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As part of its ongoing commitment to providing a place for original stories and characters that defy expectations, AMC made a number of announcements on the day of its Upfront. The network that currently boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history with The Walking Dead as well as one of television's most award-winning series with Mad Men, unveiled its second live after show, Talking Bad, numerous new projects in development, a first-look pact with Scott Free Productions as well as an overall deal with writer Rolin Jones, Spring and Summer programming premiere dates and several series renewals.
"Six years ago at AMC, we set a goal to create premium television on basic cable and we began to develop and nurture shows that would set us apart," said Charlie Collier, President and General Manager, AMC. "As we lay out the year ahead for advertisers at our 2013 Upfront, it is an honor to have such a breadth of development and programming to share and to be in business with such a high caliber of talent in front of and behind the camera."
AMC announced today two new unscripted original series: Untitled Taxidermy Series (w/t) and Venice Beach Freakshow (w/t), both working titles. 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."
This season on the The Pitch, two advertising agencies duked it out each week to win the business of a high profile client. The season may be over, but the competition isn't finished just yet. One honor still remains: Who is The Pitch's top ad agency. You decide!
The Pitch Season Finale, "Autograph Collection, Marriott International: Jones Advertising and Bandujo" - Online Extras
In the Season Finale of The Pitch, two agencies -- Jones Advertising and Bandujo -- compete for client Marriott International's Autograph Collection. Want to learn more about the episode? Check out the info below:
Also worth your attention:
• The Pitch Behind The Pitch: photos of artwork that led to the show's final marketing imagery
• AMC Newsletter: The latest news on The Pitch
With AMC's The Pitch Season 2 now in the books, viewers have now seen 16 pitches (two for each episode). Each week a winner was picked but what if these campaigns had to compete against each other? Which winning campaign is your favorite of all? (Need a refresher course? Check out this gallery of artwork from the pitches this season.)
Q: What made you decide to be a part of The Pitch?
A: As a kid, growing up, I would have loved to have seen a show that showed you behind the scenes of how a company works. You're never taught that in school. So I think it was a great opportunity for kids to see inside an industry that is kind of mysterious. People don't really know what an advertising agency does.
Q: You previously worked in sales. Why did you switch to advertising?
A: I felt like a lot of advertising really didn't speak to the target very well. It didn't really resonate with consumers. It was really done more because it was creative, as opposed to trying to get someone to say, "Hey, that's a product that I want to buy" or "That's a service that I need." So I loved this idea of trying to figure out what makes a product appealing to somebody out there. I just found that idea of consumer psychology very fascinating.
Q: Your friends serve as a focus group for Autograph Collection. Did any of their insights inform the direction you took for the "Make Some" campaign?
Jones Advertising President / Creative Director Mark Jones (of The Pitch Season Finale), talks about starting his agency in his kitchen and how being on camera can feel a little like being drunk.
Q: How did Jones Advertising become involved with The Pitch?
A: We were cold-called actually. [Laughs] I don't know how they found us. We come up pretty high in Google because we have big clients, so maybe that's how... But they basically said, "Hey, you want to be in a reality show?" And we're a small enough shop that we said "Hey, why not!" I'm sure with the larger agencies there was a lot of legalese and concern, but we were pretty much thinking it sounds like fun. We usually try and do something every year that's creative just for creative sake, so we looked at this as one of those projects. It was a way to break out of doing day-to-day business.
Q: Did having the cameras around have any impact on the way your team works?
A: Yes. Initially, I was very cautious. Everyone was, I think. But eventually, I think it had what I called a narcotic affect. I think you start to open up in a way that you don't usually. It was like the way people can get after getting a few drinks in them and you can't shut them up. People start revealing all sorts of things. Actually, we had a couple of temps who were working with us that week and they were the ones who really got a little nutty... But it didn't really affect us getting things done. It just started to feel like, "Well, I guess this is what it would be like to work with us if we were all drunk."
Q: You shoot a commercial for your pitch: Was it weird to be filmed while filming?
In the Season Finale of The Pitch, Marriott International's Autograph Collection must choose between campaigns from Jones Advertising ("Stay Independent" and "The Red Pen") and Bandujo ("Make Some"). Did they make the right call? It's your turn to decide: Which campaign is best?
Viewers of The Pitch are invited to discuss the Season Finale with friends and fellow fans LIVE while the episode is airing on AMC this Sunday. Want to join the conversation? Click here to log onto the AMC Talk forum, then start chatting in the comments section. The East Coast Watch on TV / Chat Online event begins at 11/10c while the West Coast event begins at 11PM PT.
This week, The Hollywood Reporter says The Pitch should be nominated for an Emmy, and the show nabs a Critics' Choice Television Award nom. Read on for more:
• The Pitch is nominated for a Critics' Choice Television Award in the category of Best Reality Series - Competition.
• TV Time Machine interviews The Pitch's executive producer, Eli Holzman, about "virtually every aspect of this remarkable series."