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(R) 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. Here's what "Questlove" and "Black Thought" had to say in their joint statement.
"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."
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. Here's what Eli Roth had to say in a statement.
"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."
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. Here's what Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios, had to say in a statement.
"AMC Visionaries is all about going deep into areas of fan passion. 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."
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.