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AMC’s western Hell on Wheels had a little trouble getting back on its feet after losing its co-creators and showrunner John Shiban at the end of Season 2. The network still liked the program enough to find people to fill the gaps and bring the series back for Season 3, however. The series is set to return this summer, and it will do so on Saturdays beginning on August 3.
While a Saturday timeslot may be a death sentence for a program on network television, that tenet doesn’t necessarily hold true for cable. BBC American has found quite the successful niche with its Supernatural Saturday programming and, at AMC, moving Hell on Wheels to Saturdays will actually open up a third night of programming for the network. According to THR, AMC will also continue to run classic westerns on Saturdays in order to lead-in to its original program. In fact, AMC President Charlie Collier calls the show’s move a “dream.”
“This is a programmer’s dream – to have a genre specific, 14-hour lead-in to one of your highest rated originals. We are so excited about this opportunity to entertain AMC’s audience in a new way.”
Season 2 of Hell on Wheels did fairly well on the network, averaging over 2 million viewers an episode during its second season run on Sunday nights. Granted, a move to Saturdays may mean losing a little bit of that audience, but if Hell on Wheels can still do decently in a Saturday night slot during the summer, it will be a feat for the program and a big boon for a cable station that will be offering plenty of TV fodder this summer, including Low Winter Sun, The Killing, and the final episodes of Breaking Bad.
Season 3 of Hell on Wheels will premiere Saturday, August 3 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.