Based on the reaction that we’ve had to the “Hell on Wheels” articles that we penned over the weekend, one thing remains fairly clear: A good many folks out there are hoping for a renewal and we’re one of them. While we didn’t particularly love every aspect of the finale (mostly Elam getting randomly attacked by a bear), the Cullen story was both excellent and a surprising turn that has us on edge for what comes next.
But we’re not here to bark the same opinions at you that we said in the review on Saturday night. Instead, we’re here to chat a little bit more as to why the show should come back from a pure numbers perspective. That is what AMC really cares about, which is precisely why “Low Winter Sun” will soon be slipping into a void where it will never be heard from again.
We have already said that given the move to Saturday night, where there is virtually no lead-in and almost everyone is out doing other things, this show barely losing any overall viewership is stunning. It was a deliberate move by AMC with two simple thoughts in mind:
1. The show won’t be up against a billion other things on Sunday, which benefits the show greatly.
2. They can pair it with some Western movies, and try to theme an entire night around it.
As Kate Arthur of Buzzfeed notes, the live+3 data almost equals out so that “Hell on Wheels” is just at the same level of viewership as last season. While the 18-49 ratings may not be stellar, the show is solid in 25-54, which is a demo that the network has looked at before for “Mad Men.” Westerns aren’t exactly the youngest-skewing shows out there, however there’s also not a lot of young people home on a Saturday night.
In the end, especially with the way in which the show ended season 3, it’s pretty clear that AMC would be out of their minds to not bring back one of their few original properties not named “Mad Men” or “The Walking Dead” with a clear, established audience on a night most shows go to die. We’ll close here with a quote from star Anson Mount (via WhoSay), mostly because we like it when actors stand up for themselves and the series:
“Oh, my goodness. So many assumptions. So many criticisms about shoes that may or may have not dropped. Most of the critics it seems have done nothing but try to guess our notices as employees of a network. What if we’re just telling a story. And what if… SHOCKER… we haven’t finished?”
We know that the cast and the producers feel this way; let’s just hope that the network feels it’s mutual.