AMC Renews 'The Pitch;' Greenlights New Unscripted Taxidermy Series and 'Venice Beach Freakshow'

Categories: 2-Featured,Network TV Press Releases

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August 16th, 2012

via press release:




New York, NY - August 16, 2012 - AMC announced today two new unscripted original series: "Untitled Taxidermy Series" and "Venice Beach Freakshow," both working titles (w/t). "Untitled Taxidermy Series w/t," is executive produced by Go Go Luckey Entertainment ("Paranormal State," "Laguna Beach"), with the producing team of Gary Auerbach, Julie Auerbach, Tina Gazzerro, and Henry Capanna. The series is a hosted competition featuring different contestants each week who create an ultimate piece of artwork showcasing the craft of taxidermy. "Venice Beach Freakshow w/t" is a family drama that centers on former music producer Todd Ray as he pursues his dream to own and operate his own 'Freakshow' on the famed boardwalk in Venice Beach, CA. The series is executive produced by Todd Ray from Living Wonders and Greg Johnston from Endemol USA ("Big Brother," "Fear Factor," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"). AMC also announced today the renewal of "The Pitch," its unscripted series that chronicles advertising agencies as they prepare campaigns to try and win a major new account.

"Behind the marquee of the 'Venice Beach Freakshow (w/t)' is an extended family drama that shows what it takes to give up everything and pull together to make a family business a success," said Joel Stillerman, AMC's EVP of original programming, production and digital content. "Untitled Taxidermy Series (w/t)' features the art-form of taxidermy, which can be as outrageous and shocking as it is beautiful."

Stillerman adds, "Season one of 'The Pitch' captured the intensity of the advertising world and provided the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the compelling and dramatic pitch process. We are so pleased to work again with Studio Lambert on the show's return."

"Untitled Taxidermy Series (w/t)" consists of eight, half-hour episodes. It's a hosted competition series between a new contestant and one of the series' immortalizers that face three judges each week. The series features taxidermists pulled from both the rogue and classic schools of taxidermy to create a distinct piece of art that is judged on overall presentation, creativity and technique. The series follows the creative process while capturing the drama of the competition as the contestants present their skill, craft and work. The series is slated to premiere in first quarter of 2013.

"Venice Beach Freakshow (w/t)" is also eight, half-hour episodes. The series follows Todd Ray, his wife Danielle and their two kids, Asia and Phoenix, as they own and operate the world famous Venice Beach Freakshow, a museum that exhibits strange creatures, living oddities and human attractions personally procured by Todd. This business is Todd's personal passion and he has bet it all on making it work. It takes a huge imagination and tremendous perseverance to keep the business afloat, but through it all Todd's enormous respect for all humanity and his big heart make this something wildly different from just another workplace drama. The series is slated to premiere in first quarter of 2013.

"The Pitch" first premiered on AMC in April 2012 and earned a Critic's Choice Award nomination for best reality series-competition. "The Pitch" is executive produced by Eli Holzman, Stephen Lambert, Phil Lott, Brien Meagher and Aaron Saidman from Studio Lambert ("Undercover Boss," "Project Runway"). Season two consists of eight, one-hour episodes. The series is slated to premiere in the second quarter of 2013.

MediaPost called 'The Pitch' the smartest and most entertaining new reality series of the year." Entertainment Weekly said "It's actually a thrill to watch these guys come up with a great tagline." said, "It's hard not to be enthralled by the competitive challenges faced by each week's two agencies" and Star Magazine gave it 3 out of 4 stars adding, "It offers an intriguing look inside the creative process as well as examples of how people's personalities can work for and against them in a pressurized office setting. This fly-on-the-wall approach is intriguing right from the first episode..."

AMC's Stillerman, Mary Conlon, VP of non-scripted original programming, Jason Fisher, SVP of production, and Ari Mark, director of development, oversee the development and production for the network's unscripted series.

About AMC

AMC reigns as the only cable network in history to ever win the Emmy(R) Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row. 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 further demonstrates its commitment to the art of storytelling with its slate of unscripted original series, as well as curated movie franchises like AMC's Can't Get Enough and AMC's Crazy About. AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Story Matters HereSM.

  • John

    None of AMC’s new shows sound good to me, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad are AMC’s only good shows right now. Wish they kept The Killing to see how a new case would do in ratings at least before adding a crap load of unwanted reality shows.

  • silvit

    Oh Christ, more reality shows…

  • Chris

    The Pitch performed so poorly that its ratings were off (or below?) the charts. Can’t believe AMC axed the Killing in favor of crap reality shows.

    If they changed up the cast, came up with a good story to tell, and marketed a 3rd season well… the Killing definitely had a bright future.

    AMC is known for its critically-acclaimed dramas! Why would they want to ruin their reputation with cheap crap shows like Small Town Security?

  • Jared

    What’s The Pitch?..and when did it even air on AMC??..never heard of it.

  • FatSacOfDoomBeanFlicker

    “The series features taxidermists pulled from both the rogue and classic schools of taxidermy to create a distinct piece of art that is judged on overall presentation, creativity and technique.”

    Art? Is this a joke? There’s no “art” in jamming a corpse full of glue & stuffing, and nailing it to a stick. FFS AMC!

  • Name

    AMC is such a failure of a network. How they stumbled into their few good shows I’ll never understand. I wish more people would support FX.

  • John Doe

    amc is really sinking itself, is “story matters here” or have they scrapped that tagline? i get they may be a bit strapped for cash with mad men costing so much and the whole breaking bad/walking dead-frank darabont kerfluffle (yes, kerfluffe) but they can at least make good reality shows. see: pbs, roadtrip nation, lisa ling’s our america.
    yeah, the killing was great and i wished for a new season, but with the low #’s and storyline wrapping up i was expecting it to get canned.
    also, yes, fx all the way. ahs was disappointing (so stupid, it was good for 2 episodes then ryan murphy, well, ryan murphy’d it) but i can’t wait for the americans.

  • John Doe

    just saw the picture for this story, yep, apparently they’re still sticking with “story matters here”

  • Yep

    Welp, when Mad Men and Breaking Bad go off into the sunset, the only thing they’ll have left is The Walking Dead. Strong enough to pull in the numbers all by itself, TWD should just go to HBO already and abandon the half-wits running AMC. There’s no hope they’ll ever get shows like MM and BB ever again.

  • thomas

    what show will have TWD Lead in this year?

  • E.S.

    “Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings” gets canned on sister network IFC, where ratings expectations are lower, yet “The Pitch” underperforms on AMC, yet gets renewed. Hmmm….

  • E.S.

    Between the dispute with Dish that may never end, and the renewal of anemically-low-rated shows like “The Pitch,” maybe it’s a good time for investors to short AMCX shares.

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