AMC orders CBS-style pilots: Cops, lawyers

Having swooned viewers and critics with unique premises coupled with great writing on shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Walking Dead, AMC’s new pilot orders have the network embracing more conservative-sounding projects.

Marking the first time the network has ordered two scripted pilots at the same time, AMC has picked up a cop drama and a legal drama.

The first is Low Winter Sun, based on a British mini-series, described as “a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption in a world where the line between cops and criminals is blurred. The story begins with the murder of a cop by a fellow Detroit detective. Seemingly the perfect crime, in reality the murder activates forces that will forever alter that detective’s life and pull him into the heart of the Detroit underworld.” Chris Mundy (Criminal Minds, Cold Case) is the showrunner.

The second is untitled and is vaguely described as “a legal thriller with major political, personal and ethical stakes. It centers on a District Attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the reinvestigation of a sensational murder case. The series is an exploration of personal morality and how people struggle with the shades of grey.” It’s from Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King) and  Tony Goldwyn (Justified).

As AMC has shown with The Killing, even when it orders a show from a popular genre like a police detective series, the network still manages to invest the show with some original elements and strong writing that distinguishes it from many broadcast shows. Hopefully these projects will also have the same level of elevated polish.

“Both of these shows represent an opportunity to continue what our existing scripted series have established so well — a commitment to great writing, and shows that tackle complex characters in a genuine and authentic way,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s EVP of original programming.

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