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Hell on Wheels Reigns as AMC’s Second Highest Rated Original Series

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AMC’s season finale of Hell on Wheels, which premiered on Sun., Jan. 15 at 10pm EST, delivered a 2.2 HH rating and attracted 2.8 million viewers. The premiere and encore combined delivered 3.8 million viewers (10pm EST premiere and 11pm EST encore). Season one averaged 3 million viewers and attracted 1.3 million adults 18-49 and 1.4 million adults 25-54.* Hell on Wheels finishes as the second highest rated series on AMC following the success of The Walking Dead. AMC greenlit a second season of Hell on Wheels in December.

“The writers, producers, cast and crew of Hell on Wheels have created a multi-layered and complex period drama. It delivers on its Western origins, but adds another level of storytelling that is really about how this nation came to be what it is today. We congratulate our partners and the incredible creative team on ending a terrific season with such momentum. Work on the railroad continues with season two returning to AMC in the fall,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president.

Hell on Wheels tells the epic story of post-Civil War America, focusing on a Confederate soldier (Anson Mount) who sets out to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who have killed his wife. His journey takes him west to ‘Hell on Wheels,’ a dangerous, raucous, lawless melting-pot of a town that travels with and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, an engineering feat unprecedented for its time. It examines the railroad’s institutionalized greed and corruption, the immigrant experience, and the plight of the newly emancipated African-Americans during reconstruction. Over time, Hell on Wheels chronicles this potent turning point in our nation’s history, and how uncivilized the business of civilization can be.

Hell on Wheels stars Anson Mount (City by the Sea, Cook County) as Cullen Bohannon, a former soldier hell bent on avenging his wife’s death; Colm Meaney (Get Him to the Greek) as Thomas “Doc” Durant, a greedy entrepreneur taking full advantage of the changing times; musician/actor Common (Just Wright, Date Night) as Elam Ferguson, an emancipated slave working to achieve true freedom in a world entrenched in prejudice; Dominique McElligott (The Philanthropist) as Lily Bell, a newly widowed woman trying to survive in a man’s world; Tom Noonan (Heat) as Reverend Cole; Ben Esler (The Pacific) as Sean McGinnes and Philip Burke (Law & Order, Mercy) as Mickey McGinnes, two young brothers looking to find their fortune in the new West; and Eddie Spears (Into the West) as Joseph Black Moon, a Native American man torn between his culture and the changing world around him.

Shot on location in Alberta, Canada, the series is produced with assistance of the Government of Alberta, Alberta Film Development Program.

Hell on Wheels is created and written by Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster, Uncommon Valor, Salton Sea, Bulletproof), who also serve as executive producers. John Shiban (The X-Files, Breaking Bad), Jeremy Gold, Endemol’s SVP of scripted programming and David Von Ancken, who also directed the pilot, serve as executive producers. The series is executive produced by Endemol USA with Entertainment One (eOne) serving as the studio. eOne’s Television CEO John Morayniss and EVP of television series Michael Rosenberg oversee production in partnership with co-producers Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes at Nomadic Pictures.

AMC’s Joel Stillerman, SVP of original programming, production and digital content, Susie Fitzgerald, AMC’s SVP of scripted programming and Jason Fisher, SVP of production oversee development and production for Hell on Wheels.

Hell on Wheels has already been described by InTouch as “Unforgiven meets Glory in this grimy post-Civil War Western series.” The New York Daily News said, “AMC rolls out another winner with Hell on Wheels… 4 Stars.” The Washington Post calls it, “hands down the most intriguing show in the fall slate.” USA Today says, “the show aims for ‘hellish’ and it achieves it” and The Wall Street Journal says
“railroads may not seem sexy, but this series brings a ‘There Will Be Blood’ aesthetic to episodic TV.”

*Source: The Nielsen Company, Live+SD 11/6/11-1/15/12.

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