At TCA today, AMC announced Visionaries, an umbrella brand and label for its documentary series about fan-favorite genres, including two that have been previously announced.
AMC said that this banner will be “a year-round documentary series” with installments led by “prolific artists” who will “unveil the untold stories and fascinating histories of pop culture genres from the masters themselves.”
So far, there are seven series on the way, including two that were previously announced. Each of those two will have six episodes, and will debut next year:
- Robert Kirkman‘s Secret History of Comics, which is The Walking Dead creator’s series about comic books. It was first announced in May 2016 with the working title of Heroes and Villains: The History of Comic Books.
- James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, which covers all kinds of science fiction. Cameron said during a TCA press conference that “part of my motivation for doing this series is to honor the literary roots of this genre.” AMC says includes “interviews with Paul W. Anderson, Roland Emmerich, Paul Verhoeven, Bryan Singer, Keanu Reeves and Jonathan Nolan, among others.”
Two other new series were announced today:
- Eli Roth’s History of Horror, which “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,” AMC said, adding that it’ll also look at “why such a loyal fan base continues to be addicted to fear.”Roth said at TCA that his series will be”for the casual horror fan but also go really, really deep.”
- Rap Yearbook, which is based on the book of the same name, and “debates, deconstructs and illuminates the most important moments and songs from the biggest years in the history of hip-hop,” according to AMC, which calls it “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.”Alex Gibney is producing, along with The Roots, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter.
Video games, martial arts, and more are on the way
Three other series that will air as part of Visionaries are in development. They are, according to AMC:
“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).