TWO NEW INSTALLMENTS TO AIR IN 2018: ACCLAIMED FILMMAKER ELI ROTH TO FOCUS ON HISTORY OF HORROR, AND FOUNDING MEMBERS OF RENOWNED HIP-HOP GROUP THE ROOTS TEAM WITH ACADEMY® AWARD-WINNING FILMMAKER ALEX GIBNEY ON AN INSIDER’S HISTORY OF HIP-HOP
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED SERIES NOW FALLING UNDER THE “AMC VISIONARIES” BANNER INCLUDE “ROBERT KIRKMAN’S SECRET HISTORY OF COMICS” AND “JAMES CAMERON’S STORY OF SCIENCE FICTION”
Beverly Hills, CA – July 29, 2017 – AMC announced today from the Television Critics Association (TCA) Press Tour that it will be producing a year-round documentary series “AMC Visionaries,” partnering with prolific artists to unveil the untold stories and fascinating histories of pop culture genres from the masters themselves. Two new installments under the “AMC Visionaries” umbrella are “AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror” (working title) to be executive produced by award-winning horror film director, writer, producer and actor, Eli Roth (“Cabin Fever,” “Hostel”) and “AMC Visionaries: Rap Yearbook” (working title) to be executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, founding members of the Grammy® Award-winning hip-hop band, The Roots, and Academy® and Emmy® Award-winning executive producer Alex Gibney. “AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror” will be produced through Asylum Entertainment and Marwar Junction Productions. “AMC Visionaries: Rap Yearbook” will be produced by Jigsaw Productions, in association with Passyunk Productions and Philly Films. Both six-part series are slated to premiere on AMC in 2018.
Previously announced series now falling under the “AMC Visionaries” banner include “AMC Visionaries: Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics,” featuring interviews with Stan Lee, Patty Jenkins, Lynda Carter, Kevin Smith, Famke Janssen, J.K. Simmons, Michelle Rodriguez and Todd McFarlane, among others, and “AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction,” featuring interviews with Paul W. Anderson, Roland Emmerich, Paul Verhoeven, Bryan Singer, Keanu Reeves and Jonathan Nolan, among others.
“AMC Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror” brings together the masters of horror – the storytellers and stars who define the genre – to explore its biggest themes and reveal the inspirations and struggles behind its past and present. Each one-hour episode will take viewers on a chilling exploration of how horror has evolved through the eras and impacted society as well as why such a loyal fan base continues to be addicted to fear.
“AMC Visionaries: Rap Yearbook,” based on Shea Serrano’s New York Times best-selling book The Rap Yearbook, debates, deconstructs and illuminates the most important moments and songs from the biggest years in the history of hip-hop. Each episode is centered on the story of one key song and features a special guest MC as well as a select group of core contributors including legendary rap artists, acclaimed music experts and other fresh voices. The series gives viewers a deeper understanding of what hip-hop is all about by diving into the music and its history. It’s a multi-layered exploration of what was going on in the streets, on the airwaves, and in the lives of the people who created the songs that made hip-hop one of the most important music genres in the world.
“‘AMC Visionaries’ is all about going deep into areas of fan passion,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “In addition to Robert Kirkman on comics or James Cameron on sci-fi, that AMC is going to be the home of Eli Roth’s deep dive into horror makes perfect sense given our decades-long commitment to the genre. He’ll shed light on the stories and storytellers that keep us up at night, while hip-hop royalty Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter will bring fans a unique look at the stories behind hip-hop’s global influence. We’re all in and excited for these leaders to share their vision.”
“I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible series. For years, I’ve wanted to create a definitive ‘History of Horror,’ a living record of the genre with interviews from all the greats, old and new,” said Roth. “Sadly, we lose more of these masters every year and with them go their stories and experiences. This show will serve as a record for future generations – fans and filmmakers alike – to enjoy. I could not be prouder to create this with AMC.”
“We are really excited to create this thought-provoking series with AMC and Jigsaw Productions. We are just beginning to enter the film and television content creation space in a big way and to have ‘Rap Yearbook’ as one of our first projects greenlit to series, and AMC and Jigsaw as our partners, it’s an amazing way to launch our production company. This will be a great journey,” said “Questlove” and “Black Thought.”
“AMC: Visionaries: Eli Roth’s History of Horror” is produced by Asylum Entertainment (ESPN’s “30 For 30,” Nat Geo’s “Breakthrough”) and Marwar Junction Productions (A&E’s “Autobiography,” Lifetime’s “I Am Elizabeth Smart”). Executive producers are Eli Roth, Steven Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Joseph Freed and Allison Berkley. “AMC: Visionaries: Rap Yearbook” is executive produced by Jigsaw Productions in association with Passyunk Productions and Philly Films. Executive producers are Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (Passyunk Productions), Alex Gibney and Stacey Offman (Jigsaw Productions) and Shawn Gee (Philly Films).
In addition, the following “AMC Visionaries” projects are currently in development:
“AMC Visionaries: History of Video Games”
Atari, Mario Brothers, Call of Duty. These are some of the most iconic video games of the past 40 years, but few know how they came about. “AMC Visionaries: History of Video Games” leaps into the passion we have for gaming by revealing the little-known stories of the men and women who created these billion-dollar video game blockbusters. Each episode focuses on one iconic game or video game designer, revealing how the video game industry was forged by a motley crew of geeks, artists, corporate raiders and risk-takers.
Production Company: Lightbox Entertainment (Jonathan Chinn & Simon Chinn)
Credits: Documentary Films: “Man on Wire;” “Searching for Sugar Man;” “Atari: Game Over” (Showtime). TV: “LA 92” (Nat Geo); “30 Days” (FX); “Push Girls” (SundanceTV).
“AMC Visionaries: Outlaws of The Internet”
“AMC Visionaries: “Outlaws of The Internet” dives into the rich stories of the fascinating characters whose early cyber-efforts paved the way for others and changed the world forever. The series is composed of six episodes that trace the compelling tale of an entrepreneurial maverick who — for better or worse — transformed society using the Internet. Some did it for the chance to get rich. Some had an agenda to push. But in their own way, each disrupted society at a fundamental level by harnessing the unprecedented power and reach of the Internet.
Production Company: Maverick TV (Adam Greener, Emily Mayer).
Credits: (owned by All3 Media America) – “The Seven Five” (Doc Feature); “Declassified” (Doc Feature); “Undercover Boss” (CBS); “Is OJ Innocent?” (ID); “Chrisley Knows Best” (USA); “The Truth About Sugar” (BBC); “Kurt Sutter’s Outlaw Empires” (Discovery); “Secret Lives of Americans” (Pivot); “Betrayed” (ID).
“AMC Visionaries: History of Martial Arts”
Each week, “AMC Visionaries: History of Martial Arts” will tell the tale of a real-life martial arts legend who changed the genre, and the course of pop culture, forever. The purists say practicing martial arts boosts confidence, sharpens minds, releases energy, teaches self-defense, and serves as a great social activity—but for most of us, the genre is about achieving the impossible in the most visually stunning way imaginable. From Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s relationship to martial arts’ influence on the creation of the Wu Tang Clan, this AMC Visionaries series will weave epic stories of defying conventions and overcoming insurmountable odds.
Production Company: Asylum Entertainment (Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Matt Shanfield, Ben Bitonti)
Credits: “Origins: The Journey of Humankind” (Nat Geo); “Breakthrough” (Nat Geo); “The Kennedy Files” (Reelz); “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” (Lifetime); “30 for 30: Tonya & Nancy” (ESPN).
“AMC Visionaries” is part of the network’s slate of nonfiction programming that includes “Talking Dead,” the #1 talk show on television, “Talking with Chris Hardwick,” the travel docu-series “Ride with Norman Reedus” and “Comic Book Men” with executive producer Kevin Smith.
AMC is home to some of the most popular and acclaimed programs on television. AMC was the first basic cable network to ever win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series with “Mad Men” in 2008, which then went on to win the coveted award four years in a row, before “Breaking Bad” won it in 2013 and 2014. The network’s series “The Walking Dead” is the highest-rated series in cable history and the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the last five years. AMC’s other current original drama series include “Better Call Saul,” “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Humans,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Into the Badlands,” “The Night Manager,” “Preacher,” “The Son” and the forthcoming “The Terror,” “Lodge 49,” “Loaded” and “McMafia.” AMC also explores authentic worlds and discussion with original shows like “Talking Dead,” “Talking With Chris Hardwick,” “The Making of The Mob,” “Comic Book Men,” “Ride with Norman Reedus” and “The American West.” AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, SundanceTV, BBC America and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile.
About Asylum Entertainment
Asylum Entertainment produces a diverse slate of television–films, events, documentaries and unscripted series totaling thousands of hours of programming. Our content has been honored with many awards, multiple Emmys included, for excellence in filmmaking.
Recent productions include the miniseries After Camelot, the sequel to limited series The Kennedys, which won four of the ten Emmy Awards for which it was nominated. The company received further acclaim for Manson’s Lost Girls, a television film about the young women who did Charles Manson’s evil bidding; for the feature documentary Happy Valley, about the Penn State sex scandal; and for the coming-of-age independent feature film Small Time. The television film Ring of Fire garnered four Emmy nods, and the miniseries The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe earned multiple Emmy and Guild nominations.
Asylum has limited series in the works about the heiress Patty Hearst for CBS and Ronald Reagan for USA. Films about the captivity of Elizabeth Smart, and about the notorious drug smuggler Griselda Blanco, played by Catherine Zeta Jones, are currently in production.
Asylum’s factual series include ESPN’s Emmy-winning series 30 For 30 and the acclaimed NatGeo anthologies Breakthrough and Origins.
Asylum is a division of the prolific feature film studio Legendary Entertainment (Jurassic World, Straight Outta Compton).
About Marwar Junction Productions
Joseph Freed and Allison Berkley are the founders of Marwar Junction Productions and the Executive Producers of A&E’s upcoming documentary anthology series Autobiography, launching in 2017. They are also the Executive Producers of Lifetime’s upcoming scripted movie, I Am Elizabeth Smart, premiering Fall 2017. In July 2017, they launched the weekly pop-culture gossip series Bossip on WEtv. Freed is Executive Producer of TLC’s Little People Big World.
About Jigsaw Productions
Jigsaw Productions is helmed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, considered one of the most prolific and thought-provoking documentary filmmakers of our generation. Jigsaw has produced many acclaimed films, including the triple Emmy®-winning Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, one of the most watched documentaries in HBO’s history and the Oscar®-winning Taxi to the Dark Side. Gibney’s collection of music documentaries include the Grammy® and Peabody® Award-winning Mr. Dynamite: The Rise and Fall of James Brown, Emmy®-nominated Sinatra: All or Nothing at All, Finding Fela, and Emmy®-winning The Eagles. Gibney’s latest film, Zero Days, is a Peabody® Award-winning cyber-thriller chronicling the Stuxnet cyber-attack. Jigsaw’s 2012 partnership with Content Media has seen the company expand from award-winning features to long- form series on such platforms as CNN (Death Row Stories), Amazon (The New Yorker Presents), Netflix (Cooked), A&E (The Killing Season), Nat Geo (Parched), and VICELAND (The Last Shot) with a number of scripted and non-fiction series in development.