AMC’s panel at the Television Critics Association was meant to focus on its upcoming Hell On Wheels, but there was also some more pressing, headline-grabbing business to address—though for once, it didn’t focus on giving money to Matthew Weiner or any other Mad Men delays, as that show is officially scheduled to resume filming next week. So the network dispensed with its leftover matters in as brusque and efficient a manner as possible, following up yesterday’s report that The Walking Dead’s Frank Darabont had left the show by confirming that his former second-in-command Glen Mazzara would take over, while adding that they would “continue to discuss” whether Darabont would have any future input. Nothing was said about why Darabont had his sudden change of heart, so naturally one can only assume that it involves a nefarious blackmail plot that could shake the network to its very core. Or that Darabont didn’t like the hours.
That not-quite-a-revelation was accompanied by a reiteration that the network felt as though it didn’t properly “manage the expectations” when it came to marketing The Killing, with a spokesperson saying again that it was “never our intention to mislead” audiences into thinking they would find out who killed Rosie Larsen, just because it was promoted with the tagline, “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” instead of “Who Killed Rosie Larsen—But More Importantly, What Does Your Need To Know Exactly Who Killed Rosie Larsen Really Say About You, The Viewer?” Anyway, AMC once again avowed that viewers would definitely find out the answer to who killed Rosie Larsen in the second season should they decide to return. Then they spent five minutes staring meaningfully out of a window, just letting the rain speak.
But more importantly, they also had something new to talk about: The post-Civil War drama Hell On Wheels is set to premiere its first 10 episodes on November 6, with The Walking Dead as its lead-in, promising two back-to-back hours of tenuous alliances forged on dusty trails and lots of grim staring. As seen in its promising preview, the show stars Anson Mount as an ex-Confederate soldier hunting down the Union soldiers who murdered his wife, all set against the raucous, racially charged backdrop of the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Will the Transcontinental Railroad ever be completed? Wisely, AMC’s marketing is shying away from setting that expectation.