Comic Book Men and Talking Dead are the only unscripted series left standing at AMC after the cable channel abruptly pulled the plug on the rest of its reality-show plans to renew its focus on scripted originals.
Just how abrupt? Variety notes AMC only last month renewed the arm-wrestling show Game of Arms, and loaded up in May on three more reality series: Chris Hardwick’s All-Star Celebrity Bowling, an untitled wrestling project from Billy Corrigan, and Visionaries, focusing on a Hollywood scenic design firm. 4th and Loud, which centers on the arena-football team owned by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, premiered in August, but it won’t return for a second season.While Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men survived the onslaught, the same can’t be said of his two other developing projects — a TV version of his Hollywood Babble-On podcast, with co-host Ralph Garman, and a collecting-based docuseries featuring CBM recurring guest star Rob Bruce.“Scripted originals are at the core of the AMC brand,” the cable channel said in a statement. “Iconic shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead have driven AMC’s evolution into a must-have television network. We are proud of our efforts in unscripted programming and the unique worlds we have been able to introduce, but in an environment of exploding content options for viewers, we have decided to make scripted programming our priority.”According to Variety, it’s not known what will happen to the eight to 10 AMC executives overseeing development of unscripted programming.
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