Home > Interviews > Hooked on AMC’s “Hell On Wheels?” Exec Prod John Shiban Previews Whats To Come Next

Hooked on AMC’s “Hell On Wheels?” Exec Prod John Shiban Previews Whats To Come Next

by Jim on September 14, 2012 · 0 comments

The Western is alive and well in television with big ratings coming in for miniseries like “Hatfield & McCoys” as well as solid showings for weekly dramas like FX’s “Justified,” A&E’s “Longmire” and AMC’s “Hell on Wheels.” After an uneven first season where pacing and focus were often an issue, the second season of “Hell on Wheels” seems to have ironed out the wrinkles and is now filling the gap left on AMC’s Sunday nights now that “Breaking Bad” has wrapped its summer run.

So where are things heading as the show continues the 1865 journey of following those involved in the construction of the first transcontinental railroad? I checked in with Executive Producer John Shiban to find out.

Jim Halterman: There’s no question that ‘Hell on Wheels’ is a Western but I also have a little voice in the back of my head saying it’s also kind of a serial. Do you see it that way?

John Shiban: You know, it’s funny you picked that up off of it, because it’s a very conscious discussion that we had in the writers’ room and that we had with our network. Towards the end of last year when the characters started to blossom and intersect and it was like ‘let’s dig deeper into that. Let’s go’ and soap opera is not a dirty word. ‘Breaking Bad’ is a soap opera. The way you look at it. It’s a character story, the kind of story is serialized, and we consciously tried to stretch out our stories over the second season in that manner and it seems to be working. It’s pretty exciting.

JH: It seems like we’re having the little resurgence of the western, too. ‘Hatfield & McCoys’ did really well a few months ago and your show is doing well. Why do you think that is? It definitely feels more prominent now.

JS: We like to take credit for the resurgence. [Laughs.] The genre itself is very American. I think it’s ingrained in peoples psyche. All the hopes of the individual building a country, families versus…CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE


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