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April 17, 2014

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AMC Not Ordering Any Pilots, Likely to Renew 'The Killing'

by Catherine Lawson, posted May 18th 2011 8:00AM
AMC LogoCable network AMC seems set to continue its successful and conservative approach to ordering pilot episodes: Sources report that it's not proceeding with any of the six dramas it currently has in development. At least, not right now.

AMC recently held its annual pilot script "bake-off," during which writers pitched their creative vision to network execs and outlined where their stories would go over a season-long arc.

According to Variety, two projects, space drama 'Voyage,' and an untitled racing project from exec producer Billy Gerber, are likely to have a second chance after being overhauled, while the other four are most likely dead in the water.

However, it's not all gloom over at AMC: The network is said to be close to renewing murder mystery 'The Killing,' which launched in April to a favorable reception from critics and viewers.

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The 10 Greatest TV Characters of 2010

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 29th 2010 10:00AM
RubiconThere are a lot of characters on television, but there are only a handful that can be considered "great."

They're the ones that add a lot to the show they're on. The characters we can't imagine not existing in their show's universe. The characters that stand out because of that magical combo of good writing and a unique performance by the actor playing the character.

This is a list of the greatest characters from the tube in 2010. They're probably not the only great characters on their shows, but these are the ones that made the most memorable impact.

Note: you will not find Snooki on this list.

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Four Swell Shows from AMC

by Maureen Ryan, posted Dec 20th 2010 2:30PM
Countdown to Festivus on Dec. 23: On the fifth day of Festivus, TV gave to us ... four dramas from one ambitious network.

Step into the wayback machine, TV fans. Remember those dark times when AMC had no original dramas on the air?

It seems as though the channel's offerings have (deservedly) occupied the media spotlight forever, but only a few years ago, AMC was best known as the place to watch old movies.

The movies are still there, but so many other things have changed. As the end of the year approaches, it's time to give thanks for AMC's offerings, which were among the year's finest.

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The Best TV of 2010: The Top 10 Roster

by Maureen Ryan, posted Dec 2nd 2010 2:30PM
Narrowing down my yearly Top 10 list to only ten individual TV shows proved very difficult this year. There was just too much good TV, and thank goodness for that. None of the new shows that the broadcast networks debuted this fall made the cut, but no matter, there was still plenty of good drama and comedy to choose from.

So much, in fact, that I decided expand my list a bit. There are, as you can see below, ten entries in my Best of 2010 list, but a couple of entries mention multiple shows. I've got a new job and new editors, so why not try a new way of approaching the Top 10 list, right? All I can say is, it would have melted my brain and hurt my heart to leave any of the shows below off my list.

By the way, in the next week or so, I'll post a long list of runners up -- more than two dozen scripted shows that didn't quite make the cut here but which were nevertheless pleasing, compelling or noteworthy during the past year.

Without further ado, here's my list of the best television shows of 2010:

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Ask Mo: Answering questions about 'The Event,' 'Fringe,' 'Spartacus,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Lost' and more!

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 19th 2010 1:15PM
Welcome to the third installment of Ask Mo. Thank you for your great questions! Sorry if I didn't get to your query, but I'll be doing another edition of Ask Mo in early December, and I'll try to tackle more questions then. Of course, feel free to leave new queries in comments below as well. (Previous editions of Ask Mo are here and here.)

Tardispilot: Do 'The Event's' sagging ratings mean we've seen the end of 'Lost' clones, or will there be more next season?

Lyle: Why are all these 'Lost' clones failing to captivate audiences ('The Event,' 'FlashForward,' etc)? In your opinion, what made 'Lost' stand out and what are these other shows missing?

Tree: What is your take on 'The Event'? I'm trying to decide if I want to continue investing time in it. I like the premise, but I don't feel an emotional connection to it like I did to 'Lost.'... Should I continue watching?


Mo says: I'll try to take on these questions one by one. I think we'll continue to see networks trying out shows with supernatural flavoring, although there appear to be fewer of those kinds of pilots in the pipeline, thanks to the rocky receptions of shows like 'The Event,' 'FlashForward,' 'Invasion,' etc. I don't think the networks will stop making those kinds of shows, but I think they will probably keep missing the point regarding what 'Lost' actually was when it started.

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Top 12 Ways to Pay Tribute to the Late, Lamented 'Rubicon'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 12th 2010 10:15AM
News emerged on Thursday that AMC will not be making a second season of 'Rubicon,' a thoughtful drama about a collection of misfits and geniuses who work as intelligence analysts.

Perhaps this Sunday night, 'Rubicon' fans can pay tribute to the show's passing in one of the ways below. It would only be appropriate for 'Rubicon' lovers to:

-stare out a window

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'Rubicon' Canceled By AMC After One Season

by Kelly Woo, posted Nov 11th 2010 2:22PM
RubiconAMC has canceled the critically-acclaimed series 'Rubicon' after one season.

The political thriller, which debuted Aug. 1, never garnered big ratings. Its season finale was watched by 1.04 million viewers; comparatively, 2.44 million viewers tuned into 'Mad Men's' finale the same night.

"'Rubicon' gave us an opportunity to tell a rich and compelling story, and we're proud of the series," AMC said in a statement. "This was not an easy decision, but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a phenomenally talented and dedicated team."

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Ask Mo: Answering Your Queries on 'Caprica,' 'Chuck,' 'Walking Dead' and More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Nov 2nd 2010 6:20PM
From Harvey: I was just wondering if you had any thoughts about 'Caprica' and the way the cancellation was handled. I can't remember ever being this [angry at] a network and I don't know if there's any point to even trying to save the show or if I should just move onto the boycott idea. ...Basically, what I'm asking is, do you think that there is any good will left at Syfy to wrap up the story (because we know that the season ends with a cliffhanger)?

Mo says: I got a lot of questions and tweets about 'Caprica' during the past week, some of which contained a certain amount of strong language.

I get it: I understand that it hurts when a show you really like gets canceled, and it's very rare for a cable show to get pulled from the schedule before it completes airing the episodes in its current season. I'm sure that for 'Caprica' fans, the sudden yanking of the show adds to the sting.

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'Rubicon' Finale Review: Up on the Roof (VIDEO)

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 17th 2010 10:00PM
['Rubicon' - 'You Never Can Win']

"Intelligence is largely a failure business." --Kale Ingram.

It's usually a TV show's job -- really, any story's job -- to get us to care about the characters' predicaments.

During the course of its first season, 'Rubicon' did with thoughtful, intelligent flair. After a muddled beginning, this drama found its hushed voice and its graceful stride, and by the end of last week's episode, when Will collapsed after he and his team failed to find Kateb in time, we cared.

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'Rubicon' Spy-Themed Giveaway

by TV Squad Editors, posted Oct 14th 2010 2:20PM
The newest offering from AMC is 'Rubicon' -- created by Jason Horwitch ('Medical Investigation,' 'The Pentagon Papers') and starring James Badge Dale ('The Pacific,' '24') -- which is currently in its first season (Sundays 9P/8C).

The conspiracy thriller-type series has a lot to live up to, with critically-acclaimed shows like 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad' on the same network, but looks to hold its own.

And we've got a fun, espionage-themed giveaway for new fans of the show. Check out the prizes below, then see how you can enter for a chance to win.

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Seven Things to Love About Sunday's 'Rubicon'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 10th 2010 10:10PM
Recently, I wrote up Six Reasons to Save 'Rubicon.' After Sunday's excellent episode, I think the show is even more worth saving, so definitely tell your friends about this gripping intelligence saga and make some noise about it online (Twitter, message boards, Facebook, etc.).

Below are just a few thoughts about Sunday's episode, also presented in a numbered list. Given other pressing demands on my time, I wasn't able to write a long analysis (a white paper, if you will), but I hope what's below will serve as a jumping-off point for your comments and reactions to what happened Truxton, Kale, Will and the rest of the API crew on Sunday.

So, here are my Top Seven Things to Love about Sunday's 'Rubicon':

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Six Reasons to Save 'Rubicon'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 30th 2010 1:15PM
Enough with the angst about 'Lone Star,' a short-lived Fox drama about a deceptive man.

Instead, let's direct our energies at saving 'Rubicon' (9PM ET Sunday, AMC), a complex drama that also examines truth, lies and trust. 'Rubicon,' a gripping combination of character drama and espionage thriller, has emerged as one of 2010's best shows.

I've seen the next two episodes of 'Rubicon,' and I wouldn't dream of revealing any of the classified contents of those hours. But they're terrific.

The bottom line is, I'll be tremendously disappointed if this show doesn't get a second season. Here are six (non-spoilery) reasons to watch and save 'Rubicon':

6. Truxton Spangler is one of the greatest TV names of all time.

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An Exclusive Clip from 'Rubicon' and Intel From Star James Badge Dale

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 16th 2010 5:15PM
When it began, it wasn't quite clear what 'Rubicon' was -- a moody evocation of films like 'Day of the Condor'? An introspective character drama? A post-9/11 espionage thriller?

If you gave up early in the AMC show's debut season, come back. As I wrote here, the conspiracy aspect of the show is proceeding at a satisfyingly brisk pace, but 'Rubicon' is often even more effective as a psychological study of thoughtful individuals doing an odd, difficult job.

Being an intelligence analyst is "a very strange life," 'Rubicon' star James Badge Dale said in an interview. "In some ways, it's the antithesis of the human experience -- you voluntarily put yourself into a void, into a vacuum."

Dale, who plays analyst Will Travers, and executive producer Henry Bromell spoke recently about 'Rubicon' and its dual identities as a unique office drama and a meditation on personal and political trust. Read on for much more (non-spoilery) intelligence from Dale and Bromell, as well as an exclusive clip from Sunday's episode ( 9PM ET, AMC).

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Talking TV Podcasts: 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Glee,' 'Big Bang,' 'Mad Men' and more

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 14th 2010 11:45AM
There's big news on the podcast front: We've finally defeated a sound-quality problem that has affected the podcast since it began.

My podcasting partner Ryan McGee and I are proud to say that the 'Talking TV with Ryan & Ryan' podcast has never sounded better.

We aren't any smarter, but hey, at least it won't hurt your ears!

Feast upon the audio quality of this week's two podcasts:

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'Rubicon' Is the Addictive Anti-'24'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 13th 2010 11:20AM
Until recently, I was ambivalent about AMC's 'Rubicon,' but the last couple of episodes have turned me into a solid fan. Sunday's episode and the Sept. 5 outing didn't just have the effective atmosphere, excellent acting and memorable characterizations I'd come to expect.

In the last couple of weeks, the pace notably quickened as well, and the show featured the kind of multi-layered, ambiguous yet compelling storytelling that is that hallmark of AMC's flagship dramas, 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad.' Star James Badge Dale had a featured arc in the third season of '24,' another intelligence-oriented drama, but 'Rubicon' is the show that has really allowed the actor to shine.

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