in the San Fernando Valley.

Along with these horror/sci-fi projects, “Fear the Walking Dead’s” Colman Domingo is exec producer on “In the Middle of the Street,” inspired by his critically acclaimed play Dot, in which a family in fading West Philadelphia must confront old secrets in order to face the challenges of their present. Themes explored include aging parents, marriage, sexuality, and politics, tinged with humor and joy.

In addition, the network is expanding its docuseries “AMC Visionaries,” and Eli Roth is helping them do so!

From the Press Release:
AMC announced that it will be producing a year-round documentary series “AMC Visionaries,” partnering with prolific artists to unveil the untold stories and fascinating histories of pop culture genres from the masters themselves. One new installment under the “AMC Visionaries” umbrella is “AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror” (working title) to be executive produced by award-winning horror film director, writer, producer, and actor Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel). “AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror” will be produced through Asylum Entertainment and Marwar Junction Productions.

Previously announced series now falling under the “AMC Visionaries” banner include “AMC Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics,” featuring interviews with Stan Lee, Patty Jenkins, Lynda Carter, Kevin Smith, Famke Janssen, J.K. Simmons, Michelle Rodriguez, and Todd McFarlane, among others, and “AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction,” featuring interviews with Paul W. Anderson, Roland Emmerich, Paul Verhoeven, Bryan Singer, Keanu Reeves, and Jonathan Nolan, among others.

“AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror” brings together the masters of horror – the storytellers and stars who define the genre – to explore its biggest themes and reveal the inspirations and struggles behind its past and present. Each one-hour episode will take viewers on a chilling exploration of how horror has evolved through the eras and impacted society as well as why such a loyal fan base continues to be addicted to fear.

“‘AMC Visionaries’ is all about going deep into areas of fan passion,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV, and AMC Studios. “In addition to Robert Kirkman on comics or James Cameron on sci-fi, that AMC is going to be the home of Eli Roth’s deep dive into horror makes perfect sense given our decades-long commitment to the genre. He’ll shed light on the stories and storytellers that keep us up at night… We’re all in and excited for these leaders to share their vision.”

“I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible series. For years, I’ve wanted to create a definitive ‘History of Horror,’ a living record of the genre with interviews from all the greats, old and new,” said Roth. “Sadly, we lose more of these masters every year, and with them go their stories and experiences. This show will serve as a record for future generations – fans and filmmakers alike – to enjoy. I could not be prouder to create this with AMC.”

“AMC: Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror” is produced by Asylum Entertainment (ESPN’s “30 For 30,” Nat Geo’s “Breakthrough”) and Marwar Junction Productions (A&E’s “Autobiography,” Lifetime’s “I Am Elizabeth Smart”). Executive producers are Eli Roth, Steven Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Joseph Freed, and Allison Berkley.

In addition, the following “AMC Visionaries” projects are currently in development: “AMC Visionaries: Rap Yearbook” (working title), “AMC Visionaries: History of Video Games,” and “AMC Visionaries: Outlaws of the Internet.”

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