SundanceTV, March 9, 2015

MICHAEL KENNETH WILLIAMS CAST AS A LEAD IN SUNDANCETV’S HIGHLY ANTICIPATED NEW SERIES “HAP AND LEONARD”

New York, NY – March 9, 2015 – SundanceTV announced today the casting of Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire, “Inherent Vice,” “12 Years a Slave,” Boardwalk Empire) as a lead character, Leonard Pines, in its newest original scripted series “Hap and Leonard.”

“Hap and Leonard” follows the story of Hap Collins and Leonard Pine.  Pine, played by Williams, is a black, openly gay Vietnam vet with anger issues.  Having been raised by an uncle who shunned him after learning he was homosexual, Leonard was left with Hap as his only source of support in the not so progressive, rural South of the 1980s. Hap Collins is a white, working class laborer who spent time in federal prison as a young man for refusing to be drafted into the military and serve in the Vietnam War. Now in his late thirties, he is just barely making ends meet picking roses on an East Texas plantation.  His confidante and lifelong best friend is Pine.  By turns funny and shocking, “Hap and Leonard” provides an unpredictable and side-eyed look into race, class and friendship.

As was previously announced, the series has been picked up for six one-hour episodes. Produced by Sundance Studios, “Hap and Leonard” is created by director/writer Jim Mickle and writer Nick Damici, who partnered on the film adaptation of Joe Lansdale’s “Cold in July” with Michael C. Hall and Sam Shepard.  They have adapted Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard novels, novellas and short stories of the same name for this project. Mickle will also direct.  The project is executive produced by Nick Shumaker and Jeremy Platt, along with co-executive producers Joe Lansdale and Lowell Northrop and consulting producer Linda Moran.

“Hap and Leonard” is SundanceTV’s third wholly owned original scripted series; it follows in the footsteps of auteur-driven series “Rectify” and “The Red Road.” The series will air in early 2016.

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About SundanceTV

SundanceTV is making and celebrating television as distinctive as the best independent films. Working with today’s most remarkable talent, SundanceTV is attracting viewer and critical acclaim for its original scripted and unscripted series. Launched in 1996 and owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., SundanceTV delivers on the spirit of founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity.  www.sundance.tv

About AMC Networks Inc. 

Dedicated to producing quality programming and movie content for more than 30 years, AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) owns and operates several of the most popular and award-winning brands in cable television. AMC, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films produce and deliver distinctive, compelling and culturally relevant content that engages audiences across multiple platforms. The company also operates BBC America through a joint venture with BBC Worldwide, and represents BBC World News’ distribution and advertising sales.  In addition, the company operates AMC Networks International, its global division. More information is available at www.amcnetworks.com

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