Untimely Death Of <i>Rubicon</i> Could Clear Path For <i>Hell On Wheels</i>

If anyone is happy about the untimely demise of AMC's Rubicon, it's probably the producers of Hell on Wheels, the Western drama waiting in the wings.

The cable channel greenlit the pilot back in May, and now that there's a Rubicon-shaped hole in the schedule, the chances for a series pickup have greatly improved. But it's not simply a matter of filling a slot: Deadline reports that network executives like the recently delivered pilot, directed by David von Ancken (Californication).

Created by brothers Joe and Tony Gayton and developed by reality-show producer Endemol USA, Hell on Wheels centers on former Confederate soldier Cullen Bohannan (Conviction's Anson Mount), whose quest for vengeance has led him to the Union Pacific Railroad's westward construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad. The series also stars Common (Terminator Salvation) and Dominique McElligott (Moon).

"Hell on Wheels brilliantly captures the world surrounding the construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad in post-Civil War America," AMC Vice President Joel Stillerman said in July. "The epic setting provides the perfect backdrop for the early industrialism and corruption surrounding the project; the incredible immigrant experience; and the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it took to get this railroad built."

Deadline says a decision is expected shortly.

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