AMC seems to be unsure of how to survive now that “Breaking Bad” is over and “Mad Men” is on the way out. Both series helped turn the network into a cable giant, and now they’ve picked up another hopeful original series to keep audiences coming back to the network where story is supposed to matter.
THR has word that AMC won a multiple-network bidding war for “The Night Manager,” a series adaptation of the novel of the same name by John le Carre, author of the books-turned-movies Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and A Most Wanted Man.
The Avengers star Tom Hiddleston and Emmy nominee Hugh Laurie (“House M.D.”) both star in the series that’s being developed in conjunction with the BBC (which will air the series in the United Kingdom), with a script from Hanna scribe David Farr. Here’s the official synopsis of the book from 1993 on which the series will be based:
Enter the new world of post Cold War espionage. Penetrate the secret world of ruthless arms dealers and drug smugglers who have risen to unthinkable power and wealth. The sinister master of them all is an untouchable Englishman named Roper. Slipping into this maze of peril is a former British soldier, Jonathan Pine, who knows Roper well enough to hate him more than any man on earth. Now personal vengeance is only part of why Pine is willing to help the men at Whitehall try to bring Roper down.
AMC will co-produce the series with Ink Factory and BBC One in addition to having partial ownership over the project. This sounds like the kind of series AMC needs to keep viewers from changing the channel. While most of the network’s programming is better than a lot of stuff on broadcast networks like NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox, they haven’t been matching up to shows like “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men,” and they need some fresh meat.
Yes, they still have “The Walking Dead,” but their decision to end all unscripted programming with the exception of “Talking Dead” and “Comic Book Men” shows that the network knew something was wrong. It also doesn’t help that AMC is clinging to the popularity of their already successful series with the “Breaking Bad” prequel “Better Call Saul” and a spin-off series for “The Walking Dead” as well.
A series starring two great British actors like Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie sounds like exactly what AMC needs right now. It also marks the biggest TV role Hiddleston has taken in his career so far, and he couldn’t have asked for a better counterpart than Laurie, who was nominated for an Emmy six times for his work on “House M.D.” and also won a Golden Globe. And with source material coming from an author like le Carre, this sounds like a great series.
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