Movie News

This Should Happen: AMC is in serious need of a regime change

Published at: Aug. 12, 2011, 7:14 p.m. CST by quint

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I love the work of Frank Darabont, but I swear not every entry into this newly minted editorial column will be about him. It just so happens that his departure from AMC has given me ample opportunity to vent.

The first column was about how Darabont should be the showrunner of an HBO Dark Tower series, given his proven audience draw with the record numbers of viewers on The Walking Dead and HBO’s recent success with the uber violent, sexy and awesome Game of Thrones series.

I was prompted to write this column after my incensed reading of Kim Masters’ insightful dissection of what’s going on at AMC, specifically the harmful managing by one exec in particular, a man by the name of Joel Stillerman. Read Masters’ piece at The Hollywood Reporter, get righteously angry then come back and we’ll have a little discussion about it.

Back? Good. Let’s talk.

AMC is in desperate need of a serious regime change. This should happen. And happen fast.

 

 

Take the rather public disagreements between AMC’s top brass and the showrunners of their most popular shows (Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan and Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner), the completely defeatist penny-pinching attitude of the network (hey, we have something super popular because of its epic, cinematic scope! Let’s cut the budget for next season!) and the overall petulance of the higher ups as a whole and you have an incredibly clear cut case in my opinion. If AMC wants to save itself one of two things needs to happen: Either Stillerman and his cohorts have to come to Jesus and realize they’re killing their brand with their current actions or a massive house-cleaning has to happen, removing the current regime and bringing in people that won’t let ego and a lack of common sense destroy the potential of the network.

AMC as a brand is distinguished. Breaking Bad is the best show on television as far as I’m concerned. It’s risky, it’s unpredictable and, thank God, it’s different. Mad Men as well. I haven’t gotten through the first season yet and while it hasn’t quite taken me, I can for sure give it credit for taking chances. A period drama about dickheads in marketing? Not exactly the typical scripted TV formula these days.

 

 

The network takes risks, but doesn’t seem to understand how to keep pace with their successes. If it was just one disagreement, I could explain away the brass just not getting along with Darabont, who notoriously sticks to his guns and isn’t afraid at pissing people off to protect his storytelling. But considering AMC has three mammoth shows and there’s creative unrest between all three showrunners and the execs it’s pretty clear there’s a problem with the management.

You guys understand why this is bad news for us, the fans. You don’t need me to draw it out… suits interfering with the creative process isn’t a new thing in Hollywood. What AMC’s board and advertisers should be made aware of is how these actions negatively impact them directly. Fans want quality storytelling, risky storytelling… board members, shareholders and advertisers just want to look at the bottom line, see profits.

For them, I have this to say: Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead weren’t successes because of Stillman and his group, they were successes despite them. Do you really think the next Vince Gilligan or Frank Darabont or Matthew Weiner will be attracted to AMC knowing how they treat their talent? Do you think the next brilliant showrunner will choose AMC over, say, HBO with the next great, profitable series knowing that even if they bring in the best ratings in the network’s history their budgets will be slashed in their next season and they could be booted off the series they developed for years?

Guys, it’s not that hard to figure out. If you don’t invest in the future of your network you’re not going to have one. You need to make AMC the home of cutting edge TV, a haven for the men and women who really do the work, tell the stories audiences want to tune in to every week. If you don’t, then you’re going to lose the next wave of brilliant showrunners.

 

 

Breaking Bad is on the road to wrapping up (the fifth season is the last), Mad Men isn’t going to go on forever and from the sounds of things you’re hobbling The Walking Dead. So where do you go from here? From the sidelines it looks like AMC is a sinking ship being captained by a crazy person that refuses to acknowledge his feet are getting wet.

As a viewer, I don’t want that. I’m not kidding when I say Breaking Bad is some of my all time favorite TV period. I loved the promise of AMC, the upfront commitment to an epic ongoing zombie series, the risk-taking and creative freedom they seemed to give their showrunners. The audience was there for that kind of channel, their risk-taking was being rewarded and now it looks like they’re pissing it all away, ignoring what made them successful in the first place.

There’s one particular piece in Masters’ article that rang especially true for me: “But given its recent battles, several sources involved with its signature shows say AMC does not seem ready to handle its success. "It feels like they don't have the experience of being on top," one fumes. "They're total ball-busters, and that pisses people off."”

In my experience that’s 100% accurate. I’ve felt this firsthand. Let me tell you a story. Do you remember my Walking Dead set reports? If you don’t, I visited the Atlanta set and had one of the very first looks at the making of the show up online.

The story went up in two parts. Part 1 can be read here and Part 2 can be read here, but you’re lucky to be reading them at all.

AMC graciously invited me to the set (and, it should be noted, paid for my flight and hotel) at the behest of Darabont. I know Frank liked my reports from the set of The Mist and I went out, had a great time, loved what I was seeing and wrote up my experiences into two articles.

I worked with AMC on timing the release of the articles, specifically with the very nice regional publicist Jill Dortheimer, pre-Comic-Con and was given exclusive images. We all agreed on the embargo lift day. I posted my first piece and it went over very great. Well, it went over great most places. Jill reached out to me saying that the piece was more in-depth than she expected and asked me to hold off on the second piece until the premiere of the first episode.

Well, I had already promised the second piece hitting the next day and told her that I’d be happy to do further coverage closer to the premiere, but since we agreed to have two pieces hitting that week and I had already promised the readers the next one was coming the next day that I couldn’t hold the second set report for months.

She seemed to be fine with it, even sending an email after the second report posted saying the it was great. Then AMC publicity stepped in and things went fucking crazy.

I got a royally pissed off phone call from the AMC publicist, screaming at me about breaking trust with the filmmakers, giving away big show spoilers and breaking my NDA (non-disclosure agreement, a contract that is most often required to be signed for any visiting press on movies sets).

Before this person called me, she emailed Harry telling him to take down my story, that I broke the NDA and that was legally actionable. She also called Harry, who just so happened to be in the hospital at that time. This was when he had that bad allergic reaction and almost died.

Offended is a term that barely describes my reaction. One, I was never given an NDA to sign, so that was a lie, and even if I had been given one I had written permission to run with my Walking Dead coverage! I tried to explain this, but all I got back was that Darabont was furious with me for my coverage and how shitty I was at my job, apparently.

It was a mess. If you know me, you know I’m a pretty even-tempered dude, but when I saw these emails, heard from Harry (from the hospital) about his talk with her and had this lady screaming at me about breaking trust with filmmakers I’ve known on a professional and personal level for half a decade I wasn’t so nice back. Those accusations were very serious and all were unfounded, easily disproven. Thankfully Harry had my back from the first email.

Long story short, I reached out to Darabont to see if she was telling the truth when she said I somehow pissed him off. He responded back saying quite the contrary that he loved the reports and was ecstatic about the reaction they were getting from the talkback community and the internet on the whole.

I don’t know what Darabont said to the AMC people, but the next day I got a mea culpa email from AMC and suddenly all was sunshine and rainbows and I was the greatest guy in the world who wrote some awesome reports!

All this inside baseball stuff I typically find is totally uninteresting to anybody outside of the day to day movie reporting business. You’ll never see me discussing this kind of stuff on the site, but I use it here to illustrate a point. This was how AMC acted with me. They were disorganized (the unit publicist and main AMC publicity were on a totally different page) and when they reacted it was cruelly. They were out for blood. They didn’t just want Harry to take my posts down, they were trying to get me fired. For what? For two glowingly enthusiastic set reports posted when they wanted it posted?

If that’s how they treated me, I can’t even imagine how they’d treat real emergencies. From the sounds of things in Masters’ article, that kind of attitude comes from the top of the company and it’s a damn shame because AMC has so much potential.

Glen Mazzara could be a great guy with The Walking Dead’s best interests at heart… Hell, he could do an amazing job running the show for all I know, but my point goes deeper than Darabont being booted off the show. I’m upset about Frank losing his baby, but frankly I’m more upset at what appears to be a massive trainwreck happening at AMC. I feel like Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park talking to John Hammond about not knowing what he’s got on his hands. It’s true. It feels like AMC lucked into greatness and is micro-managing it into the ground.

That’s not the dream of what AMC could be, what it should be, what its fans expect it to be.

I’m no Hollywood insider. I don’t know Stillerman from Adam, so maybe he’s a saint and is totally misunderstood. All I know is that some shit is going down at his network, their highest rated show (5.8m viewers for the premiere and 6m for its finale, which shows growth, no?) is in trouble and Masters’ article paints what feels like a very, very accurate picture of the network right now. I can compare her points to what I’ve experienced firsthand and I come away with the impression Ms. Masters nailed it.

 

 

I love AMC. I want it to be great. But if AMC wants to survive it sounds to me like there needs to be some serious housecleaning and reprioritizing at the top of the company. Without a drastic change in how they do business their future is going to be dim when it should be blindingly bright.

At least those are my thoughts. What do you folks think?

Many thanks to Sean Stanley for the Photoshop help and to Tom Iacuzio and Jared Eves for answering a call to arms.

I swear, my next This Should Happen column won’t feature Frank Darabont at all! But it will feature The Dark Tower again. Not sure when it’ll post, but it’s been gestating for a while. Keep an eye out!

-Eric Vespe
”Quint”
quint@aintitcool.com
Follow Me On Twitter

 


Previous This Needs To Happen articles:

-Frank Darabont should be the showrunner for an HBO Dark Tower series

Readers Talkback

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  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Co-signed

    by buffywrestling

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Shame!

    by hidden_shallows

    Proper shame about Darabont getting booted off the Walking Dead. What on earth were they thinking?

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:27 p.m. CST

    by MikeTheSpike

    How have you not watched Mad Men yet? Lordy, Quint.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Why cookie rocket?

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    why?

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Ditko & Peanutbutterslut actually had it right

    by buffywrestling

    in Herc's coax TB as well. Also, Sons of Anarchy's Kurt Sutter - who fucking dislikes Darbont for head-hunting his DP to do Walking Dead - has come down on the dickheads who run AMC. It's like a slap in the face that even the people who don't like you are, "Damn, Bitch." But like every TV exec, the shit rolls downhill. Weiner broke their bank on the Mad Men deal, Breaking Bad gets a thrown a meager bone & Walking Dead gets a chocolate pretzel handshake. All about recognition & fucking Emmy nominations. I didn't even really think that Walking Dead was that interesting - storyline wise - after the premiere. I LOVED the make-up F/x though. And I'm pulling for this thing all next season. I want it to succeed in spite of the negative douchebagginess.

  • Sutter took to Twitter in a series of messages that directly attacked AMC and Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner for their role in Darabont’s departure...He began: “why Darabont got fired— Weiner. he held AMC hostage, broke their bank, budgets were slashed, shit rolled down hill onto [Breaking Bad showrunner Vince] Gilligan and Frank.”... Then the claws really came out: “no one else wants to fucking say it, but the greed of Mad Men is killing the other two best shows on tv— Breaking Bad and Walking Dead.”

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Quint, you are a manipulated idiot personified. Read

    by Proman1984

    You may think you know what is going on at AMC but you have no clue. Not from the inside and I don't care what article you point to. Every network has it's issues but by golly you are taking things out of proportion just because it affected the show you like. What about the dozens of shows that have other problems or get axed on per season basis? What do you even know about realities of that bussiness? I'm sure there are plenty of idiots on here who will gladly sign anything an "AICN geek" point them too. But you rightous anger is misplaced. Spare me the "Regime change proclamations". Grow up.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:41 p.m. CST

    LoL at proman being an AMC fanboy

    by Marc Wu

    Quint, grad A job. Keep doing your insightful reporting. People like proman are exactly like those individuals at the top of AMC or any other authoritative inept leader (s)

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Screw the talkbackers, thanks for caring

    by Romeros_child

    Jesus the negativity on this thing is fucking nuts, i totally agree though, AMC needs to pull their collective heads out of their ass's. Fuck i was excited for this show, slightly impressed, slightly disappointed, now slightly scared that it will fall into television obscurity.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Proman- that why it's a EDITORIAL piece

    by buffywrestling

    and not a regular type of article. I don't know why I'm telling you this when you know everything.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 7:59 p.m. CST

    proman

    by Quint

    Did you read the article? Doesn't sound like it. I state implicitly that this kind of activity isn't new to Hollywood. The reason for the editorial isn't just about The Walking Dead, it's about what's happening to the network on the whole. I felt I had a personal connection to the news after reading Kim Masters' article with my run-in with AMC and thus I felt like I had something to add to the discussion. Next time read the article before taking me to task, okay? I'm sure there's plenty of things you can legitimately attack me for if you look hard enough, right?

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:01 p.m. CST

    whether Quint is right or NOT..

    by mcgillj

    You do NOT SLASH the budget of a show that does show GROWTH.. that's just bad buisiness no matter what.. HELL.. you double down.. and make it BIGGER, BADDER and BETTER.. and in those things.. you HOPEFULLY remember who the hell MADE it what it was.. that being the original artist.. and Darbont who PUSHED like a mother to MAKE the show what it was.. even the CREW said that... AMC pulled this crap.. and want to put it to a downturn in the economy.. whatever... how can you justify that.. when you just KNOW they will make MORE in ad revenue last year.. because the numbers from episode 1 to the FINAL (only 6 I admit, were actually UP).. more viewers higher revenues.. AMC shoulda been on their knees tonguing his BALLS.. literally (if he wanted).. I wasn't a huge fan of the actual show.. wasn't bad.. but I LOVE the cast.. just an amazingly great guest cast (Holden, Demunn, Rooker, Reedus). The same thing happened when they shifted show runners for Dexter.. season 4? was an AMAZING season.. the BEST season, over all.. then you come to the real just THUD of season 5.. it was probably stronger than season 3 (but that's not saying much). You have to value those people who put all the pieces together..

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:03 p.m. CST

    whats the point of this "article"

    by animas

    other than name dropping and thinking you are important or relevant? seems like it would be better for some facebook post or a personal blog.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:03 p.m. CST

    That sound you hear?

    by buffywrestling

    Quint bitch-slapping Proman.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:03 p.m. CST

    No HDTV on AMC = CHEAP!

    by Norm3

    As far as I'm concerned AMC was always cheap.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:03 p.m. CST

    I'm not ready to write AMC off just yet

    by Ribbons

    They're going through some growing pains, to be sure, and they're going public, so a little fiscal responsibility (even at the expense of creative genius) is to be expected. Give it a few years to see if AMC and Stillerman's early successes were just flukes, or if they can learn to roll with the punches. And I'm certainly not ready to call for their heads just because Frank "Ferrets Fucking In A Burlap Sack" Darabont didn't get the budget he wanted for season 2. *** And to be fair to Weiner and Mad Men, he's not responsible for the creator of the show being replaced and then the show itself being cancelled, or for AMC encouraging the Killing writers to extend the Rosie Larsen mystery in order to have an "easier sell" for season 2. I probably know less about what's gone on behind-the-scenes than Kurt Sutter does, so it's possible that Weiner acted like a dick, but again, the channel's got other problems.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Correction:

    by Ribbons

    he's not responsible for the creator [OF RUBICON] being replaced

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:05 p.m. CST

    animas is another one who doesn't understand

    by buffywrestling

    the concept of EDITORIAL.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Great piece, Quint

    by Toe Jam

    My 2 cents: AMC was beyond ecstatic with both the critical and viewer love for "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" in their early seasons, successfully found some great second-generation series (fuck all you "Rubicon" haters), but then brass realized they simply couldn't afford to financially juggle the nearly half-dozen great shows they now had in their hands. As all those shows grew in popularity, AMC became desperate to keep its most visible shows. Guys like Weiner realized this and really put the squeeze to AMC. AMC would rather keep "Mad Men" (and/or possibly "Breaking Bad") as its only marquee show than risk losing it in exchange for a bunch of "second-tier" shows like "The Killing" and "The Walking Dead" (even if it does get spectacular viewer numbers). Seems like a pretty basic problem: AMC simply doesn't have the money to keep more than two -- possibly three -- ratings hits on its schedule. How HBO has about a half-dozen similarly beloved shows going at one time is beyond me, but AMC really needs to copy HBO's playbook.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Unfortunatley, it's all irrel evant.

    by matthooper8

    The masses who watch the show have no clue who make the show and frankly don't care. Sure we care, but do you realize the miniscule percentage that we make up, the informed. Darabont's departure will hurt the show, but probably not the Nielsons.

  • I don't know about anybody else but I'm pretty sure asshole executives threatening the site with legal action over a set report is something we would like to hear about. Reminds me of when AICN had balls.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:13 p.m. CST

    'DON'T DEAD OPEN INSIDE" ?

    by Tigger Tales

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:13 p.m. CST

    EDITORIAL PEOPLE

    by corporategohan616

    Quint has reasonable thoughts, its a editorial piece, he can freely speak his mind however he wants. AMC's suits in charge are clearly dropping the ball somewhere, if all this negative (honest) press gets things in proper alignment then hey a editorial piece has had some effect.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Hey Tigger

    by matthooper8

    That's how I read it too.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Weiner is not being a dick.

    by buffywrestling

    He tried to get the best deal for his show, the talent and his crew. He was doing his job as showrunner, as far as I'm concerned. He had the leverage of critical acclaim & nominations/wins to back him up. I don't think that was ever in dispute. The cause/effect of that deal was Darbont's hands being tied when he tried to do the same thing. That's business. But it irks when a *high rated* TV show with a celebrated director gets treated like a genre show on FOX.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:16 p.m. CST

    here's the deal...

    by matt barlow

    AMC is broke. They lose money on every show they do. They are desperately trying to up their profile and break into a higher tier of carriage fees with their carriers. To do this, they are hemorrhaging money making really, really cool shows. At some point, they have to make necessary cuts to keep the bleeding from taking down the whole operation. Lets just be thankful that there is a network that makes Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Rubicon (RIP), and even cooler ones still to come. They aren't slashing budgets because they want to buy better Lakers tickets - they are slashing budgets because they are hopelessly in the red. And while Weiner's deal is ridiculous, Mad Men is an otherwise DIRT CHEAP show. Even after the new Weiner deal, amortized per episode MAD MEN is still the cheapest show on the network. I'm not saying Stillerman is a genius or a saint, but cut the guy some slack and remember that they are taking bigger chances than anyone else out there right now.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:17 p.m. CST

    This happens...

    by dmwalker

    all the time at the BBC. In the UK, if a show does well its budget is almost guaranteed to be slashed for the next series. DR WHO might have bucked that trend but I'm not even sure of that. We used to make some of the best TV in the world but now the US subscription channels put us to shame. Actually I didn't think S1 of THE WALKING DEAD was that great. But that's not the point: AMC are crazy to jeopardise what they've finally built over the years. But something strange happens when companies get successful; all the execs get rich and care less and less about the quality of what they're making.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Amazingly enough for you kids prepping for college

    by corporategohan616

    Those of you going into communications and broadcasting, this is thee anatomy of a basic cable channel. The ups and apparent downs when you have hit shows..

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Spot on.

    by PreciousRoy

    Tell me I've got bad taste, fuck you, but I liked the first season of The Walking Dead. I watched it in Manchester England, I think six days behind the rest of you, hoping to avoid spoilers so I could enjoy it fresh and new. And I watched it alone; no one else wanted to watch it with me. Yes, there were some parts that dragged. Yes, I would have preferred more from the two brothers than the kidnapping storyline. But I really enjoyed myself for the most part. and I was excited about what a full season order could mean with the kind of talent this show has. Maybe zombie t.v. shows are not new (I certainly haven't seen anything close to it since that stupid red herring in LOST's first season), but zombie shows with a great acting pool and a great storyteller are new. It's a big investment, trusting someone to make survival horror sell-able to the masses. I was grateful to AMC that they took a chance. I feel let down by them. I wonder if the people at AMC no what the X-Men fanbase went through with X3, and how it made them feel about Rothman and Sony? I didn't want to set fire to my PS3 in protest... but I am a lot less likely to get excited about a property in their hands, knowing what kind of fuckery they'll do to it in the name greed and spite. Thanks for telling the story about what happened with the publicity folks. I especially liked the part at the end when they kissed and made up with you. If they have a similar reaction to this article, fuck them. AICN are not serfs to Hollywood, no matter what Trollbackers might believe, and they're freebies are worth fuck-all when they can't bring new talent to their channel because they burn bridges anyways. Get off my lawn! The medication is kicking in! SUCKERS!

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:24 p.m. CST

    When was the last time a showrunner was fired midfilming?

    by Tom Vidovich

    Is it more common than I think or is this as unprecedented as it seems?

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:33 p.m. CST

    The fifth seqson of Breaking Bad is not guaranteed to be the last

    by memento108

    Likely? yes. Official? No.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:34 p.m. CST

    *season

    by memento108

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:41 p.m. CST

    And I thought Fox was bad...

    by Karl Hungus

    Oh wait, Fox IS bad. Worse, even. We're witnessing the murder of filmed entertainment at the hands of talentless, micromanaging bean-counters who don't give a damn about the medium. Fox, AMC, NBC -- they all need a massive retooling. It's just a shame that all three of these AMC shows make for such captivating television. It's going to be really painful to see them drawn and quartered by corporate goons.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 8:59 p.m. CST

    kurt sutter nailed this situation better than anybody

    by georgecauldron

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/08/12/kurt-sutter-twitter-amc-frank-darabont/ But nobody will acknowledge him because he's not mainstream enough for Hollywood douchebags.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Thank you...

    by tehBIGIvan

    ...For not posting the fallout from your set visit posts back then. I might not have watched the first season out of spite.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:23 p.m. CST

    There is a point to this article

    by Jinxo

    There is a point to having a story like this on a site like Aint It Cool as opposed to someone's personal blog or Facebook page. And that is that, believe it or not, it can have impact. Is this single article going to bring down AMC? No. But it is bad press from a well-known web site. And if more and more such pieces keep showing from popular online media sites and professional reporters, change could happen. If you're trying to build a network brand and gain viewers you don't want people yelling that you suck. AICN has enough clout to make such a piece a bigger matter than if it was on someone's personal page where The Powers That Be would be less likely to see it.<br><br> And why shouldn't he give a shot to causing some change. Might not work but it is possible it could have impact. Has 100% better chance of causing change than if he said nothing.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Blaming the suits...

    by Sithtastic

    is easy for Talkbackers and you know something? For as much as I sympathize with people who have to make a financial decision, like so many of you who've made an investment in the characters of the Walking Dead (both alive and not-so-much), this feud and resulting sacking of Frank Darabont is a slap in the face. I don't see how anyone could defend AMC's people on this, save to say it's the result of those holding the purse strings over ruling those trying to hold on to the creative vision and that's a crying shame. While it's not a deal breaker, I will watch Season 2 now with almost a hyper-consciousness about visible changes made post Ep.1.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:25 p.m. CST

    To play devil's advocate

    by Bass Ackwards

    Maybe Darabont just wasn't a great show runner? I think there's a pretty general consensus that season one was, at best, underwhelming. Especially when you compare it to AMCs flagships, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, which were pretty fantastic shows right out the gate. Character and story wise Walking Dead was very very aimless, and at times downright bad, which is especially odd for a show based on a pre-existing graphic novel that does a pretty amazing job of laying the story out for you. And didn't the first season end with Darabont essentially firing the entire writing crew? While perhaps a sign that Darabont was not super impressed with their results, it may have also been a sign that Darabont just didn't have a good handle on how to get what he needed/wanted out of his staff, and perhaps the do-over he was trying for with season two wasn't going well. It could very well be that AMC wasn't impressed with season one, and was less impressed with what had been produced so far with season two, and made a decision to change captains midstream. Everyone keeps saying AMC needs to value quality over money, but are then suggesting the opposite by saying AMC needs to care more about this show because it gets AMCs highest ratings, even though its clearly not AMCs best show. In fact people keep talking about the "risk" AMC is taking with its biggest show by making this move, for all we know AMC is taking this risk precisely to value quality, the show's budget is already set and was from the get go, so ultimately this won't really be much of a money saving move. It would have been less "risky" for AMC to simply let Darabont finish up the season and move on. Again, just playing devil's advocate, its all just speculation, just as Quint's editorial is, which makes the whole ordeal a practice in the pointless on both sides. But if we're going to write long rambling pieces full of presumptions, we might as well play the other side of the record with presumptions too.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:33 p.m. CST

    by Tristan

    I'm confused as to why AMC orders 13 ep for season 2 of Walking Dead, but cuts the budget...after the first season had the biggest ratings for a TV show, last year. And then they fire Frank, who was only trying to make the show "good" (the first ep was the best one, imo), by getting a new writing staff, fighting the budget cuts and editing eps that needed editing. I understand TV production is different than a movie production, but it sounds like heads of AMC are stuffed-up their own asses. I'm sure Mad Men is a good show, but for AMC to pour so much support and money towards it, when Walking Dead and Breaking Bad are HUGE successes, is stupid business. "Breaking Bad" has one more fucking season and AMC can't give it a full 13 season run, because of low money and idiotic decision making. I agree with Quint that there needs to be a shake-up at AMC. Didn't something similiar happen with HBO, in that Rome and Deadwood were screwed, because of The Sopranos?

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST

    This reminds me of Paramount's neutering of Star Trek movies.

    by crimsoncinder

    Paramount slashing Star Trek movie budgets with each sequential movie.. Sounds so familiar. Just think what Star Trek movies could have been with more budget back in the 80's of if they had less of an uphill climb to get those made.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:40 p.m. CST

    On a related note...

    by The Garbage Man

    Jesus, is there anyone Kurt Sutter DOESN'T have a beef with?

  • They ain't about to upset that cash cow.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Too Bad Those Zombies in the Poster......

    by ThisBethesdaSea

    don't look ANYTHING like they do on the show.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Quint. Good article.

    by theneonsamurai

    The first two hours of The Walking Dead is some of my favorite TV ever. I hope this thing turns around.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 9:57 p.m. CST

    Excellent editorial Quint

    by NeverTalksBack

    I've read several stories recently on this AMC controversy, including the thoughts from the Sons of Anarchy showrunner, but Quint has said it best and I agree wholeheartedly. Darabont should NOT have been fired. I know I'm in the minority with Quint on the Walking Dead but I think the show is amazing and until recent events had the potential to be even more amazing as the years go on. Now I am very concerned for the fate of one of my favorite TV shows. The head of AMC needs to go or start making things right like starting with bringing Darabont back! Superb and insightful editorial Quint, I look forward to the next one ;)

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:01 p.m. CST

    AMC went public this summer

    by Bob of the Shire

    And that's all you really need to know. It's all about profit now and they've been making that very clear. You can kiss the visionary TV they were producing goodbye. All we can hope for now is that Mad Men and Breaking Bad wrap up well.

  • The bottom line is almost always money, and you didnt even mention it. Could you touch on this, or quote someone who can?

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Great Article

    by Dataset

    I remember when AMC was the great hope of a golden age of television. They were the Pixar of good shows. One after another it all gelled. That was until Rubicon. I've been really into shows that have been canceled before, so I'm no newbie, but Rubicon's cancellation hurt. I've never seen a series take that slow of a burn and be so brilliant at it. It was a ballsy move that only Treme has come that close to achieving. TV AGAINST A.D.H.D. viewers. These are two shows that are in your face with their pacing, begging those who can't sit still to turn the fucking channel. In taking chances like Rubicon, I felt like AMC was the brightest star television has had in a long time. And it can still be. They can turn this around and deliver on that promise. I hope they do.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:19 p.m. CST

    AMC, if it ain't broke, then don't try to fucking fix it!

    by Judge Briggs

    AMC should have given Darabount a blank check ... the show is HUGE and will only grow. ... good job, AMC. Fucking re-res.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:24 p.m. CST

    @thisbethesdasea

    by PreciousRoy

    Look at the zombie the left of the poster... That's the guy in the bus when Rick enters Atlanta's downtown. And center is Bicycle girl.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST

    AMC is not broke

    by funkylovemonkey

    The Wall Street Journal reported just yesterday that AMC profits rose 39%, with a 21% increase in advertising revenue. At the same time their operating margin only increased by .6%. Doesn't sound like their penny pinching has anything to do with losing money on these shows. Here's the link http://tinyurl.com/3uhkvnh

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Excellent article

    by aeternitatis

    Completely agree. Hope the top brass at AMC sees it.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Quint: Shortcut For Watching Mad Men

    by Aquatarkusman

    Watch Season 1, then pretend you've seen it three additional times, and that covers the other seasons. Season 2 is especially, egregiously repetitive.

  • Gilligan has said it's likely, but no one anywhere, except AICN, has said it WILL BE the last. You guys are believing your own misleading headlines.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:39 p.m. CST

    I thought you meant AMC theaters

    by heyscot

    But yeah, I agree with you here, too.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:40 p.m. CST

    They should become a premium paid channel like shotime or HBO

    by tatoosh

    They want to be a premium brand with premium content and still make a buck? Just become a subscriber only channel. That model will work better for what they are trying to do. Besides, people place a higher emotional value on content they are paying extra for. Win win, really. Network gets to feel more exclusive, as does the viewer. Plus, the filmmakers would get an even greater degree of creative freedom. Speaking of which, Harry, you could start a subscribers only column and achieve the same thing. Aintitcoolpremium.com.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Season 5 of Breaking Bad will be the last...but...

    by Titus05

    they are going to split Season 5 into 2 parts...first part 13 episodes and 2nd part, 6-8 months later will be 7 episodes that's according to my well placed source.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:42 p.m. CST

    Devils advocate here...

    by PG

    For what it's worth, I learned in one of my film business classes (and no, I'm not at all saying what I learned in college means dick in the real-world) from a teacher who worked on the business side of Hollywood, and TV production. One of the major talking points we had last fall was about how The Walking Dead was taking so long to shoot a season 2... What our professor informed us about was just how insanely expensive that show was, per episode, and how AMC itself, doesn't rake in enough dough to keep pace. That's what caused a year delay, and that's also what's causing them (execs) to wanna chop the budget 1 million per episode from 3.5 down to 2.5 an episode.. As long as the writing is solid, who says you need a big budget to get good stories out there? The other word on the street is the Breaking Bad initial crisis is about to end, and an agreement will be reached very soon... So perhaps this hysteria over what went down with Frank D. is a little overzealous.. That's my flipside outlook on all of this.. TV ain't cheap anymore... A network like AMC simply doesn't suck in the ratings and enough advertisers to afford big budgets for all of their shows.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Who are the genius'ses?

    by DrakeSavageBalls

    the people calling the shot's at AMC have their heads so far up their collective asses that they had to get tracheotomies in order to breath. loved season one, won't be watching season 2 and my buddy will loan me the last season of breaking bad. ir

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 10:58 p.m. CST

    breaking bad season 5

    by dahauk--

    Bryan Scranton has stated on chat shows that series 5 will be the last, with a definite finite ending as goal.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 11:02 p.m. CST

    more devil's advocate

    by mrgray

    (Incidentally, I think the intelligent devil's advocating from gromsrom and bass ackwards is spot-on) I look at something like The Walking Dead, which cost millions of dollars per episode, and then I look at Louie on FX, which costs probably 1/100th of that per episode, and I see a problem. If the characters are what make the graphic novel good, and if storytelling is why we care about the show, then why does it need $3.5 million per episode? I read some of the supposed "studio notes" that the show received for cost-cutting and while many of those recommendations struck me as supremely silly, it also doesn't seem to me like Darabont even *tried* to work with AMC on the finances. Which is fine if we want to take the whole "Frank fights for what he believes in" attitude, but then you have to acknowledge that he was fighting and not cooperating. I've said it before, I'll say it again: fans aren't the ones taking the financial risk on the entertainment they bitch about. (Which is why crowd-sourced production funding might be the best thing to ever happen to fandom.)

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 11:17 p.m. CST

    also, re: advocating devils

    by mrgray

    Someone on another site I read just made the great point that Breaking Bad and Mad Men aren't owned by AMC. Which means that if their showrunners aren't happy, the studio that owns them can shop them to other networks. Which puts AMC in the unfortunate position of having to slash their in-house production budgets to help offset co-production costs on these "leased" shows. As Walking Dead is 100% AMC's baby, there's no risk of the show going anywhere if they slash its budget. Additionally, this same poster pointed out that (a fact I didn't know) AMC only receives 1/4 of $.01 per subscriber from affiliate fees, which is FAR less than most other networks. While I agree that AMC isn't handling this situation with great grace, it's not as black-and-white as "AMC suits are idiots/cowards!"

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 11:23 p.m. CST

    That's it for AMC then. Tits up

    by Roger Moon

    It's over. I can't believe it.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 11:34 p.m. CST

    Seriously though, Quint...

    by PhineasFlynn

    Without hijacking this TB, you point again to Dark Tower being done at HBO as a good thing. I'm a big DT fan and Constant Reader, and I think that would be a terrible place to land. Look at what happened to Rome and Carnivale. Hell, look at Game of Thrones... as bad-ass as it was, how much better would it have been if they had the budget to shoot the scenes 1) outside of tents and closed rooms, and 2) as big as they were written in the books. I mean, the Hand's tournament was more than a narrow dirt track attended by 15 people in the book. DT needs to land somewhere that will commit to a reasonably strong budget and telling the story to fruition. I'm not sold that place is HBO (Has Battles Offscreen). Now, if Frank were to talk Uncle Stevie into letting him play with the property, then I'd be behind that development.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 11:38 p.m. CST

    One more thing...

    by PhineasFlynn

    I know these execs are in a bad spot and acting ridiculous now, but weren't these the same people who had the balls to bring these shows to AMC in the first place? It's funny how we can think of them as geniuses for airing these unconventional programs, then turn around and call them tools for reigning in the shows's budgets.

  • Aug. 12, 2011, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Kurt Sutter...

    by Flippadippa

    ...thinks TWD is one of the two best shows on TV? Freaking hilarious.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Budget hocus pocus.

    by 3774

    Maybe they're somehow justified in cutting the budget, through some hidden, horrific math the public can't see, and they don't want to show. Maybe it isn't. Either way, they can't justify firing him.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 12:02 a.m. CST

    Great article need there to be a lot more of these here. More on AMC...

    by Andrew Coleman

    I get where the network is coming from buuuut it doesn't excuse anything. I fear The Walking Dead will turn into a giant cock block. Will go two or three episodes without seeing a zombie because of the cuts. So lots and lots and lots of set up with no real pay off. AMC has pissed me off a couple of times already though... WD budget slash... Rubicon getting dumped... The Killing obviously being rushed into a "To be continued" ending. I'm not a "Killing" hater I actually think they ended it very well with what the had to do. But I was hoping the murder would be solved and lead into other crimes or possibly another murder instead it just left you with more questions, which is fine, but I guess it was not what I was looking for. Maybe there needs to be a change but lets not forget that AMC still has great programming. They are not like the mindless fucks who run FOX or NBC. The major networks don't have balls. It's just the same shit over and over again. So give AMC props they are simply running second behind HBO... That's not a bad place to be. Also AMC stop showing like an hour and ten minutes of commercials during movies. It's annoying as shit.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Budget hocus pocus. i.e. CREATIVE JEW FUCK ACCOUNITNG.

    by victor_von_gloom

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Proman...AMC's fucking plant, 'nufff said!

    by Shub-Wankalot

  • k

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:44 a.m. CST

    More inisight or more drama...you make the call...

    by Shub-Wankalot

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/08/12/kurt-sutter-twitter-amc-frank-darabont/

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:46 a.m. CST

    *insight

    by Shub-Wankalot

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:54 a.m. CST

    we can do without the anti-Semitism

    by oisin5199

    thanx

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Regime change?

    by RexNebular

    They just beat all the forecasts for Q2 revenue and scored 31 Emmy nominations.

  • without even much a suitable reason from a network heads perspective, is not cool at the very least, a real unnecessary dick-move. I understand some peoples problems with the scaling down of material like GOT to fit the budget, but if anwhere, I think a good match of Darabont & Dark Tower has to be at HBO...DT scale or scope is much more fitting to what we've seen GOT streamlined down to anyway isn't it? On the other hand, yeaah... Carvinale & Rome... And while were at it, can we please usurp SyFy?... no wait...heh, I mean... Go SyFy!... how do I get a job at SyFy?... With no previous or relevant experience on my CV?... It's not the same thing as the situation at AMC i know but... Defiance had better be pretty good

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Here's an idea to save money, AMC

    by American Mythos

    Tell the studios that own Breaking Bad and Mad Men to shop their shows to networks that know how to handle success, and sell Walking Dead to a studio that will find it a good home as well. Then you can go back to strictly showing 'classic' movies year round. In fact, I gotta go microwave my popcorn, I see you're showing Dracula 2000.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:07 a.m. CST

    AMC sucks

    by eveelcapitalist

    AMC used to be American Movie Classics. They used to show movies. Then they became AMC and went to expanded basic cable. They showed old movies, but now cut up with ads. Nowadays they mostly show ads with old movies shown between them. Okay, so they started making a coupld of original shows. Then they lucked out. I LOVE Mad Men. Walking Dead is okay. Haven't ever seen Breaking Bad but it has acclaim (I'll likely never watch it because the premise seems stock and the acclaim is over the top which puts me off). But honestly? Why couldn't these shows be shown anywhere else? Who gives a flying fuck about AMC, these shows could just as easily be on TNT or FX or USA. Not the broadcast networks. They suck, too. Fuck AMC, who gives a shit that they don't know what they're doing. Advocate for getting these shows moved to cable outlets that give a shit.

  • Thanks, AMC, my Friday night is set!

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:25 a.m. CST

    Okay,

    by Fizzay

    Darabont, is what some might call an artist. He takes his time and he makes what he wants. Where did we forget that this is art and Darabont is a master? I'm done with AMC, I quit Mad Men. I quit Breaking Bad. If you want anything to do with me or the thousands like me behind Darabont, get him back as showrunner. Otherwise I'll stick to the flawless, original medium by Robert Kirkman... unless you let Darabont make the Dark Tower...

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:25 a.m. CST

    oisin5199 - On anti-semitism @ AICN

    by eveelcapitalist

    I doubt that will happen. The gang that runs this website likes to do their level best to run out the right or conservative leaning readers. What does that have to do with anything? Modern anti-semitism is basically a leftist tendency. Let the lefties run around unopposed and you get their hate mongering bullshit. They'll claim to love diversity, but as long as it doesn't include people who think different from them and Jews. I've gotten on people here for being Jew hating fuckwads, it does no good. The proprietors will delete all sorts of comments but I've never seen anti-semitic shit deleted. I'm not saying they encourage it, but they certainly give it a free pass. And by all accounts, the admins all seem to be open leftists. Go figure. So AICN is largely lacking in people (righties) willing to get up the ass of Jew hating cocksuckers (lefties) and thus you get anti-semite fuckwads like victor von gloom who feel safe enough to spout their fucking garbage. Progressive-ism at its best, I tells ya.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:27 a.m. CST

    anti-Semitism? - Nawww, it's just callin' a turd a turd.

    by glodene

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Anti-Semitism vs. The Walking Dead

    by Fizzay

    Who gives a shit... Pay attention to the real shit at hand, cum-jeans.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 3:07 a.m. CST

    walking dead was a bag of shite

    by mynamesdan

    of course they fired darabont, he did a bad job with that really expensive property they bought for him.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Bryan Cranston's character is supposed to be getting worse

    by alexander

    if you don't get that, you don't get the show

  • just enjoy or like the show for your own reasons without being so overly media sensitised god dammit!

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 3:28 a.m. CST

    eveelcapitalist

    by funkylovemonkey

    You say lefties hate all people different then them and Jews? You do realize that most Jews in the United States vote Democrat right? In fact since 1928 the Jewish vote has gone to the Democratic ticket an average of 75%. In the last election, despite attempts to paint Obama as a secret Muslim out to destroy Israel, 78% of Jewish voters voted for Obama. I'm sure there are anti-Semitic people on both sides of the aisle, but to call all people who vote with the left anti-Semitic is ridiculous, especially when the offending comment was made in a vacuum. You just assumed they were leftist because they said something that was repugnant, and in your mind anything that is repugnant has to come from the other side. Often Republicans are more vocal about their support for Israel, partly because in the evangelical mind the state of Israel is linked with the Second Coming of Christ. That doesn't mean the other side is where all the anti-Semites come from. When Democrats come into power they don't suddenly cut aid to Israel. Again, not arguing that there aren't anti-Semitic people on the left, but the right has a pretty vocal group of anti-Semites too and it was a pretty obnoxious assumption you made.

  • ...and then judge whether AMC dumping Frank Darabont was in any way justified or not. No? Better to jump to wild conclusions based on no real evidence whatsoever, other than blind fanboy love of Frank Darabont? Oh, okay then. Carry on.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 3:55 a.m. CST

    THIS SHOULD HAPPEN

    by Xen11

    NEVER KICK A SHOWRUNNER OFF OF A SHOW EVER NO MATTER WHAT. It happened with Andromeda and it happened with The Walking Dead to stroke the tip of the iceberg here...

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 3:57 a.m. CST

    THIS SHOULD HAPPEN AS WELL..

    by Xen11

    Josh Friedman's Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 3. Whether that's in 22-episode form (never gonna happen) Or 13 episode form (that neither) Or 3 two hour movies. (this should happen)

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:13 a.m. CST

    AMC is run by Mad Men.

    by AshMcQ

    Totally agree with this article - but who is actually going to fire them? Aren't they pretty independent?

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:17 a.m. CST

    Haven't "gotten through" season 1 of Mad Men?

    by darth_hideous

    You are not qualified to be writing about these matters.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:26 a.m. CST

    God, I just love the people who feel the need to shit all over a show...

    by American Mythos

    ... just because they missed the boat, or because it's too critically/fan acclaimed and that turns them off. Does something have to be universally reviled for you to like it? That goes right to the heart of the problem with a lot of talkbackers, this insatiable need to hate everything popular because they think it makes them hip and countercultural. A certain VM is famous for that. I'm at least glad to hear some here finally admit that that's the completely twisted way their tastes are defined. I haven't seen one episode of Mad Men, but I'm reserving judgment on that until I find time to sit down with the blu-rays, just like I did with Breaking Bad seasons one and two.

  • Hey, we got this hit TV show, so how about we start cutting the budget so we can maximize profits.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:44 a.m. CST

    Watch the rest of Mad Men, Quint. S4 finale is joyous.

    by davidwebb

    Seems to me that AMC are starting to debut with their new shows with decent budgets and teams, only to drop the axe for subsequent series'. Saving themselves money, but trading on the goodwill and acclaim from the first series. But as others have pointed out, it should really be the other way around. I know people are complaining about Matthew Weiner, but as showrunner it's surely in his and the show's best interests to secure the best budget possible. If AMC fails to find a compromise that can meet the demands of the other shows in it's stable, then that's their wrongdoing.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:44 a.m. CST

    Season 3, even!

    by davidwebb

  • Because Jim Crow was such a notorious left wing liberal, wasn't he you lying piece of shit. Let me ask you this you fucking lowlife, where was and is the greatest amount of racial violence and segregation? THE SOUTH. Who votes mainly for Republican's, SOUTHERN STATES. Which political party has been trying to deliberately bring down the US economy because a man of interracial parentage is President? The REPUBLICAN PARTY. So, now that I've disproven your fucking bullshit, how about you fuck off to Free Republic where you can tug on your tiny cock with all of the other delusional Aryan Brotherhood wankers, you retarded fuckstick.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:55 a.m. CST

    I'm from the South,

    by Xen11

    I've experienced all this shit first-hand and I approve the above message by "catchtheman". Fuck you right-wing religious pieces of shit.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:55 a.m. CST

    THAT DID HAPPEN ^

    by Xen11

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 5:40 a.m. CST

    Quint, you come across as naive

    by FrodoFraggins

    Do you really think the next Vince Gilligan or Frank Darabont or Matthew Weiner will be attracted to AMC knowing how they treat their talent? Do you think the next brilliant showrunner will choose AMC over, say, HBO with the next great, profitable series knowing that even if they bring in the best ratings in the network’s history their budgets will be slashed in their next season and they could be booted off the series they developed for years?

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 5:52 a.m. CST

    hmm that post cut my follouwp

    by FrodoFraggins

    HBO passed on Mad Men and barely doesn't exactly kick out many new shows. AMC has the reputation and awards to attract plenty of good showrunners.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 6:03 a.m. CST

    The NBC comparisons are obvious here...

    by david19

    Remember when NBC screwed that one guy out of that one show and everyone got pissed off? That debacle and its outcome plus this editorial should get some people scared, and rightly so. Take your dumbass suit, tie, and legal team and blow it up your ass Stillerman. AMC, you have an obligation to your fanbase now. Get your house together!!!

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 6:15 a.m. CST

    american mythos re: shitting on what's popular

    by mrgray

    You know, it's entirely possible that some of us actually have *reasons* to dislike these popular fictions. I was one of the voices of dissent on The Dark Knight and with a few shouty exceptions I gave very rational arguments for my case. It had NOTHING to do with the popular tide (until it became a group drubbing consisting predominantly of name-calling, which then lead to me pretty much hating all Nolan fans). Likewise, I don't enjoy Mad Men. I don't care how well-written it is, I don't like Don Draper and even though I realize that the overtly douchey, machismo-laden sexism is part of the period "flavor" I still find it repellant and don't feel like subjecting myself to it weekly. I have a legit reason for not liking the show. Walking Dead started out strong, but the episode in the CDC outpost was weak sauce and the season finale left me very, very underwhelmed. I still enjoyed the show overall, but the point is that I have REAL reasons for my opinions. As do many if not most of the so-called "haters".

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 6:18 a.m. CST

    also, as long as we're talking about prejudice...

    by mrgray

    Let's not ignore the constant, incessant use of homophobic slang and epithets on this website that ALSO go relatively unchecked. Far too many talkbackers get away with that shit.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 6:36 a.m. CST

    great arcticle

    by stringerbell

    i love all 3 shows especially breaking bad,what happened was bullshit,id like to know what other tv ex think off the situation,but this does happen at other tv shows even the prestigious HBO(deadwood and carnivale to be such examples)

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Shut up, mrgay

    by Sicuv Uyall

    Just kidding. But yeah shut up.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 6:56 a.m. CST

    deaft0ne

    by alexander

    "its not as smart as it thinks it is"... yes, because clearly in the language of film, it is to be read that it considers itself oh so very smart... and save your highbrow horseshit troll putdowns for someone or something that you thinks actually worth it, and more importantly you get worth a horseshit, ta very much

  • But they only embarrass themselves. We have reached a point where allowing your programming to be broadcast substandardly is basic incompetence. Do AMC exec know what their shows look like on HDTV's in standard def? Dumbasses.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 7:37 a.m. CST

    all this over

    by JAMF

    a shitty zombie show? ffs it has about two zombies per episode and the dialogue/characters are boring as fuck. YAWN. and yes i've read the comics, they arent much better.

  • Is Breaking Bad really that cool? I've heard alot of people praising it. I gotta check it out. Shame about Darabount, but I don't think it's a dealbreaker for Walking Dead. As long as the writing is solid, it won't matter. And, let's be honest here; only the first episode was GREAT, the rest of it was uneven. That "Vatos" episode was ridiculous / unintentionally hilarious... and that was written by Hickman! Sheesh...

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 7:52 a.m. CST

    You people must think AMC execs are idiots, right?

    by Ditko

    Well, TV advertising is not what it used to be. DVD sales aren´t either. Costs keep raising up, and Mad Men (which I LOVE, by the way), took such a big cut if their new series budget that they SIMPLY can´t afford the same quality standards. Sad? Sure, but remember, TV is business and they want to make a profit from it. AMC is not stupid, they´re just trying to keep airing the shows.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 7:59 a.m. CST

    I just can´t believe you people can´t seem to understand.

    by Ditko

    Why wouldn´t AMC want a full season of Breaking Bad? The show is a hit, RIGHT? Maybe they can only afford a 6 episode season to make a profit from it? Has that thought crossed your mind?

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 8:06 a.m. CST

    It´s all the neckties fault! Thet ruin everything!

    by Ditko

    Wake up, dudes, that´s early 90s state of mind. Reality Bites anyone? AMC would gladly pay not for an extra full season of Breaking Bad, but 3 if they could make a profit from it! That´s their business after all. The Walking Dead? I surely won´t miss Darabont, bring Kirkman to be the show runner all along and he´ll do it for half the money. If you want to blame this stuff on anyone, blame it on Mad Men, that series took all the budget for next year. Wake up, people, money doesn`t grow from trees.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 8:09 a.m. CST

    buffywrestling knows the deal.

    by Ditko

    That said, I´m gonna drink me a Scotch. Sorry about the multiple posts, not my fault there´s no edit button :P

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Why the adulation for Darabont..? He's terrible.

    by workshed

    I can't believe he destroyed grade-A source material like The Walking Dead but then if you look at the first talkback on the matter, I said he would do just that. Hell, he even managed to fuck up two Stephen King short stories, a feat I thought impossible (yes, Shawshank stinks!) I, for one, am glad they fired his ass. He's a hack. Also, as much as I like Andrew Lincoln in previous shows like This Life, he was badly miscast in TWD. Breaking Bad on the other hand... WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING AMC!!! One of the best shows of all-time and you want to fuck it up? Respect Gilligan. Treasure him.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST

    @ mrgray

    by 3774

    i just assume that people who hate Jews and 'faggots' are developmentally-delayed, emotionally-stunted mouthbreathers with heritages and sexual compulsions that confuse and frighten them. But you're right. Any so-called mods present are way to lenient on it. Cue ignorant thug incorrectly bleating about their 'right' to express racist, sexist, bigoted hate in 5...4...3...

  • Nothing good can ever be done. Good show, Quint. That sort of stuff is searingly aggravating-- the incompetence coming from those people is not shocking, but amazing nonetheless.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 8:18 a.m. CST

    I kinda feel sorry for Darabont, tho.

    by Ditko

    He got fucked all over Indy 4, and eventhough I think his Walking Dead run could off been a LOT better...at the end of the day he got fucked off too. Maybe he´s got an ego or something? Too greedy? I´d like some insight on that.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Wholly agree with this article.

    by Judge Dredds Dirty Undies

    And if you think Shawshank 'stinks' your opinion isn't worth shit.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Thank you Quint

    by JAGUART

    Dig into Mad Men, it's the only show I'm ravenous about.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 9:42 a.m. CST

    AMC should have never caved to #3 Mad Men

    by CCon99

    I don't blame MW for getting the best deal he could for Mad Men, he should have been kicked from the show if he didn't try to get the best deal. The fault lies on AMC for caving in to Mad Men when its low ratings doesn't get anywhere near the ratings Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead bring in for them. Even if Mad Men is considered a better show by the critics, the second TWD smashed all of their ratings records, it should have been re-prioritized as the network's flagship show and they should have been bending over backwards to make it their #1 show. Giving the majority of their budget to Mad Men (no matter how wonderful of a show it certainly is) was just bad business considering the ratings it barely brings in. Them doing that is like a car dealer going out of their way to make their 3rd best salesman happy, because they like the way he dresses compared to their 2 best salesman.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 9:45 a.m. CST

    AMC doesn't have bottemless pockets.

    by -Halfscan-

    I'm all for "line the suits up against the wall when the revolution starts" as the next guy, but this isn't a "suit" problem. </p> </p> AMC is a lower tier cable network that doesn't pull in the revenue to support all of these shows. </p> </p> Their options are: cut show budgets, cut # of episodes per season/per show, or cut a show loose. </p> </p> "Editorials" like this sound like a whiny teenager bitching that his middle income parents bought him a used car instead of a shiny new Porche for his birthday.</p> </p> Regarding Darabont, lets be frank (ha!)... the bad crap in season 1 had nothing to do with budget or AMC suits meddling. That stuff all lies squarely on Mr. Darabont's shoulders, and I, for one, look foward to seeing a season with a different show runner.</p> </p>

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 9:49 a.m. CST

    If An Organization Wants to Self Destruct - It Will

    by Alice Cooper Stalker

    Quint, One of the things that I've learned is that you can't stop a runaway train. If the powers that be at AMC want to self-destruct, they will find a way. Spending time wishing for things to be different or talking about how things should be will do no good. The men and women in suits that are in power will do things as they see fit. You aren't going to be able to influence a bunch of suits to behave differently.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    @tb4000 Re: Mad Men being AMC's Sopranos

    by CCon99

    I would disagree big time with saying Mad Men is AMC's Sopranos. When the Sopranos was on, it was easily, without any doubt HBO's most watched series bar none. Mad Men would be better compared to HBO's The Wire. Both shows were the best shows on their respective network, that unfortunately only a handful of people were watching.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 10:03 a.m. CST

    ditko

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Darabont's Indy IV draft was TERRIBLE. Yes, even worse than the David Koepp one we ended up with. Lucas and Spielberg were 100% right not to go with it. The sight of Darabont pissing and moaning about it in public really lessened my faith in him, up until then I thought he was a pretty cool guy.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 10:23 a.m. CST

    A thought on supposed Anti-Semitism

    by TheNotoriousDRB

    Just because I disagree with your actions doesn't mean that I hate you. Fact: The majority of power-players in Hollywood are Jewish Fact: Of these Jewish power-players, the sheer majority have no actual talent and are glorified beancounters (harsh, but actually true) So, if one were to say that "Jews Run Hollywood", that is not an anti-Semitic statement; how can it be? At what point does it become an epithet of hate to say that someone is in charge of something? Somehow, at some point, criticism of someone's success and subsequent poor handling of said success has become a statement of hate.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Love TWD comic, the show left me lukewarm

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    I never even made it past the Darabont-written-and-directed pilot episode. It just didn't grab me. I was looking forward to an "all Rick alone in zombieland" episode before we got to the reveal that his family was alive and well; but they revealed that right in the pilot episode, which I thought was weird and disrupted the pacing of an otherwise awesome hour of TV. Beyond that, the show just didn't look that good, Michael Rooker aside. But Darabont is touch and go, as the Hollywood Reporter artciel mentions. I loved Shawshank and I loved the Mist, but everything else he's done has been terrible. The Majestic?! Green Mile?! Blech. Awful. If he can somehow manage to get the Dark Tower, great. But I'm not going to cry and week over TWD's future. I have the comics, they kick ass, and that's all the zombies I need to fill my undead fix.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Anarchy showrunner

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    What a bitch that guy is. First of all I saw him on some roundtable show with other showrunners and in a crowd of LA turds he was by far the LA turdiest. Second of all to blame Weiner/Mad Men for AMC's inability to run their business is idiotic. I don't know the ins and outs of the deal but I don't have to. Even if AMC wasn't lowballing Mad Men - which seems unlikely given these other and past issues - it's THEIR job to figure out how to make it work, not Weiner, etc. Third, Quint needs to catch up on Mad Men. I agree with the article but for fuck's sake you haven't even watched the flagship show of the network you're shitting on. Also, it's only gotten better as it's gone on - one of last season's episodes was absolutely transcendent.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 10:31 a.m. CST

    And I'd hardly call the characters on Mad Men "assholes"

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    Listen, they're a product of their times, what do you want from them? For the time he lived in, Pete Campbell is actually a pretty forward thinking guy.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Why point out they're Jewish?

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    What's the point of that exactly? Just "being descriptive"?

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 10:55 a.m. CST

    I thought this was gonna be about AMC Theaters

    by D.Vader

    Durrr!@

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 10:56 a.m. CST

    And I'm happy to hear about Quint's troubles with the network

    by D.Vader

    Not happy it happened, but I'm happy to hear about them because it does help paint a larger picture of what's wrong with the network and shows they are willing to either A) tell lies, to both important people and those who work for them, or B) miscommunicate or have a total lack of communication between their departments. Either way, it screams one thing: AMATEUR HOUR.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 11:07 a.m. CST

    @Thunderbolt Ross

    by TheNotoriousDRB

    In answer to your question, when dealing with a group of people who openly and freely wear their ethnicity/religion on their sleeve, it would be a sin to deny them the recognition they so openly want for themselves.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Darabont screwed up the mist big time.

    by UltraTron

    Completely scrapped the foreshadowed military guys who hung themselves. Why? They knew what was coming? Guys with flamethrowers easily handling the situation? They hung themselves over that? How bout the fact that in the book he FUCKS the girl with green eyes and SAVES the people. Not BLOWS THEIR BRAINS OUT. Big difference. The book leaves off for a sequel. Oh no we don't want to know anything about this entire new cinema world of creatures and government experiments gone awry- just have an ending so depressing and fucked that nobody will ever want to see this movie again after the first viewing. Now go make more zombie bullshit. Everyone loves zombies- leave the new ideas and new creatures to rot in the forget this movie ever happened because it's too depressing bin. I agree that depressing films are great after a breakup or death in the family when you've hit the bottom of the bucket and you're feeling so shitty that seeing somebody worse off makes you feel good. But we have movies like Reign over me for that shit. Leave my sci-fi alone with that shit. Did it work in alien 3? Fuck no. Everyone hates that movie because it negates everything that came before. Same thing with the ending of mist. You dropped a very cool looking ball Frank.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 11:18 a.m. CST

    MAD MEN SUCKS

    by torontoxic

    If you're a half wit its your intellectual wet dream. If you're intelligent its insulting. Break Bad carries AMC. Walking Dead was set to be something great. Now I download Breaking Bad and Walking Dead I don't care about any more. <P> Great article, Quint. I hope it gets read by AMC share holders.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Sigh....

    by THX1968

    Yeah, it's more of the same Hollywood crap, but I don't recall a time when a bunch of suits messed so many things up at the same time. Especially three of the top shows on TV.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 12:01 p.m. CST

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    by PRESIDENT BALTAR

    fanboys are pissed, because "TWD" which is a shitty shitty show to begin with, is being mistreated? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  • Now they have fucking TV shows and hours of annoying infomercials clogging up their line-up. The only reason to watch it now is for their Fear Friday programming. You want to save the network? Make them start showing commercial free movies and scrap all the stupid television shows. It's American MOVIE Classics after all.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Let me just tell you...

    by Michael Sanders

    I used to work for AMC. I know Joel, I know Charlie Collier. I sold digital media at the height of Mad Men's success and it was a nightmare. To say they didn't know how to handle success is an understatement to beat all understatements. Advertisers were expected to pay through the nose for sponsorships they got for 1/4 the price the year before with meager ratings. Execs would basically muscle sponsors into paying huge amounts based on the buzz around the show not actual numbers. Then they would put the same pressure for advertising in other shows based on the success of Mad Men. You should have seen the shit show after The Prisoner. High priced packages never able to deliver because the show bombed. The place is all about $$$$$$$$$. Charlie Collier is a salesman not a programmer. Extending the show by 10 minutes to get extra ad time and Matt Weiner not cutting content was like an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. I left before all of the Darabont stuff but I am hardly surprised. I can only imagine these execs in these meetings. Familiar names and familiar egos in this article. They actually starting to think they were living like Mad Men over there. Some of the best shows in recent years came out of AMC, but with this attitude unfortunately you might not be seeing them for much longer.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 12:39 p.m. CST

    AMC is owned by the Dolan family...

    by Evil Sean

    ...who own the Knicks and the Indians. 'Nuff said.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Capitalism destroys art

    by Tom Vidovich

    The more profitable a product, the more the quality, content, and service deteriorate which, in inverse to what is desired, also makes no logical sense.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    thenotoriousdrb

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    I hope that's not supposed to be a sincere answer. Well either way it's pretty revealing. Case closed I think.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 12:46 p.m. CST

    victor_von_gloom, glodene & eveelcapitalist

    by mullymt

    victor_von_gloom & glodene, you need to be banned. That shit shouldn't be tolerated. eveelcapitalist, I think you're letting your politics overcome your capability to reason. As a demographic, Jews overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Nearly all of the antisemites I've met approached their bigotry from a conservative Christian background. While the right wing tries to conflate disagreeing with Israel's policies with antisemitism, the two are not the same. Disagreeing with the policy that 15% of Israel's building funds go to settlements (which America has always held to be illegal), while housing in Israel proper overcapacity is not antisemitic. Disliking the reality that it is almost impossible for Arab Israeli citizens to get building permits or ILA leases is not antisemitic. Disliking longer prison sentences for Arabs who commit the same crimes is not antisemitic. And most importantly, disagreeing with the lack of habeas corpus is not antisemitic. Most of us on the left aren't trying to delegitimize Israel or claim that they don't have the moral and legal authority to protect themselves against terrorism. This might be considered antisemitic. However, calling out an ally for clear and specific human rights violations is not. It's about standards, not sides. We believe that the U.S. should follow an Israeli-centric policy, recognizing their importance as an ally and the unique struggles it faces. We just don't believe our allegiance should be blind.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST

    mullymt

    by Bruce Thomas Wayne

    Quit being such a sensitive bitch.

  • He's fucking Paul Haggis by another name. That's it. And the series still retains it's, you know, ORIGINAL CREATOR and WRITER. I'm sure they can find somebody else to guide the filming of other people's work.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:24 p.m. CST

    Stillerman=douche; Darabont=hack

    by Laserhead

    Two shitbirds have a conflict. So what? The series is mediocre at best.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    GET RID OF THE FUCKING COMMERCIALS, AMC!

    by F-18

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:32 p.m. CST

    The Real Head Scratcher

    by In Action Man Reborn Requiem

    is the support that AMC is giving to "The Killing". This show was reviled by both critics and audiences by the end of its first season, yet it was renewed for a second season. The smart business decision should have been to cancel "The Killing" and distribute its budget among AMC's hits "Breaking Bad", "Mad Men" and "The Walking Dead".

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:36 p.m. CST

    how did a discussion of israel get into this thread?

    by john

    is the far left gonna now blame israel for the darabont termination

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the insight, The_Bird

    by D.Vader

    Interesting. Very interesting.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:49 p.m. CST

    sutter is a dick

    by john

    the very thought of blaming one showrunner for the demise of another is absolute bs he called weiner "greedy" what did weiner do that was greedy? refuse to terminate more of the cast and crew? ya...really greedy

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    a perfect job for Joel Stillerman

    by StevenScorsese

    would be on the Congressional Budget Committee. There he could slash the shit out stuff that deserves it and leave three of the best shows on television to run their natural creative course. A huge win-win for the American people.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 1:58 p.m. CST

    laserhead

    by buffywrestling

    If we were standing face to face and you said that Frank Darbont was as equal to Paul Haggis as a director, I would "accidently" spill my drink on you and you'd end up buying me a replacement.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:16 p.m. CST

    Disney War is a good book on of corporate mentality gone mad.

    by shutupfanboy

    I love Walking Dead and if they refuse to do the show right then they are fucking themselves only. Fans still have the comics. Sutter is a self proclaimed dick, but he isn't wrong. Weiner's demands for Mad Men have been said to be pretty ridiculous.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST

    mad men is good but...

    by joevfx

    it wasn't the show that had the best cable ratings of all time.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:35 p.m. CST

    Mad Men is cheaper than Breaking Bad?

    by dukeroberts

    Or The Killing? I find that hard to believe. If it's true, then it is so, but it seems hard to believe to me. Also, the reasons for Weiner's dispute with the network weren't solely based on money. AMC wanted to fire some actors. Weiner, wanting to save the actors whose characters have importance to his stories, fought to save them. That doesn't sound like a selfish dick to me.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Ehh, I gave up on AMC when...

    by schulzcreative

    ...they screened Jaws 3 five times in one week. AMC once stood for American Movie Classics.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 2:49 p.m. CST

    I've only seen MM, which is brilliant (and I normally

    by Dennis_Moore

    don't go for drama TV), AMC should go back to how it was in the 80's and 90's, showing old b&w movie with classy commentary -- bring back Bob Dorian -- between showings, and NO commercials! Just have a particular hour for the series, or a separate channel).

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST

    HAHAHAHAH Fuck off proman1984

    by NightArrows

    You silly twat. Go suck Stillerman's balls some more, fluffer boy.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 3:30 p.m. CST

    DIAF supermarch

    by NightArrows

    Go fuck a light socket asshole. Mad Men is a fucking great show. You on the other hand sound like a fucking twat.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Success

    by NudeandAroused

    What this looks like is that there are some people whoa re not used to success. Yes, AMC is the new HBO. I don't think AMC was expecting it.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Hey Quint

    by Fritzlorrerains

    Enjoyed the piece, thanks bro. Keep em' coming.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    Fuck AMC

    by BarCrow

    Frank Darabont is a great and probaly my favorite director. "The Walking Dead" was his project from the start. I will no longer be watching.....again FUCK AMC!!!! The only way I'll watch anything else from their network is if it hits Netflix.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:40 p.m. CST

    night time is the new day time.

    by teamneedle

    all these shows have been done before- they start with an interesting premise and then it becomes about who is doing who and who is screwing who over. Tru Blood is the worst example of night time soaps- Mad Men is basically the same as well- The Killing had moments- Torchwood and fringe are at their best when they avoid such moments but they really lean on them as well-

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Breaking Bad News

    by SaneMentalPatient

    I'd like to hear from Sideshow Mel.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:48 p.m. CST

    I thought this post was about a regime change

    by Geektard_Smasher

    at AICN. That's where one is really needed. Reallyl, this site has for sure lost it's glory. It exists for Harry to use movie viewings as an excuse to force stories about his life upon us, for the columnists to get free trips and set visits to kiss ass on the productions, and for use talkbackers to bitch about how shitty Hollywood is and to make dick jokes. End of story.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST

    OK, on topic

    by Geektard_Smasher

    has anyone thought that maybe AMC does not want a zombie genre show to be their flagship show? A show about dudes hanging around in suits and ties would obviously appeal to the top brass more. Maybe they don't want a mainstream profile for a show about shooting corpses.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 4:57 p.m. CST

    A for budgets

    by Geektard_Smasher

    some of the greatest entertainment in history came out of slashed budgets. Jaws (they would have shown more fake shark if they had more cash), X-Men 1 (look at 3 if you want to see what a bigger budget looks like), the original Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead (were the huge budget remakes any better? Methinks not. A lesser budget will not necessarily hurt any of these shows. And yeah, Walking Dead the first episode was great, but after a couple more I realized the cast sucked, the hillbilly and his complaining got too much screen time, and the Mexican gangbangers who turn from evil to sweethearts who take care of old people and poodles was one of the most laughable things I've seen on TV since dead Bobby Ewing got caught jacking off in the shower.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 5:28 p.m. CST

    I’d like to read Master’s piece, I you know what I mean.

    by frank

    Just that it might be an interesting read.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 5:37 p.m. CST

    I don't watch this channel

    by Jaka

    But with as much love as they get from geekdom at large you'd think they'd be running things differently, that's for sure. Every week I read something (if not several things) positive about one (or several) of their shows, yet it seems as though they aren't making any money off of them. Either that or they just really like pissing off the creators and they're canceling their own shows. I don't know what they're doing wrong, and in fact I didn't even read this article (because I don't watch this channel), but it sure does seem like somebody needs to fix something.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 5:46 p.m. CST

    charlesbronsonsmoustache

    by Manatee

    Ah, the good old days, when AMC was an actual movie-centric channel. It's hard to believe they started out like TCM. And now, IFC is headed down the same watered-down path. Very sad.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 6:47 p.m. CST

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

    by PRESIDENT BALTAR

    They cut the budget on my super shitty zombie show, in order to spend more money on two other shows, that are actually, you know, good. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 6:58 p.m. CST

    You could be entirily wrong or right. Glad you wrote it regardless.

    by Pixelsmack

    It shines the light on bad decisions from someone. Whoever it may be.

  • It's nothing new but hope they don't ruin 'Mad Men' & 'Breaking Bad'.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 8:09 p.m. CST

    President Baltar

    by byronical

    If this is a "super shitty" show, what on earth do you consider good? I mean, the article was not just about "The Walking Dead", (superb show by the way), it was about AMC's exec's and their piss poor managerial methods. Of course, if you pulled your head outta your ass and actually read the article . . . oh wait, forgive me, I expect too much!

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Quint

    by byronical

    Spot on man, this was a great article!

  • ...and if I never hear another Morgan Freeman voiceover it will be too soon. There's a reason it was panned by critics and loved by audiences across the globe... i.e. it appeals to the lowest common denominator of film-goer, one who has little or no knowledge of Cinema. Ditto the Green Mile (my stupid fucking uncle's favourite film). I'd rather watch Ernest Goes To Jail with my testicles in a vice! Now, where's that giant rubber dick..? Oh, that's right... it's stuffed up Andy Dufresne's bottom!

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Who the fuck watches Mad Men?

    by Fridge

    One of the most overrated shows on television. Seriously, I know no one personally who watches that bullshit.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Hoping for the best with TWD S2...

    by Jay

    I loved the first season. Yes, it deviated from the comics somewhat. Minor character tweaks, for the better IMO. As far as different story lines though, the two big ones (Vatos and TS-19) were one-offs. The began and ended within the same episodes. So those saying "follow the comics!" shouldn't be worried. Those plotlines are done. Where they ended the season makes it incredibly easy to essentially pick up where the second GN begins. Which is what I really hope they do. I dream of the show getting as far as the Governor issues... what a ride. The first graphic novel had an extremely fast pace. I was glad the show took it's time and showed some care for the characters. Much like the comic did when Kirkman was finally allowed to. Anyways, as much as I love Darabont (Those calling him a hack, get your head out of your ass) I feel the show could easily survive without him. The first season has set the tone already. As long as they follow that and the comics...

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 9:52 p.m. CST

    -"There's a reason it was panned by critics"

    by Jay

    And there's a reason Shawshank was nominated for 7 Oscars and has an 89% TR rating. Like I said, the Darabont haters need to get their heads out of their ass. They're just making shit up now.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 9:53 p.m. CST

    TR = RT (Rotten tomatoes)

    by Jay

  • Hell, considering all the foul bigoted shit that you peckerwoods spew against Will Smith and his Son, Jaden + a host of other non-white actors, you suggesting that I or Victor be banned smacks of hypocrisy.

  • AMC has no clue what to do with it. Look, Mad Men is a critical darling and a respected vehicle but NOBODY fucking watches it. I don't, though I've seen a few episodes and think its very well done. But nobody, nobody I know or for that matter, the rest of the viewing public according to reports is watching it. They may download it or buy the box sets of blu-rays for a season, but they sure as Hell ain't watching it first run. How that fucking show has survived is beyond me but I think it has something to do with the fact that its all about advertising. And what's so funny about that is that advertising pays for all these shows. I think the advertisers like the show simply because it shows them at being who they are--crazy, fucking shitbags who cheat on their wives and do crazy, questionable things. Its like how the Mafia loves the Godfather films. And its the advertisers who in turn give shitloads of money to AMC to produce it. Crazy? Maybe. But whatever. The bottomline is this--TWD is not the only thing that is going to be going the way of the dodo. Mad Men has got one, maybe two seasons left and after that, all the advertising money in the world isn't going to save TWD or anything else that AMC wants to produce. When its all said and done, AMC is going to be extinct. That's where its heading: the way of the dinosaur. You make the kind of decisions they are making and have the kind of people running it that they have, you ain't going to last. The suits (cunts) at AMC, this Stillerman guy especially, have already made a stink in Hollywood over this. They may want to watch out--they pissed off Darabont and Darabont's got really, really good friends in high places. Stillerman and his buds are laughing their asses off right now about being the talk of Hollywood and I bet they're feeling SUPERB with all the cocaine they're snorting. Well, what if HBO comes along and nabs TWD or Showtime? What if AMC's replacement for Mad Men is a multi-million dollar piece of shit that critics despise and is universally hated? What if advertisers start going elsewhere? Yeah, Stillerman and the rest of those cunts will be out on the street selling their asses to be fucked liked dogs so they can pay the rent.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST

    AMC dont watch there own shows

    by khaosmatrix

    When an Exec ask, "Couldn't the audience hear the zombies sometimes and not see them" to save on makeup you got a problem.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Speaking of "getting your shit together"...

    by tangcameo

    ...I hope the next "This Should Happen" article should be about Torchwood getting its shit together. Once again I watched it, once again nothing happened.

  • They built their business model for each show before the market crashed. When the market crashed, advertisers pulled back on their spending. Thus, the previous budgets were untenable. Add to this Wiener driving a real hard bargain in order to continue Mad Men, which AMC had already built its' entire schedule around, and you have a real shitstorm. -- Furthermore, AMC is now footing the entire bill for production on Breaking Bad, as is the norm on cable shows starting with season 4, before which it is split with the production company carrying most of the financial burden. And while Breaking Bad is indeed brilliant, it has also never been huge with the ratings. It has grown every season, but it only gets 2/3rd of Walking Dead on a good night. -- What it gets down to is this; you essentially have the costs of Breaking Bad and Mad Men doubling overnight at the same time that the market is in a major contraction. It's basic math. Mad Men and Breaking Bad both had seniority and much higher prestige. Darabont is known as a dick and was the low man on the totem pole. He should have played ball. He wouldn't and so he's gone. It was either lose him or lose the entire series and possibly the network. -- Shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead don't happen on accident. The executives at AMC clearly know what they are doing on a creative level. It's just naive to think that you could go 3/5 like that (Rubicon and The Killing) in a world where most shows are both mediocre and quickly canceled.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 11:22 p.m. CST

    THE WALKING DEAD...

    by johnnyrandom

    ...is shite. Sorry, but it's true.

  • Aug. 13, 2011, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Breaking Bad is one of the last shows to shoot on 35mm

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    that adds a lot to the budget. The show costs about 4 million an episode, which is only 500k less than CSI: Miami. 20 million viewers vs 4 million, on a good night? Similar costs. Hmmm. I'm not saying that BB should switch to digital, just that the show costs an exhortation amount because it shoots on film. As a result, we may well get fewer episodes. Gilligan has run this cost benefit analysis and personally, I trust his judgment.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 12:11 a.m. CST

    HORMONAL PUBLICISTS ! Fire the scatty head suit.

    by the_shitweasel_with_a_quizzical_brow

    Very annoying to hear.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Great Column! you should do more of these, Quint!

    by chien_sale

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Joel Stillerman = Tom Rothman?

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Your testicles in a vice is probably the smartest thing you said, workshed.

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    Definitely do that sometime, because we do not need any more fucksticks dipped in dumbasssauce like yourself running around in the world.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Stillerman will get a raise

    by centilope

    You know it will happen.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 2:42 a.m. CST

    A zombie show without zombies? Brilliant!

    by centilope

    Instead of fighting zombies the characters will have indoor tea party after tea party and occasionally some milk and cookies to shake things up. From time to time moaning will disrupt the endless exciting conversations, but no actual zombies will ever be seen if anybody ever bothers to check it out.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 5:21 a.m. CST

    deaft0ne

    by alexander

    The fact that you think that response of your criticism equates to a Herman-esque 'I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I?' shows you are clearly not as smart as you think you are, now I get where your dislike and misunderstanding of the show comes from... but by all means run with that, feel free, 'Pee-Wee Wants You!': to keep jerking it out here in the public forum

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 5:38 a.m. CST

    FOX wanted to cancel The X-Files in its first season

    by Wookie_Weed

    And a certain CEO was very public about how much he hated it. They got rid of that CEO.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 5:39 a.m. CST

    The CEO hated X-Files, that is

    by Wookie_Weed

    just want to clarify that's why the exec got the boot -- other fox execs realised the idiot was about to piss down the drain one of their most profitable tv series ever.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 6:10 a.m. CST

    So wait...

    by alexander

    Of course they cut the episode order for Breaking Bad because they need to make money and they poured it into Mad Men and The Killing!? So - putting aside proffessional integrity in seeing through a show that was another relative big hit for your Network as long as its not currently bombing/producing a loss, and whether AMC takes nothing like HBO then for returns on DVD/Blueray sales - Isn't the idea that your entire Network and its image and notoriety as the ultimate product itself is supposed to be nurtured over time to an ensured long term success if your dealing with a creative entertainment medium rather than say, a range of candy bars? Those shows the network is built around being successfully sustained both artistically-creatively and commercially and being recognised for it are key to this arn't they as a long term goal while keeping acceptable viewer ratings? So why suddenely take the attitude the moment having a showrunner and writers process and form-model for the show largely non interveined gains that for you its fine to automatically seek to gain their compromise in somewhat dismantling it over the episode order and run time when you could with the budget in general? Isn't that the better compromise for both sides artistically and commercially, or did AMC simply not offer that or cheap skate Gilligan if they did make that kind of offer or what?

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 6:20 a.m. CST

    And Mad Men is great

    by alexander

    screw y'all who say otherwise, nut in your eye, had this discussion before, etc.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Re: THE KILLING - So far superior to the danish original!

    by wtriker1701

    I hope they don't resolve it like the danish series, which had an utter crapish and highly unbelievable resolution to the murder mystery. I was sitting there and say "F---!!!" Too many plotholes, unresolved plots and the murderer just didn't fit. It seemed as if they could have done much more with their season one but had to end ot... somehow. So with AMC getting THE KILLING to a second season (the danish original had 20 episodes for season 1) I hope they have some creative freedom to resolve it otherwise. So far it's been thrilling! THE WALKING DEAD pilot was awesome, the next 4 episodes lacked emphasis, the finale was great. Not sure what to make of a second season without Darabont... MAD MEN is just silly and boring, albeit sometimes grim and funny - but boring. BREAKING BAD... good, but not ground-shaking...

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 8:25 a.m. CST

    DANISH THE KILLING...

    by johnnyrandom

    ...better. Recognise.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 8:31 a.m. CST

    It is amazing how many stupid people post on here!

    by Professor_Bedlam

    People that call Darabont a hack are most likely the same people that think Michael Bay is a Genius! Amazing that there neurons even make connections within the brain!

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 9:09 a.m. CST

    I'm still pissed AMC cancelled Rubicon

    by Hesiod2k7

    A sow that was much better than the overrated piece of shit Walking Dead.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Got bored with Walking dead

    by Hesiod2k7

    A show about Zombies has a limited shelf life. The show was going to go down hill ratings-wise in its second season no matter what the budget. The novelty was going to wear off eventually.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 9:19 a.m. CST

    "Can't we do more scenes inside?" Why cancel Rubicon then?

    by Hesiod2k7

    Jeebus! That show made sitting around a conference table with a stack of files and papers really interesting and compelling. Its not hard to create daramtic tension with a thousand zombies trying to overrun an RV or a department stpre -- but try making a bunch of geeky people who shuffle papers and do intelligence analysis in cramped offices and conference rooms interesting. Seriously.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Ditto to Quint

    by Veraxus

    It sounds like AMC is engaging in some very, very, very bad business right now. If they had to cut budgets simply because they didn't have the cash flow to afford so many awesome shows... okay, I can understand that. Walking Dead is probably expensive and when you HAVE to tighten the belt, the most expensive shows get cuts first. BUT - as funkylovemonkey pointed out, AMC is doing GREAT financially. There zero financial explanation for what they're doing, and it is going to kill their shows, then the network. The AMC shareholders should be terrified. When you have a show as popular and well-respected as Walking Dead, you don't cut the budget if you can afford it, and you don't fire the major talent. It's stupid. Here's what's going to happen: The Walking Dead will suddenly suck. It will start to feel small and cheap, and viewers will leave. And since a cheaper Walking Dead won't be worth watching, it will get cancelled. Nobody wins. To add insult to injury, nobody is going to bring their shows to AMC. The network has effectively killed any trust they may have had with televisions top talent - and since AMC is apparently too damn cheap to offset that ill will with big payouts, I can't imagine that they will be getting anything worth watching from here on out. This problem doesn't just affect Walking Dead. AMC and Stillerman are murdering the whole network. The only way to fix this is to replace Stillerman and any other executives responsible for this continued incompetence.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 11:16 a.m. CST

    cotton_mcknight

    by Rupee88

    yes it is a dumb column...it is basically just an editorial column and a collection of Quint's personal opinions but it really isn't presented as such.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Eh So what? AMC like everybody else.

    by doom master

    Its always a crapshoot anyway. NBC, ABC, CBS, HBO, SHOWTIME, AMC, etc...You never know whats going to be a hit and what's not. Who gives a shit? When all these precious AMC shows go out, and AMC has nothing else to offer, it will die out and another network will take its place with other great shows.... It really doesn't matter.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 12:10 p.m. CST

    byronical:

    by PRESIDENT BALTAR

    no, I didn't read the entire article but, I feel pretty safe in assuming that TWD budget cuts were at the heart of it the very same TWD that features bad writing, bad acting.... bad everything, really and, apparently, it is about to get worse p.s. the shows I consider to be "good": 1 ) The West Wing 2 ) Battlestar Galactica 3 ) Friday Night Lights 4 ) Caprica 5 ) Mad Men

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 12:14 p.m. CST

    p.p.s.

    by PRESIDENT BALTAR

    thank you for your reply

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 2:23 p.m. CST

    President Baltar

    by byronical

    No, thank you for your reply. It was very succinct and concise. I apologize for the rudeness in my earlier reply to you, chalk it up to a late night and no caffeine. You've got good taste in shows.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 5:02 p.m. CST

    First post, and it's a doozy

    by Niki Thinks

    Who was it that fought against the North in the Civil War? The Democratic South. Who was it that signed the Emancipation Proclamation? Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. Where is the greatest amount of racial violence and segregation? The Liberal West and East Coasts, by my own observations. Last I heard, L.A. and New York have had race riots far more recently than Montgomery and Atlanta have. Second, nobody has been deliberately trying to bring down the U.S. economy. It's been a string of things that have started this shit, starting in the Bush Administration and continuing through the current one. Third, Capitalism doesn't destroy art. Lack of imagination does. I've been completely sickened by the lack of new ideas coming out of Hollywood for the last Decade. Nearly everything has been remakes and sequels. Yuck! Creativity, please! Now, as far as TWD goes, I enjoyed it, even though it was technically another version of the same old zombie story. I hope it will survive what seems to be happening at AMC, but if it doesn't, it's like what was said earlier. Every show (or thing in life) is a crapshoot. Sometimes you get a winner, sometimes you get a loser. Winners will survive, losers will die out. Does it make my life more worthwhile? Of course not! It's a fucking television show. But this is the way life is supposed to work. And the viewers will have the final say with the ratings they give AMC. And on a personal note, after having lurked at AICN for years before finally piping up this time, the amount of bigotry, anti-semitism, racial discrimination and just plain old hate that I have seen here over the years is nauseating. I can't help but wonder why so many TB'ers have to resort to some sort of form of any of these things in their posts. When people stick to facts instead of name-calling and innuendos it makes them seem far more intelligent and credible. To those of you who try, thank you! For those of you that in turn resort to your same old tactics when confronted with those people, shame on you! You won't feel any, but you really lower yourself when you do those things, and the whole world gets to see it. And now that I've said my piece, I'm going to go hide behind the nearest wall before the onslaught of insults hits me.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 5:05 p.m. CST

    No HD is a bummer

    by Andy_Dufresne

    I really find it hard to watch any AMC shows since they aren't broadcast in HD and look like utter shit on my HD-LED set. I mean sometimes you can't even recognize the actors the picture is so bad and it's like that on all 4 of my HD sets. I have DirecTv and I am appalled that you have bit action shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead in shitty SD. I decided to just wait until the seasons come out on Blu-Ray and watch them then.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 5:05 p.m. CST

    AMC hasn't been good for decades

    by Ilove Tacos

    They used to be "American Movie Classics", showed fantastic movies, unedited, and commercial free. For a while, they were better than Turner Classic Movies. Then they started editing their movies. Showing commercials (first, before and after; later, during the movie). And they started showing a lot of #*$@ quality movies. And then they stopped showing movies in favor of original programming. They just happened to luck out that a couple of their shows turned out to be good. Otherwise AMC would have been the next SyFy in abandoning its "mission" in favor of showing crap. Most of their original programming has sucked. The Prisoner? The Killing? The first bunch of episodes of Rubicon before it finally got moving right before they killed it off?

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Are we sure darabont wasn't fired...

    by slappy jones

    ...due to the second half of the first season being fucking terrible?

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Anyone...

    by cocolopez

    ...who doesn't think that every episode of Season I save the incredible pilot directed by Darabont was utter fucking tripe I just can't take seriously. It's beyond absurd to hear words like "quality" thrown around in respect to The Walking Dead. Episodes 2-6 were the most shoddy edited, acted, scripted, produced pieces of trash I've sat through in forever. My thoughts on the crapfest that is The Walking Dead aside- it's downright idiotic how AMC is treating its hit show. I feel I can't trust this channel anymore- from sitting through that odious The Killing finale- and hearing it was greenlit for Season II- to the way they've been trying to shortcut Mad Men and Breaking Bad- to the ads for this Hell on Wheels which looks eyeball glazingly terrible. I'm watching Breaking Bad and Mad Men through to the end, but I'll not invest my time in another AMC show- due to how bad the last few have been- and due to their attempts to cut the rug out from under every show of theirs save The Killing- the show that deserved it most. Fuck AMC, Fuck The Killing, Fuck The Walking Dead, Fuck Hell on Wheels. I laughed to myself everytime I'd see a handful of idiots on the talkbacks here saying something insane like "HBO is done- AMC is the best channel" etc etc etc sounding like fucking IDIOTS. Where are these talkbackers now? In the end HBO is the only channel I can trust- regardless of these mummers who will always think that Carnivale and Deadwood cancellations happened solely due to HBO execs- or that HBO cheaped out. As if these weren't the most expensive shows of their time- as if either of them would've lasted past 1 season or even have happened at all on any other channel. Honestly some people here are too stupid to live.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 7:02 p.m. CST

    byronical

    by PRESIDENT BALTAR

    no problem, dude I probably didn't help matters much with my retarded smart ass posts

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 7:28 p.m. CST

    cocolopez:

    by PRESIDENT BALTAR

    100% Agreed.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 7:37 p.m. CST

    FUCK JOEL STILLERMAN!!!!!

    by JaredP

    i want to start a petition to get the guy fired from amc. who will join me?

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 7:54 p.m. CST

    nightarrows

    by torontoxic

    You would be one of the half wits who love Mad Men because you find it challenging and stimulating. That's just pathetic. You really shouldn't fault people for being smarter than you. Mad Men is the most over rated show on right now. If it went away nobody worth anything would care.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 9:16 p.m. CST

    considering how much they play Shawshank Redemption on AMC

    by zooch

    You'd think they'd be a lot more generous to Frank Darabont.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 9:34 p.m. CST

    AMC shows suck, everybody knows it

    by Victor

    Come on guys. None of you guys watch Mad Men, or Breaking Bad, you only pretend to.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 10:11 p.m. CST

    catchtheman

    by ditkaman

    Wow you're an actual, honest to goodness fucktard. Republicans wanted to ruin the economy because Obama is black. LOL, at least you give thinking people something to laugh it, you pathetic moron.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Tired of hearing how Darabibt is some kind of genre matyr

    by hegele

    First it was Lucas rejecting his Indiana Jones 4 script, he sighed and told stories of how amazing it was... which it turns out (after having read it online) was about equal to what we eventually got in terms of quality. Then it's The Walking Dead... A show with so much potential and good will that most genre fans looked past its vacuous characters, mediocre melodramatic arcs, terrible dialogue and redundant set pieces. He officially surpassed Joss Whedon as the tragic martyr of mediocre genre storytellers.

  • Aug. 14, 2011, 11:24 p.m. CST

    So let's see...

    by Melanie Griffiths Sour Patch

    Mad Men back with a deal that takes it to the conclusion/finale the creator envisioned. Breaking Bad now back with a deal that takes it to the conclusion/finale the creator envisioned. What's the fucking problem? Their 2 best shows will have COMPLETE RUNS with the show creator and major stars intact. Where is this horrible thing that they are doing? Walking Dead was a 6 episode mini-series that got great numbers, but in no way suggested the level of TV that Breaking Bad & Mad Men suggest. Perhaps the "suits" at AMC were a little trepidation that once you expanded Dead it wouldn't hold up. Maybe Darabont is as difficult to work with as rumored despite the fact that he has a love affair with the AICN resident geeks. Maybe, just maybe, the network knows what it's doing by locking in deals for 2 of the best shows ever on TV and guaranteeing fans that the shows won't get axed before the conclusions. There are two sides to every story and I don't profess to know either. I do know that Darabont's martyr PR blitz definitely has another side where Darabont perhaps isn't the hero. Whatever happened on Dead is no tragedy. The show had moments, but was not even in the ballpark with Breaking Bad and Mad Men. AMC has made sure their two best series go all the way. I think they should be applauded. Especially in a world where HBO kills Deadwood & Rome without any resolution.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 1:37 a.m. CST

    @wookie_weed

    by teamneedle

    and that same fox exec is probably the one who wouldn't let them end the xfiles in the late 90's and make the second movie back then- pretty ironic-

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 1:39 a.m. CST

    Joss Whedon....

    by teamneedle

    the man who is officially responsible for how bad alien resurrection is- I don't blame Jean Pierre Juenet for directing someone elses terrible script- why the hell would fox hire a guy who couldn't even speak english to direct an english language blockbuster- just genius really.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Ooops! *WAS NOT REPRESENTED ON FILM* Sorry for the typo.

    by Amadeo Zeller

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Yup, those are big warning signs...

    by SunTzu77

    I've been on a set where the producers didn't communicate to the crew, etc. It felt like the producers were constantly sitting around dreaming ways to fuck up the shoot. To be successful it comes down to this... "Little risk... little reward... big risk... big reward." Joel Stillerman should be removed. I remember talking to Bob Berney from New Market Films back in the day... the guy was extremely nice... was savvy... and supported the filmmaker. He wasn't scared to take risks. AMC needs someone like him.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 3:33 a.m. CST

    wkdwtchofthewst

    by john

    your understanding of history is woefully lacking in both us and the entertainment field and most of the hate posts you read on here come from guys who need the net so they can act as trolls

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 4:24 a.m. CST

    America's economy is going down the toilet fast

    by Wookie_Weed

    and you all want AMC to spend more money on a tv show about zombies? I'm being Devil's Advocate here. There are sound reasons why AMC would want to cut budgets. Hell, if things continue the way they are globally, HBO will cancel Thrones next year due to cash. But the plebs of Rome want their circus distractions...

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 4:25 a.m. CST

    AMZ cuts the budget of a zombie tv show

    by Wookie_Weed

    And nerdrage explodes across the internet. Governments want to cut spending to essential services -- health, education, etc -- and all I can hear are crickets. GET. A. FUCKING. CLUE. There are more important things in the world than a tv show.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Here come the trolls, re AMZ

    by Wookie_Weed

    Yeah yeah, AMC. AMB. AMA. AMSFTU. Whatever.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 5:29 a.m. CST

    AMC, do you want to save your show? And, company?

    by SunTzu77

    If an AMC rep is reading this post - this is how you save your company and/or show. Keep your production(s) as "in-house" as possible. If you're allowing your productions to blow cash on 35mm you should be fired. I invite you to watch a film called, "Stake Land." I don't personally know the two guys who made the film, but it was shot for ~ $600K. A lot of that was probably spent on the helicopter rental, a few jibs, and Kelly McGillis and Connor Paolo's paycheck. They basically used the standard basic RED camera package that comes with (I think) a 50–150 mm zoom, 18–85 mm zoom, and an 18–50 mm zoom... they also used an anamorphic lens. There'a a lot of natural lighting involved... practicals.... and sparse rented lighting. Sony's Vegas Pro v9.0+ can natively edit .R3D files and allows full access to raw decode metadata with real-time preview. Avid Media Composer v5+ has native REDCODE support via AMA. There's also Final Cut. Make your productions shoot on RED or an equivalent medium - and have an editor on site to assemble the footage. Why it took Darabont so long to discover the early footage wasn't usable is mindboggling - if he's shooting digital. I can guarantee two things that audiences WILL notice - poor special effects and a story with no heart or creative direction. So you better either a) Get Darabont back on agreed upon conditions. b) Give Glen Mazzara the appropriate room to deliver a solid product and c) Don't stiff Greg Nicotero on the effects. If David Fincher and other high caliber directors can do it... so can you. <br> <br> http://preview.tinyurl.com/4y5xx2y

  • but let's remember all the reports that Frank is a douche to work for and with. Maybe this isn't all AMC's fault. Plus, let's remember we have a stagnant economy because of the tea party loons and Obama The Inert. I'm sure AMC are having some trouble on that front too. The Walking Dead was ok/good--and got weaker as the season went on btw. Just sayin'. This coming from someone who had never read the source material.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Quint, Let us know if you get any AMC responses to this article

    by Knobules

    We are proud and excited about our Walking Dead product.... However....Bla Bla Bla...

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 10:25 a.m. CST

    preferred old amc

    by taff

    I preferred amc in the old days when they played classic movies, before TCM. Rarely is anything on amc that draws my attention.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 10:32 a.m. CST

    whether I care or not about this subject

    by D o o d

    is beside the point. It's a well written article which I really enjoyed reading. There will always be this kind of politics in Hollywood. Nothing New and Nothing Old!

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 10:49 a.m. CST

    Is it even possible for Walking Dead to have LESS zombies?

    by Beezbo

    Your average CBS show has more zombies than TWD as it is.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Blame HELL ON WHEELS

    by MacReady452

    I am actually excited about the show but it has to contribute to these troubles. Sure AMC is unprepared for all the accolades it is getting so it is decision time. MAD MEN can't exist without the budget to create the period. It gets money. People will watch BREAKING BAD regardless of anything. If Bryan Cranston is still on the show it will carry on. What kind of budget does it actually need? There fore they cut budget on the show. It gets enough to pay Cranston. Same with THE WALKING DEAD. The fact is, that outside of this site and geek/fan world...no one knows who Darabont is. They just wanna see a zombie show. Franks pay check is a decent chunk of change that AMC doesn't necessarily NEED for the show to be a success. Cut budget. THE KILLING = 0 budget. No names. Modern times. Cheap show. HELL ON WHEELS $$$$$$$ period piece with a train. No built in audience. It is gonna take huge money to get this show going, from wardrobe to sets to ads. Here is your culprit. In the end AMC probably had to make some tough decisions. They are running a business for fucks sake.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 11:21 a.m. CST

    Wicked Witch - thanks for that

    by deelzbub

    I was going to correct said dude about the traditionally democratic south, but felt I was gonna be wasting my breath/keystrokes. Southerners didn't start voting Republican in large numbers until mid-Reagan era.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 11:52 a.m. CST

    THE MIST is getting hate? Really?

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Have there been mainstream horror films in the past 20 years as good as THE MIST? Very few, if any. Surely some are slipping my mind right now -- rough weekend (dropped some acid at the Indiana State Fair before that windstorm picked up).

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Why so many godamned new shows, AMC?

    by Lucky13

    If money is such a problem now, why not sit back, relax, and concentrate on how to make the hit shows that you already have --- even better? I'm not usually one to complain about having too much original content... but fuck -- If all AMC does is complain about budgets, I don't understand starting a fucking massive period-drama-western show... something that HBO couldn't seem to pull off (budget wise) with Deadwood. And that series was much more contained then this Hell on Wheels seems to be.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    THANK YOU QUINT

    by Rob

    AWESOME ARTICLE AND GREAT IDEA FOR A COLUMN. THIS ONE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Part of wearing the suit is showing you can do something with your power...

    by impossibledreamers

    ...and sadly that power flexing comes at the creative costs of others. It's also just easier to fire creatives because suits seem to think that anyone can write or direct - as opposed to anyone can be an executive.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 2 p.m. CST

    There's a Joel Stillerman fake Twitter and it's fucking hilarious

    by Scott Baiowulf

    Viva la fake Joel! http://twitter.com/#!/JoelStillerman

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 2:37 p.m. CST

    THE MIST > THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION

    by flax

    Just kidding. Seriously though, THE MIST is one of my all-time favourite horror films. I can't believe the ending is getting hate – it's easily the best part! The slow elevation from solid B-movie to epic existential horror is genius. Lovecraftean stuff. Bernie Wrightson's creatures are magnificent – I love the impossibly tall monster at the end. Darabont's one of my favourite filmmakers working today, and judging by THE MIST and the excellent WALKING DEAD pilot, he hasn't lost his SHAWSHANK mojo (at least not in the view of this humble talkbacker). It's a pity he was let down by a shitty writing team in the later episodes, because that pilot was gold. But that's all water under the bridge – now it's time for him to make a DARK TOWER HBO series. This should happen.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Execs are thinking biz, obviously

    by Killdozers Evil Twin Brother

    It sucks that Darabont got canned, because I, for one, think he was doing a good job and pulling King in for some writing was also a good idea, especially for PR. But anyone who says AMC is cowtowing to Mad Men blindly is being ridiculous. Of the top 3 shows, MM is the only one that has the possibility of continuing production and revenues for the channel. WDead is working from a limited graphic novel series. BBad is highly-rated, but has a written ending in the pipe. MMen is a marquee production with high ratings that can keep generating revenue as long as they keep introducing new characters (a.k.a. scale-paid actors) into the soup. By all estimates, even with the set design costs, it's a cheap show to make. No stunts, minimal location shots, no A-list actors, and a competent writing staff. It's a no-brainer. Maybe the exec staff needs to be shaken up, but the new guys will still realize where the money will be coming from and treat that staff better for being the cash cow.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Im with you on the Frank Darabont for Dark Tower meme, flax

    by dahveed1972

    And this is coming from someone who lost interest after the 3rd book. If the writing and casting are top notch, and if they give it a workable budget, it could be great on HBO. But after half a dozen genre shows (Deadwood, Rome, Game of thrones, True Blood, Carnivale, im forgetting one), the suits might be looking for something with lower (financial) risk and higher profit margins - especially in the short term. In order to counter GOT, maybe Showtime will take a chance on a DT series.

  • In the horror/scifi/fantasy sense of the term.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 3:42 p.m. CST

    For fuck's sake, AN EDITORIAL

    by JediWuddayaknow

    Not "a editorial"! Driving me up a fucking wall...

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Fake Twitter account.

    by 3774

    i love it soooooo much!

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 5:02 p.m. CST

    why r u all still supercockin this topic?

    by doom master

    its useless

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Slow news week...

    by jimmy_009

    Haven't seen much news coming in a few days.

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Mossad should terminate Darabont

    by Roger Moon

    don't fuck with the Tribe

  • Aug. 15, 2011, 7:38 p.m. CST

    The Mist was not bad but

    by chien_sale

    part of me would have prefered as a little b & w Twilight zone episode with no CGI. It would have been more powerful if we would have not seen the beasts and just imagined the horror.

  • Aug. 16, 2011, 10:28 a.m. CST

    bob_orcis_spellchecker wants more explicit prison rape...

    by jimmy_009

    I actually think the implied act was much worse than anything they could have shown. It leaves it up to the imagination, which is better. I don't think it's the best movie ever, but to call it unwatchable is just trolling. It's quite obviously not that.

  • Aug. 16, 2011, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Awful piece of "reporting"

    by Cruizer Dave

    Not one piece of attribution, or really any facts at all. I mean if he had something that said, "Walking Dead's budget is being cut from $1.2 million to $400,000 next year, here's the document that proves it" that'd be one thing. Instead he's just ranting about how they are pinching pennies at AMC. Hello, we are in a recession people. Everyone is pinching pennies, because guess what? If the business of AMC makes not money, no one there will have a job because it will cease to exist. Like it or not, AMC is a business and its purpose is to make money for its investors. If that means your zombie show has less fake blood to spread around, oh well. Is AMC doing well financially? Or are the artistic expenses driving it out of business? I mean, this is a basic cable channel, not really an advertising hot spot, and with advertisers cutting back everywhere, AMC may have some financial challenges the require budget trimming. None of this was addressed in Quint's diatribe. Show business is BUSINESS. If it doesn't make money, it doesn't matter how good it is, it's gonna go away.

  • Aug. 16, 2011, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Another thing

    by Cruizer Dave

    The Walking Dead, I gave it a try. I really did. But I just find it funny and ironic that you're praising the cinematic qualities of this show, but for me everything about it screamed "made for TV." From the pretty average zombie make-up, to the camp of RVs, to the old guy in the fishing hat, to the TV acting, the uninspired way its shot, the cast full of unlikeable characters and the boring storyline. I really tried, but this show is not really that great. If it were on a network, it would have been shitcanned before it reached the mid-season.

  • Aug. 16, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST

    bob_orcis_spellchecker

    by flax

    You'd call the ending of The Mist 'risk-averse'? Shawshank has been voted the #1 greatest film of all time on IMDb. I'm pretty sure it didn't get there for no reason. One of us is wrong.

  • Aug. 16, 2011, 10:22 p.m. CST

    cruiser dave's complaints

    by deelzbub

    1. Average zombie make-up - What were you expecting, something more high-tech than bicycle girl? Maybe all-cg zombie crowds? That would have REALLY sucked. 2. Camp w/ the RV - from the original story 3. Old guy in fishing hat - see #2 4. TV acting - it's a TV show 5. Uninspired cinematography - debatable 6. unlikeable characters - zombie fodder 7. boring storyline - see #2 (such a great character study that it was adapted into a hit TV show) Keep on cruisin'.

  • Aug. 17, 2011, 8:08 a.m. CST

    How is Darabon NOT a hack?

    by Laserhead

    'Shawshank' is cloying, sentimental Hallmark pap. 'The Majestic'? Utter shit. 'The Green Mile'? Elongated, cloying, sentimental Hallmark pap. His script for Indiana Jones 4? Utter shit. (Not that the finished movie was better) 'The Mist'? The Mist was good, actually. So where's this idea that Darabont is some kind of genius auteur come from? He's a populist moron.

  • Aug. 17, 2011, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Also, buffywrestler

    by Laserhead

    Come on, your fucking screename is 'buffywrestler.' Buffy was a show for introverted fat girls, and that was its audience. So if you "accidentally" spilled your drink on me, I'd "accidentally" beat you so badly you shit your pants.

  • That could have been AMC.

  • Aug. 17, 2011, 6:52 p.m. CST

    I just saw Elizabeth Moss in a commercial for Excedrin.

    by Royston Lodge

    Clearly, there is something wrong with Hollywood if that's what she is reduced to just to pay her bills.

  • Aug. 17, 2011, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Quint, I have an idea for the next This Should Happen

    by darthflagg

    Brad Bird should take over directing the Transformers franchise. Or JJ Abrams. Or anybody who's not fucking Michael Bay. Make it happen, please.

  • Aug. 18, 2011, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Yeah but HBO is roaring back with Game of Thrones. Great Stuff

    by Knobules

    And I don't hear any bitching and moaning from insecure penny pinching me-first bipolar pricks at HBO about cutting back on that one. What do you bet AMC is run by an all ginger executive staff? All insane assholes who make up shit nonstop for attention.

  • Aug. 21, 2011, 6:34 p.m. CST

    The ending of The Mist is awesome.

    by Ironhelix

    Just wanted to say that.

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