Feelings of Entitlement (The Struggle of TV Shows on AMC)

AMC Networks is a company that has risen from being just a channel playing old movies, to a company that has created multiple television stations, providing entertainment for millions of viewers across multiple countries. Even with the channels it provides like AMC, IFC, WE tv, and the Sundance Channel under its umbrella, AMC took several years to gain notoriety. This finally occurred due in part with their award winning show Mad Men.

Mad Men is a TV series set in the 60’s and focuses on a fictional advertisement agency including several intriguing characters. The show has received critical acclaim due to its historical portrayals and visual style, winning fifteen Emmy’s and four Golden Globes. The first season premier in 2007 had only .90 million viewers, but by the 4th season, it had accrued 2.92 million viewers. Mad Men’s ability to gain a drastic rise in viewers each season it has been on the air has been a major contributing factor to AMC’s growth. This is what put AMC on the map, placing it in the same competition as premium cable stations such as HBO and Showtime;  stations that both initially rejected the show.

Here is where my title piece about feelings of entitlement come into play. After the 4th season was completed for Mad Men, the show was put on hiatus due to cost conflicts and cast re-negotiations. The show put AMC on the map, then when they added other critically acclaimed shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, they forgot the show that brought in the ratings and awards for them earlier. Being asked to pay 30m for a series seems like a lot of money for a show, but the amount is for 2 years which many actors get paid much more for that when doing one film.

The negotiations were finally settled and the 5th season of Mad Men will debut in March of this year after a year hiatus.

Breaking Bad is a television drama about a struggling chemistry teacher diagnosed with lung cancer and ends up turning to a life of crime. It debuted in 2008, bringing in solid ratings as well as additionally receiving 6 Emmy awards for its 4 seasons. The 5th and final season just went into production and will air towards the end of this year.

The Walking Dead is a show about the post-apocalyptic devastation of a zombie infestation and how people are living within that situation. The show is based on an ongoing comic series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard that was developed for television by Frank Darabont. One of AMC’s newer shows which premiered to 5.3 million viewers which made it the most watched television show on basic cable. It is currently on its 2nd season but it has had it’s own set of problems. After the 1st season, the follow-up season was produced and premiered but then out of nowhere, the writer/producer/director Frank Darabont reportedly stepped down, later revealed that he was fired from his position on the show. This was due  in part of AMC’s attempt to cut down costs of the shows it’s currently producing.

There are other current shows on the air or in production for its next seasons like The Killing, Hell on Wheels, and Comic Book Men. AMC seems to be producing great shows but is creating it’s own stigma of being a station that is hard to work for. I hope the value of this media conglomerate stands well and continues making shows that many people love and investing in them.

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