announced today that the original series “Hell on Wheels” is set to premiere the last seven episodes of its fifth and final season on Saturday, June 11 at 9 PM, followed by the series premiere of the Robert Redford and Stephen David (“The Men Who Built America,” “The World Wars”) produced limited event series “The American West” at 10 PM, making Saturday nights on must-watch television for Western fans.
The last seven episodes of “Hell on Wheels” is the end of the line for Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) and his work on America’s first transcontinental railroad. The final push to finish brings with it a reckoning for Bohannon and the men standing in his path: the bloodthirsty Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl); the mercenary Chang (Byron Mann); and the rapacious Thomas Durant (Colm Meaney). Bohannon contends with corruption, greed and murder as he leads the trek to complete the final stages of the building of the railroad from the Central Pacific through the Sierras and across the Utah desert to Promontory Point. While the railroad’s completion is certain, who and what will survive when the golden spike is finally planted remains in question – with no one more at risk than Cullen Bohannon.
Spanning the years 1865 to 1890, “The American West,” will show how – in the aftermath of the Civil War – the United States transforms into the “land of opportunity.” Viewers will be transported into the violent world of cowboys, Indians, outlaws and law men. The 8-episode limited event series chronicles the personal, little-known stories of Western legends such as Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. The series features exclusive interviews with notable names from classic Western films, including Redford, James Caan, Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck, Kiefer Sutherland, Mark Harmon, Ed Harris and more.
“Over the last ten years,has had wonderful success with Westerns in various formats: from the Emmy(R)-winning mini-series ‘Broken Trail,’ to the Saturday line-up of classic movies like Rifleman and Hondo, leading into our fan favorite scripted drama ‘Hell on Wheels’ and now with our wild west limited event series “The American West,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. “We’ve learned that the West may have been won over 150 years ago, but it continues to win with old and new fans alike. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the best in the business and John Wirth and his team are no exception. It has been a pleasure working with the entire ‘Hell on Wheels’ cast and crew over the last five seasons and on behalf of all of us at AMC, we thank you for creating an epic program that will live on through your many loyal fans and the new ones yet to come. As we continue to explore untold stories, I am proud to expand our partnership with Stephen David. Stephen’s storytelling has previously provided AMC viewers a look at the making of the mob and now, we are excited to share the story of the post-Civil War western expansion. We also welcome Robert Redford and Sundance production to AMC as we continue to provide the best in Western content to our audience with ‘The American West.'”
“Making this show has been the highlight of my career,” said John Wirth, executive producer, writer and showrunner of “Hell on Wheels.” “I can’t imagine a better cast, crew, group of writers or network. Thank you, Charlie Collier, Joel Stillerman and Susie Fitzgerald for supporting us every step of the way.”
“We are extremely excited to continue our partnership with AMC and share the untold stories of the west,” said Stephen David, president of Stephen David Entertainment. “The series will allow viewers the opportunity to explore an era of famous outlaws and lawmen who shaped American history, connected through a larger story that’s never been told before in this way.”
The fourth season of “Hell on Wheels” delivered 3.5 million viewers per episode on average, including 1.3 million adults 25-54, in Nielsen live+7 ratings. The show is consistently one of the top scripted originals on Saturday nights and is currently the #1 show on cable and #2 in all of television, cable and broadcast, for its time slot.
“Hell on Wheels” is executive produced by showrunner John Wirth (“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Falling Skies,” “The Cape”); Paul Kurta (“Veronica Mars,” Empire Records); Michael Rosenberg (“Hung”); Jeremy Gold, EVP, Endemol Shine Studios; and Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes from Nomadic Pictures. Entertainment One Television’s (eOne) Debra Curtis, SVP Current Programming, and David Shafer, VP Production, oversee production in partnership with producers. eOne is the worldwide distributor and licensed television rights in Europe to Endemol Shine. In addition to Mount, Heyerdahl, Mann and Meaney, “Hell on Wheels” stars Robin McLeavy, Phil Burke, Jennifer Ferrin, Dohn Norwood, Tim Guinee, Reg Rogers and Angela Zhou. The final seven episodes will serve as the series finale.
“The American West” is executive produced by Emmy(R) Award-winning Stephen David Entertainment and Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn with Sundance Productions. DRG is the international distributor for “The American West.”