Counting Money With AMC

I’ve seen the first three episodes of AMC’s Hell on Wheels, and I guess it’s time to say something about it. Firstly, I think that Mr. Durant is Michel Platini’s doppelgänger. Secondly, I’m a huge fan of western flicks so, whenever I see a cowboy moving in slow motion on a desert environment, it’s usually love at first sight. Weird thing about Hell on Wheels is that the leading cowboy, Mr. Superhot Bonhannon, moves in slow motion even when the rest of the world (his long coat included) doesn’t. Interesting.
Anyway, it’s good. But not really as great as I expected. So far I found it a little bit confused. The storylines are fascinating, but I feel like the writers don’t really know where they want to end up to. The focus shifts too quickly from one storyline to another , leaving behind blind spots and unsolved issues. Actually it seemed things were getting better on the third episodes, so I’m still full of hopes.
Now, let’s talk about AMC. Hell on Wheels is another high budget series, where technical proficiency has a first line spot. Just like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead. Partially Rubicon and The Killing too, but in those cases the plot ruled more than everything else. Though we all now how it ended up with Rubicon… And how I hope it’s going to end up with The Killing if they don’t tell who the hell killed Rosie Larson! That being said, let’s go back to the point. Can AMC really afford another series like these? I mean, yes, it’s basic ad-supported cable, so they kind of have the money to do it. But not to exaggerate because, after all, it’s not premium. I think we’ve all heard about the latest issues with the channel’s executive producers struggling against budget cuts. Matthew Weiner “won” two more seasons for Mad Men. Vince Gilligan ended Breaking Bad without any cut, threatening to move the show to another network. Frank Darabont got fired. I’ve been doing some researches (just to be clear: I don’t usually analyze networks’ revenues in my spare time. I did it because I’m writing my thesis about TV Series economics) and I found out that AMC original programming budget went from 123.3 million dollars in 2006 to 174.5 millions in 2011. And that was a bet already five years ago.

Dear AMC,

I appreciate every new series you bring us. But you should know that I usually grow really fond of those series, so it’s really annoying when you try to cut their budget or you fire an awesome executive producer AFTER LETTING THE WORLD HAVING FUN WITH HIM AT  2011 COMIC CON!
So, dear AMC, please try to behave. How about not adding anymore new series for a while, but taking really good care of the ones you already have?

Thanks.