'Dexter's Showrunner Has A New AMC Show & The Cable Network Is Already SO On Board
Mad Men may have only aired its series finale a little over a month ago, but AMC is already working overtime to fill that Don Draper-sized whole in its lineup. To that end, the network has ordered a 10-episode first season of writer Clyde Phillips' new AMC drama series, Broke — bypassing the traditional "pilot" stage altogether.
Their haste is understandable: AMC was already stinging from Breaking Bad's conclusion in 2013 and struggling to find an adequate replacement. Apart from the monster hit that is The Walking Dead (pun intended), the rest of the network's schedule has been filled by show's that never quite hit the zeitgeist: Low Winter Sun, Hell On Wheels, Turn, Halt And Catch Fire. Even Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, while critically-acclaimed, hasn't captured the public consciousness the way its progenitor did.
AMC will have to churn out some quality product soon to remain competitive in television's ever-expanding landscape. It no longer just have to compete with FX, Showtime, and HBO; now they've got Netflix, Amazon Prime, HuluPlus, and more breathing down its neck. So it makes sense to turn to someone like Phillips, who has a proven track record with a successful, zeitgeist-y drama: He served for four years as the showrunner for Showtime's Dexter.
That show's brand may be tarnished for fans due to its polarizing series finale, so it's important to point out that Phillips was showrunner and executive producer of the series during its first four highly acclaimed seasons on the air. He left after the John Lithgow-starring Season 4 — widely considered the show's best — and the show immediately started declining in quality. Coincidence? You decide.
After his tenure on Dexter, Phillips shifted in-network to serve as showrunner for the last three seasons of Showtime's Nurse Jackie. So the man certainly knows his way around a prestigious cable drama (or dramedy, as it may be) populated by high-profile, awards-baiting stars. This should be a formula that works out well for AMC; the network could certainly use a prestigious drama to pair with the pulpy Walking Dead and its nascent spinoff.
Continuing the popular trend of American shows based on foreign properties (The Bridge, Gracepoint, Homeland, House Of Cards, The Killing), Broke will be adaptated from a Danish series titled Bankerot. It tells the story of two men — one an accomplished chef, the other an unparalleled sommelier — who decide to open a restaurant together. Of course, matters are complicated by the fact that one of them is a widowed father struggling to raise his teenage son and the other has gotten in deep with the mob. Like you do.
In announcing the show, Phillips called Broke "unique, edgy and sexy. I can’t wait to jump in and help it evolve into a groundbreaking bit of television," he continued. AMC president Charlie Collier is equally excited about the chance to work with the acclaimed showrunner: "Clyde Phillips is a supremely talented creator we’ve known and admired for years. Through his work on Dexter and Nurse Jackie, Clyde has repeatedly demonstrated his skill for crafting complex, flawed, yet irresistible characters, and we’re looking forward to him bringing his continued brilliance to Broke."
Sounds like a win-win for everyone involved — including the viewers!
Images: Jim Fiscus, David M. Russell/Showtime