AMC has just showed us their cards in that the network is not about to give into pressure and dump their unscripted offerings. In fact, they are preparing to go bigger as today the cable channel revealed that not only are they renewing their Mad Men pairing The Pitch, but they are also preparing to greenlight two new programs.
The first such offering is a taxidermy series that will show off the practice as art in a contest format. The second is one that centers around music producer Todd Ray as he attempts to operate his own freakshow on the Venice Beach boardwalk. Hit the jump for more details.
New York, NY – August 16, 2012 – AMC announced today two new unscripted original series: “Untitled Taxidermy Series” and “Venice Beach Freakshow,” both working titles (w/t). “Untitled Taxidermy Series w/t,” is executive produced by Go Go Luckey Entertainment (“Paranormal State,” “Laguna Beach”), with the producing team of Gary Auerbach, Julie Auerbach, Tina Gazzerro, and Henry Capanna. The series is a hosted competition featuring different contestants each week who create an ultimate piece of artwork showcasing the craft of taxidermy. “Venice Beach Freakshow w/t” is a family drama that centers on former music producer Todd Ray as he pursues his dream to own and operate his own ‘Freakshow’ on the famed boardwalk in Venice Beach, CA. The series is executive produced by Todd Ray from Living Wonders and Greg Johnston from Endemol USA (“Big Brother,” “Fear Factor,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”). AMC also announced today the renewal of “The Pitch,” its unscripted series that chronicles advertising agencies as they prepare campaigns to try and win a major new account.
“Behind the marquee of the ‘Venice Beach Freakshow (w/t)’ is an extended family drama that shows what it takes to give up everything and pull together to make a family business a success,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s EVP of original programming, production and digital content. “Untitled Taxidermy Series (w/t)’ features the art-form of taxidermy, which can be as outrageous and shocking as it is beautiful.”
Stillerman adds, “Season one of ‘The Pitch’ captured the intensity of the advertising world and provided the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the compelling and dramatic pitch process. We are so pleased to work again with Studio Lambert on the show’s return.”
“Untitled Taxidermy Series (w/t)” consists of eight, half-hour episodes. It’s a hosted competition series between a new contestant and one of the series’ immortalizers that face three judges each week. The series features taxidermists pulled from both the rogue and classic schools of taxidermy to create a distinct piece of art that is judged on overall presentation, creativity and technique. The series follows the creative process while capturing the drama of the competition as the contestants present their skill, craft and work. The series is slated to premiere in first quarter of 2013.
“Venice Beach Freakshow (w/t)” is also eight, half-hour episodes. The series follows Todd Ray, his wife Danielle and their two kids, Asia and Phoenix, as they own and operate the world famous Venice Beach Freakshow, a museum that exhibits strange creatures, living oddities and human attractions personally procured by Todd. This business is Todd’s personal passion and he has bet it all on making it work. It takes a huge imagination and tremendous perseverance to keep the business afloat, but through it all Todd’s enormous respect for all humanity and his big heart make this something wildly different from just another workplace drama. The series is slated to premiere in first quarter of 2013.
“The Pitch” first premiered on AMC in April 2012 and earned a Critic’s Choice Award nomination for best reality series-competition. “The Pitch” is executive produced by Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert, Phil Lott, Brien Meagher and Aaron Saidman from Studio Lambert (“Undercover Boss,” “Project Runway”). Season two consists of eight, one-hour episodes. The series is slated to premiere in the second quarter of 2013.
MediaPost called ‘The Pitch’ the smartest and most entertaining new reality series of the year.” Entertainment Weekly said “It’s actually a thrill to watch these guys come up with a great tagline.” Forbes.com said, “It’s hard not to be enthralled by the competitive challenges faced by each week’s two agencies” and Star Magazine gave it 3 out of 4 stars adding, “It offers an intriguing look inside the creative process as well as examples of how people’s personalities can work for and against them in a pressurized office setting. This fly-on-the-wall approach is intriguing right from the first episode…”
AMC’s Stillerman, Mary Conlon, VP of non-scripted original programming, Jason Fisher, SVP of production, and Ari Mark, director of development, oversee the development and production for the network’s unscripted series.