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August 23, 2014

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After a String of Gems, AMC's First Truly Terrible Drama Is...

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 4th 2011 11:30AM
It was bound to happen sooner or later: AMC has a dud on its hands.

The network's track record thus far has been enviable, but 'Hell on Wheels' (10PM Sunday, AMC) is disappointing on any number of levels. I certainly wasn't a fan of how 'The Killing' ended its debut season, but at least that show started out strong, and the rest of the network's programs offer compelling characters, distinctive aesthetics or solid takes on conventional premises. In some cases, AMC's dramas excel in all of those arenas and many more.

'Hell on Wheels' does one thing well: It's good at being tedious.

There is a truly compelling performance in the early going, but that doesn't come from star Anson Mount, who is glumly competent at best.

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Common Talks About Modern Issues in AMC's 1860s Drama 'Hell on Wheels' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 26th 2011 12:00AM
Common, 'The Rosie Show'AMC is taking us back even further in time for their latest scripted entry. Set 100 years before 'Mad Men,' 'Hell on Wheels' looks at the building of the transcontinental railroad. But even though it's set so far in the past, series star Common talked on 'The Rosie Show' (Weeknights, 7PM ET on OWN) about how so many of the issues it talks about still resonate today.

"Definitely we still deal with some racial issues," he said of the series. "Along with that, just greed and injustice." He talked about how the construction project tore up the natural landscape, and saw America taking more land away from the Native Americans.

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Casting Roundup: Common Lands a Pilot, Billy Baldwin to Guest on 'Parenthood' and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Jul 27th 2010 6:30PM
CommonCommon, already an accomplished rapper and silver screen actor has turned his sights on TV.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Common has been tapped to star in AMC's pilot 'Hell on Wheels,' a western about the Transcontinental Railroad. He'll will Elam, a half black/half white freed slave seeking work on the railroad.

"Common brings a layered intensity to a very complex role," Joel Stillerman, AMC's senior vice president programming, said. "This part required someone who can transcend the stereotypes of the period and bring the character to life in a truly unique way, and he brings that."

Audiences may remember Common from this summer's 'Date Night' and 'Just Wright.'

In other TV casting news ...

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Common Freestyle Raps About Queen Latifah (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted May 21st 2010 2:30PM
CommonRachael Ray issued Common a challenge on 'Rachael Ray' (weekdays, syndicated). The talk show host picked a series of words and asked Common to create a rap about his 'Just Wright' co-star Queen Latifah.

Common wasn't given the words ahead of time, everything that happened was unrehearsed. Queen Latifah didn't even know about Rachael's request. Common had to use the words: queen, beauty, smile, 'Just Wright.'

How do you think he did?

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Common Forges Michael Jordan's Autograph, Spells Name Wrong (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted May 18th 2010 4:00PM
While interning as a ball boy for the Chicago Bulls in 1984, Common was once asked by fans to get the autograph of basketball legend Michael Jordan, but Jordan instructed Common to forge his signature, he said on 'The Wendy Williams Show' (weekdays, syndicated).

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Queen Latifah and Common Team Up on 'GMA' (VIDEO)

by Donald Deane, posted May 10th 2010 12:45PM
Queen Latifah and rapper Common square off against Robin Roberts and an audience member in a basketball toss on 'Good Morning America' (weekdays, 7AM ET on ABC).

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