It seems that the once thriving AMC network is struggling to maintain the audiences that found current series “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead” and the now completed “Breaking Bad,” so they’re doing everything they can to make their new shows easily watchable.
In an unprecedented move, Variety reports AMC has debuted the first episode of their new 80s-set, technology based drama series by way of Tumblr. This is the first time the Yahoo-owned social media site has been used to premiere a television program. But for those who may not be savvy enough to get online or have no idea what Tumblr is, you can also check out the pilot through various VOD channels, and also cable provider online services from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T U-verse, Verizon FiOS and Cox.
As for the show itself, which already has a 10-episode order, here’s the official synopsis:
Halt and Catch Fire is set roughly one year after IBM all but corners the market with the release of its first major product – the IBM PC. In this fictional drama, a former IBM executive, Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) plans to reverse engineer the flagship product of his former employer and forces his current company, Cardiff Electric, into the personal computer race. MacMillan enlists the help of Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy), a great engineer whose unrealized dreams of creating a revolutionary product have created tension in his marriage to Donna (Kerry Bishé), and Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis), a volatile prodigy who puts her future in jeopardy to join MacMillan’s rogue PC project. Halt and Catch Fire thrives on the spirit of innovation and explores what it’s like to stand at the forefront of something world-changing and work towards it, no matter the risk.
Or if you’re feeling too lazy to read, check out this sneak preview trailer:
The cast is thoroughly impressive, but the premise doesn’t seem to be all that appealing to general audiences. It almost seems like a “Mad Men” meets “Silicon Valley” mash-up, and when you set that in the ’80s, we’re not sure people will be too thrilled to turn in. Of course, a series like “Mad Men” was once just an aspiring TV program and it’s turned into one of television’s best dramas, winning several Emmys and other accolades, so there’s always a chance this could turn out well.
Perhaps AMC can make this work, but with a move like this so far in advance of the actual premiere on television, the network is clearly desperate to start some buzz on their new series. And with spin-offs of “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” both on the way, there’s no doubt that they are worried about keeping their once attentive audience, especially with “Mad Men” on the way out.
“Halt and Catch Fire” is available online on AMC’s Tumblr right here until May 31st and premieres on television on AMC in their Sunday night primtetime hot spot on June 1st at 10pm ET.
Will you watch “Halt and Catch Fire” online or when it premieres on AMC?
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