AMC is looking to the past and the future in the hopes of finding its next "Walking Dead" or "Breaking Bad." The network announced on Monday it was ordering two new pilots: "Knifeman," set in 18th century London and "Galyntine," set in a post-apocalyptic future.
"Knifeman," written by "Friday Night Lights" writers Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald, follows the exploits of hard-living London doctor John Tattersal, who runs a surgical practice on the sly out of his home and isn't above a little grave-robbing to harvest organs for extra cash. Tonally, the series is expected to be quite dark with a streak of wit.
The series is based on the biography of Scottish surgeon John Hunter titled "Knifeman: Blood, Body Snatching and the Birth of Modern Surgery."
"Galyntine" takes place on a planet long after a technology-based disaster has made humanity reject technology, causing society to re-form in small tribes scattered across the face of the planet. It was written by Jason Cahill, who worked on another upcoming AMC series "Halt and Catch Fire." "The Walking Dead's" Greg Nicotero and Ridley Scott are among the show's executive producers.
In a statement, Joel Stillerman, AMC's executive president of programming, production and digital content, said, "These are both highly original and ambitious pilots that take us into worlds that we haven't seen on TV before. The bawdiness and fun of 'Knifeman' and London in the mid-18th century; and the completely unique take on a post-apocalyptic world in 'Galyntine' are right in AMC's wheelhouse of making television that is both unexpected and unconventional."
Both pilots are being produced in 2014 to be considered for 2015 premieres. Two other series, "Halt and Catch Fire" and "Turn," both of which take place in the past, are expected to debut on the network in 2014.
Next year will also see the first half of "Mad Men's" final season, which will play out in 2014 and 2015, the same way "Breaking Bad's" final season was stretched over the course of two years.