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TCA 2019 AMC roundup: Creepshow kicks off production, Planet Earth III announced; more

By Josh Weiss
Frozen Planet II

During the TCA winter press tour, AMC and its affiliated networks announced a slew of new developments for a large handful of projects coming down the television pipeline. We took a look at all of the press releases and distilled them into one story for your reading pleasure. 

Shudder announced that production has commenced on its Creepshow TV series, which is based on the two movies of the same released in 1982 and 1987. The first movie was written by Stephen King and directed by zombie auteur, George Romero.

Following an anthology format, the six episodes of Season 1 will be adapted from stories written by King, Joe Hill (King's son), Joe Lansdale (The Bottoms), Josh Malerman (Bird Box), Bruce Jones (​The Hitchhiker)​, Rob Schrab (Monster House), Christopher Buehlman (The Lesser Dead), and John Esposito (​The Walking Dead: Webisodes​).

“Having the opportunity to embrace the spirit of ​Creepshow​ and expand on what George and Steve created is, without a doubt, a lifelong dream come true,” said executive producer/director Greg Nicotero in an official release. “Having grown up in Pittsburgh, ​Creepshow​ lives in a special place for me. I had the good fortune to visit the set as a teenager. I was able to look behind the curtain of filmmaking, and it changed me forever. I’m honored to continue telling the stories in the ‘comic book come to life’ world that fans fell in love with. This fall we will be ‘opening the coffin’ and unleashing upon the world our demented and ghastly stories, crafted by the best in business.”

Production on the series is taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Two returning shows, Lodge 49 and The Terror, have also begun production on their second seasons.

The Terror's second season, which is sub-titled "Infamy" (most likely a reference to FDR's "day of infamy" speech to Congress after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor) kicked off January 14 and is set during WWII, centering on a Japanese-American community investigating strange deaths. Season 2 will also explore Japanese internment during the war and star George Takei, someone who actually lived through this dark chapter in American history.

Lodge 49, described as a "Big Lebowski mashed up with a Knights Templar tale," began shooting 10 more episodes in Atlanta on January 22 and stars Wyatt Russell (son of Kurt) as a California beach bum reeling from the death of his father.

Doctor Who's 12th series began production on January 21 in Cardiff, Wales. Jodie Whittaker is reprising her role as the 13th Doctor. 

Dispatches From Elsewhere, an anthology from Jason Segel, will begin filming in Philadelphia in July. Per AMC's official description, the show "is about a group of ordinary people who stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. They will come to find that the mystery winds far deeper than they ever imagined."

On the more natural side of things, BBC America is delivering two more nature docuseries narrated by Sir David Attenborough: Planet Earth III and Frozen Earth II.

Slated for release in 2022, Planet Earth III (broken into eight parts) will provide the awe and wonder viewers have come to expect from the first two outings with Attenborough, but is also set to explore new scientific discoveries about habitats and animals the world over. 

Frozen Planet II (broken into six parts) will arrive a year earlier in 2021 and return to one of the harshest environments on our planet, delving into the effects of climate change on the snow-filled wonderlands that serve as homes for polar bears, whales, and more.


“One of the things we’re most proud of at BBC America is that we’ve established the network as the U.S. destination for the very best nature programming on the planet, from the BBC’s award-winning natural history unit,” said Sarah Barnett, President, Entertainment Networks, for AMC Networks. “We are delighted to renew our successful partnership with BBC Studios, and to continue to co-produce these groundbreaking series. To bring together audiences for this kind of transcendent event television is a true privilege, we couldn’t be happier to continue to do this for the next five years.” 

In addition to these two programs (AND Netflix's Our Planet), Attenborough is also narrating One Planet: Seven Worlds, which takes a deep dive into the diverse life contained on every continent. 

After its success on AMC's subscription streaming services (Sundance Now and Shudder), A Discovery of Witches will premiere on AMC and BBC America Sunday, April 7 at 9pm EST.

“Thanks to the critical acclaim and overwhelmingly positive audience response to A Discovery of Witches, the series has found a new legion of fans. We are thrilled to bring it to a wider audience and pair it with Killing Eve on both AMC and BBC America,” said Sarah Barnett, President of AMC Entertainment Networks. “This is a great example of our cross-network strategy; to expose our series to new audiences across our ecosystem of networks and streaming services.”

Starring Matthew Goode (Watchmen) and Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies), the series was adapted from Deborah Harkness' 2011 fantasy novel of the same name. A modern day love story, the plot is set in a universe where witches, vampires, and demons live hidden among humans. 

Debuting in the U.K. back in September, A Discovery of Witches dropped on Sundance Now and Shudder in January, finally becoming available for U.S. audiences. Per AMC, Sundance Now's subscribers increased by 30% in anticipation of the show arriving in America. It also did wonders for Shudder, which enjoyed "more minutes streamed than any on-demand film or series premiere in the service’s history."

The martial arts action-drama, Into the Badlands, will begin to air its final eight episodes right after The Walking Dead on Sunday, March 24 at 10pm EST. It will then move to Mondays the following day, March 25 at 10pm EST.

In case you need a refresher of where the story last left off, here you go:

As we enter the final chapter of Into the Badlands, an imprisoned Bajie warns Sunny that Pilgrim can't be trusted. But with his son's life on the line, Sunny struggles with his decision to help Pilgrim unlock the Meridian Chamber. Meanwhile, M.K., still reeling from the revelation that Sunny killed his mother, is hell-bent on revenge. Kidnapped by The Master, the Widow is forced to confront her past. Moon meanwhile races to save Lydia from impending death after she risked her life for his on the battlefield. As the last episodes unfold long buried secrets will be revealed, new alliances will be forged, and the saga will climax in an epic battle to end all battles.  

Here's a new clip as well; hopefully, it will tide you over until next month:

Lastly, Sundance TV and Sundance Now are launching a number of true crime podcasts, which will investigate everything from serial killers, to the founding of cults. 

The Truth About True Crime with Amanda Knox will tie into the documentary series launched on the TV side of things: Ministry of Evil: The Twisted Cult of Tony Alamo, Killing for Love, The Preppie Murder: Death In Central Park, and No One Saw A Thing.

“In keeping with the Sundance tradition of innovation in storytelling, SundanceTV and Sundance Now are thrilled to expand deeper into true crime space,” said Jan Diedrichsen, executive director of SundanceTV and Sundance Now. “While television as a format allows us to utilize archival footage, photos and videos, the podcast format allows for a deeper conversation and expansion of the story. What’s more, we have found a real-life expert in Amanda Knox, who brings a unique perspective to the true crime genre, and a humanity to the storytelling.”

Knox added:

“After surviving my own true crime saga, I tend not to be a fan of the genre, because it so often veers into sensationalism at the expense of the human beings involved and the truth. But these stories are very important when told with compassion and context. I'm excited to partner with Sundance to bring nuance to these stories.”

For our full coverage of the TCA 2019 winter tour, click here.