In an effort to keep the press going for “Hell on Wheels” in what we hope is a subtle prod at AMC to renew the show, we’re back with another piece talking about a key subject related to the show: Its airtime. Back when we first heard the news that the series was going to be taking a trip over to Saturday nights, we admit that there was one thought that entered our head right away: This show’s not going to have a chance at survival. This is a night where programs go to die, and it’s thanks to everything from people being out with their friends to audiences in America being conditioned to believe that nothing new is on that night. (We say America specifically because in Britain, Saturdays are actually a popular TV night.)
But, “Hell on Wheels” fans proved this year that they are no ordinary fans. Not only did the show not die this year on the Saturday night spot, but it pretty much kept all of its audience. This is one of many reasons why it should come back, and you can read more about that here.
What we want to ask in this article is this: If the right decision is made, should Saturdays continue to be the night for the show to shine? We think so, if for no other reason than that viewers already know to find it there, and that word could spread a little more now that some folks are used to it. Plus, there is not that burden of expectations or competition on the series by airing on this day. The audience who loves this show finds a way to check it out, whether it by doing so live here or recording it on a DVR. Sure, they could move it back to Sundays, and while there is an opportunity there for larger numbers, there’s also a very high chance that it will be buried by the billion other shows on that night, and viewers already have their DVR schedules fixated on those shows.
Could you consider another night here? Sure, but we wouldn’t do it. AMC doesn’t program any scripted programming outside of weekends right now, and there’s no real sense in going from Saturday to Friday, another night with a small viewership. Keep the show where it is, and also keep the Western theme around it. With the cliffhanger the way it is, not continuing the story at this point would be beyond frustrating for fans. Plus, AMC clearly has money to keep it going… they can roll it around in barrels Walter White-style thanks to “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.”
In case you missed it, check out our article here about why “Hell on Wheels” and four other shows should be renewed. (One of them in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” already has.)