Not content to just kick TV audiences’ asses with their stellar scripted shows (and The Walking Dead), our good friends at AMC have decided to jump into the reality television game. And, of course, they’ll probably also end up doing that better than almost everyone else as well.
From the AV Club (by way of Deadline), we get reports that the cable net is adding two shows to their lineup: one, The Pitch, from Dirty Jobs producer Craig Piligian and Inside the DHS from the producers of CBS’ Undercover Boss, Eli Holzman and Stephen Lambert. Using the term “docu-stories” instead of “reality shows,” AMC Senior VP Joel Stillerman differentiates the two by saying “Our vision for it is very similar to what we do in scripted: let’s start with where the best stories are. Where are the places that we find worlds that are inherently dramatic and culturally relevant?”
Basically, “we know we do this better than the rest of those guys, we’re gonna prove it again.”
As for the shows themselves – the DHS in Inside the DHS is, interestingly enough, the Department of Homeland Security. The show will be given incredible access to go behind the scenes of their day-to-day goings-on and get close to their personnel, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. If your imagination is quick to perk up at something like that, Stillerman says “We’re not looking to do an expose of the Department of Homeland Security, we actually want to go in and look into the day-to-day (workings) of the people and what they do to keep us safe.”
As for The Pitch, it will focus on a different ad agency every week as they prepare campaigns and pitches in attempts to win accounts from large companies. Thats obviously going to sound incredibly familiar to fans of AMC, but the show apparently doesn’t have anything to do with Mad Men. According to Stillerman, “What drew us to the series was the incredible place advertising holds in our culture. It is an incredibly rich topic, and The Pitch zeroes in on the most dramatic part of the process when the best creative people have to convince major brands to give them their business.”
For right now this is it as far as AMC’s unscripted lineup – the network isn’t “reality-crazy” and isn’t looking to completely change their strategy, instead saying “The plan is to continue in the arena and expand only when it makes sense,” Stillerman said. “The best thing is that we never have a slot to fill.”
The Pitch is looking at a 2012 launch, while Inside the DHS is apparently going to start shooting soon for what Deadline calls a “4th Quarter Premiere,” which probably means rolling it out with Fall Launch and priming it for the November Ratings Period. Either way, we’ll keep you posted.