Right now, all those networks – streaming and cable – are trying to get our time and our money. They bring opposite attitudes, with:
— The shotgun approach. Paramount+ wants “something for everyone,” said Tanya Giles, its chief programming officer. The same could be said of Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max and more.
— And the laser approach. “We’re not trying to be all things to all people,” said Dan McDermott, president of AMC Entertainment.
His line-up includes basic cable networks (AMC, IFC, Sundance, BBC America) plus streamers – AMC+, Acorn, Sundance Now, Shudder. Shows range from the stylish drama of “Better Call Saul” (shown here) to the light British mysteries of Acorn to the horrors of Shudder … but they also avoid a lot.
“Our focus is not diverted by the need to provide children’s programs, soap operas, animation, unscripted, YA’s (young adults), sports, news” or more, McDermott said.
The AMC built its reputation with “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” Both are gone now, but “Better Call Saul” (the “Breaking Bad” prequel) finally returns April 11. It’s in its final season, as is “The Walking Dead,” but more prospects are coming, including crime (“61st Street” and the Navajo “Dark Winds”) and two Anne Rice projects (“Mayfair Witches,” “Interview With the Vampire”).
(For a list of the upcoming shows on the networks, see the “News and Quick Comments” story here.)
McDermott calls this “elevated content for adults.” He also quotes cable pioneer John Malone, who talked of “building defendable niches.”
That’s what the other AMC networks are into. They have some shows that have drawn high praise – BBC America’s “Killing Eve” starts its final season in March; IFC’s “Documentary Now” finally returns later this year – and many that are more specialized.
AMC+ carries most of those shows, plus some of its own. Later this year is the “Ipcress File” spy series; before that, on March 10, is the stylish cowboy show “The Dirty Black Bag.” The bag, incidentally, contains heads; AMC doesn’t spend any time on children’s shows.