According to SNL Kagan, the network's programming budget has climbed from $123.3 million in 2006, the year before it got into original series, to an estimated $174.5 million this year.
Charlie Collier, the president and general manager of [AMC], said that it had a long history of using its library of genre movies to help spin off original programming: a month of western movies preceded the debut of the network’s 2006 original movie “Broken Trail,” and a lineup of antihero films like “Goodfellas” helped buttress the earliest episodes of “Mad Men.” Similarly, AMC’s annual horror-movie marathon, “Fearfest,” lead into the premiere of “The Walking Dead.”
AMC reigns as the only cable network in history to ever win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row, as well as the Golden Globe® Award for Best Television Series - Drama for three consecutive years.
Available in more than 97 million homes, AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv.
The Walking Dead's creator, Robert Kirkman, is teaming with AMC for an adaptation of another one of his comic book projects. This time they're developing Thief of Thieves, based on the crime caper series created by Kirkman, which recently began its run at Image Comics.
"What we found is that the category of 'classic movies' has expanded," Ellen Kroner, an AMC vice president, said yesterday. "Our audience wants newer, bigger movies in addition to the older classics. To be able to license those titles, we needed to generate additional revenue."
The industrial and programming history of AMC can be broken up into four distinct phases: the network’s initial branding, the rivalry with Turner Classic Movies, the shift to advertiser-supported programming, and the return to original scripted series.
In 1994 Turner launched Turner Classic Movies (TCM), a twenty-four-hour, commercial free network in the vein of AMC. As Wolynetz notes, “That’s when the competition sort of started. All the subsequent changes . . . began to take root” (Vlad Wolynetz, personal communication). TCM’s entrance threatened AMC’s monopoly on uninterrupted classic movies, and it therefore threatened its brand. Unable to compete with TCM’s library and financial heft, AMC was forced to experiment with the flexibility of its brand on two fronts: movies and original series.
It was a bit of a risk [in 1993] when American Movie Classics decided to launch an annual movie festival to raise funds for film preservation.... [But since, director Martin] Scorsese says he's noticed a change in the public's awareness of the need of preservation since the festivals began. "There is not only a greater awareness, but there's more of an expectation now to see restored films, whether they are restored with missing sequences placed back or cleaned up with new negatives and new sound tracks created, so you can get the best possible image.
Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade or creating acclaimed original programming, the AMC experience is an uncompromising celebration of great stories. AMC's original stories include Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Killing and Hell on Wheels.
AMC debuted with a clearly defined identity; it was thoroughly branded by its own name—American Movie Classics. While premium cable channels pinned their success on new films, and basic cable channels showed older, cheap films, AMC created a space on television for an entirely new designation of cinema: the classic film.