AMC Venturing into Comedy with Series from John Leguizamo, Wyatt Cenac & More, Plus a Late Night Show for Kevin Smith

By March 27, 2014
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With plenty of Emmy wins, the AMC network has had their foot firmly planted in drama with series like “Mad Men” (returning next month) and “Breaking Bad” garnering numerous accolades over the past few years. Their genre series “The Walking Dead” is also a runaway hit, and has a fifth season on the way. But can the network get away with comedy?

Though AMC has shows like filmmaker and podcast host Kevin Smith’s “Comic Book Men” that certainly bring the laughs, that’s not exactly scripted comedy. But the network just announced development of four new scripted comedy series with some very promising talent involved. Plus, there’s also another show in the works for Kevin Smith to expand his relationship with the cable network.

First of all, let’s talk about the scripted comedies in development. The first one comes from actor John Leguizamo, fresh off the premiere of his latest one-man show “Ghetto Klown” on HBO last weekend. The Ride Along, Super Mario Bros. and Ice Age star will be drawing from the same material that inspired his previous one-man shows: his own life. The half-hour show would follow a group of men in Queens, The Bronx, and upper Manhattan wrestling with careers, relationships, family, ambition, and getting older. For hints of where this series could go, watch Leguizamo’s special “Sexaholix.”

Wyatt Cenac

Next up is a series from “The Daily Show” correspondent Wyatt Cenac (above) called “No Money Down” that would follows a guy who bottoms out and begins working at an Austin car dealership alongside a variety of personalities. Austin has a plethora of hipster culture right now that is ripe for comedy, and Cenac has had plenty of experience with some of the best comedy writers on the aforementioned late night news satire program with Jon Stewart, so this should be good.

Another comedy series in the works at AMC comes from Andrea Abbate, and it will actually be adapted from her play “Random Acts.” This one sounds like “Girls” meets The Professional as it follows Katie and Lisa, single girls in their early 30s dealing with relationships, family, and growing up, but they also happen to be contract killers in Echo Park dealing with drug lords, crooked cops, and unpaid debts. Sounds like some dark, twisted fun.

And finally, AMC must like being in business with Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, the writers and directors of This is The End. Not only is the duo developing an adaptation of “Preacher” for the network, but now they’re also working on the comedy “Sober Buddies.” This one focuses on Jonesy, a lovably washed up pro surfer turned sober coach who must work to help Jason, the privileged, ne’er-do-well son of a wealthy industrialist. Spending all of their days together, the two come to rely on one another since Jonesy isn’t exactly sober. Anything involving Rogen and Goldberg sounds good to us.

Kevin Smith - AMC

But that’s not all AMC has ordered up in the comedy realm. The network just renewed Kevin Smith’s reality series “Comic Book Men” for a fourth season, but the filmmaker is going to be even more active on the small screen soon.

AMC has started development of “Hollywood Babble-On,” a late night adaptation of Smith’s podcast of the same name that he hosts with radio personality and comedian Ralph Garman. The show will be produced by Wilshire Studios, the same company behind “The Soup,” and this could be a unique late night romp as an alternative to the regular players on other networks. We’re not sure if they can shake a stick at the great new stuff “The Tonight Show” is churning out, but AMC is at least going to try.

This is one hell of an ambitious line-up, and it seems like AMC is trying to become more like HBO by having shows of all kinds. The question is whether they can match their quality with all this programming. We hope so.

Are you excited about any of these new comedy series? Which one(s) are you looking forward to the most?

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.
  • Man, they are really going all in on Kevin Smith. Can’t blame them, though – he clearly has a fan base that’s ready to watch/participate in whatever he has going on.