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AMC Studios opens writers rooms to develop three original drama ideas

AMC’s ALLBLK has renewed Terror Lake Drive for a second season

AMC Studios, the production and distribution arm of AMC Networks in the US, has put three original dramas into development, including a comedic sci-fi series from one of the prodcos behind Breaking Bad.

Writers rooms have been set up for all three shows. The first is Demascus, which follows a 33-year-old black man on a mission of self-discovery who finds that the burgeoning field of digital psychiatry may be the key to defining his truest self.

The reality-bending, coming-of-age series has been created by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm (Boomerang), with Mark Johnson’s Gran Via Productions (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) executive producing the project.

The second drama in development is based on author Anne Rice’s gothic horror/fantasy novel series Lives of the Mayfair Witches, to which AMC acquired the rights last year.

If greenlit, it will be the second AMC show from Rice’s universe, with a series version of Interview with the Vampire set to premiere next year on both AMC and OTT platform AMC Plus.

The new project focuses on an intuitive young neurosurgeon who discovers she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches. As she grapples with her newfound powers, she must contend with a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations.

Esta Spaulding (Masters of Sex, On Becoming a God in Central Florida) and Michelle Ashford (Masters of Sex, The Pacific, John Adams) are both on board as writers and executive producers of the series. Spaulding, who has an overall deal with AMC Studios, will also showrun if the show gets the green light.

Gran Via Productions’ Johnson, who also has an overall agreement with AMC Studios, will helm the project and has been tasked with developing more of Rice’s works into series.

The third project in development is horror series Invitation to a Bonfire, based on Adrienne Celt’s novel of the same name and inspired by the relationship between literary couple Véra and Vladimir Nabokov.

The psychological thriller, set at an all-girls boarding school in New Jersey during the 1930s, follows a naïve Russian groundskeeper who becomes obsessed with the school’s newest faculty member, an enigmatic novelist, and is drawn into a lethal love triangle with him and his bewitching wife.

All three drama series are being developed as part of AMC’s scripts-to-series model, which opens writers rooms to develop prospective shows that will go straight to series if commissioned.

In related news, AMC Networks-owned streamer ALLBLK has renewed drama thriller Terror Lake Drive for a second season.

Written and created by Jerry LaMothe (Blackout) and Kajuana S Marie, the second season brings an unsuspecting new tenant to the mystifying lakeside apartment complex that terrorised a mother and her young son in season one.

The seven-episode second season will be directed by LaMothe, who also exec produces alongside Marie and Jumaane Ford under the director’s J LaMothe Entertainment.

Finally, AMC Networks-owned SVoD platform Shudder, which specialises in horror, thriller and supernatural content, will debut a new series documenting iconic horror movie characters in October.

Behind the Monsters is a six part series focusing on one character per episode, with Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Candyman, Chucky and Pinhead as the subjects. Each episode includes interviews with cast members and those involved in the films.

The docuseries is written and directed by Gabrielle Binkley and Anthony Uro and produced by genre specialist Stage 3 Productions. Shudder will premiere the show on Tuesday October 26, with episodes rolling out weekly.

The exec producers are Phil Nobile Jr, Stage 3’s Kelly Ryan and horror makeup artist Mark Shostrom.


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