AMC is looking to expand into the comedy space. The network, known for critically acclaimed dramas like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and The Walking Dead, is currently developing a comedy about the birth of the fast food industry, entitled Fast Boys.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the half-hour series will actually be a period comedy, following the story of “the great American hamburger boom” that took place in the years after World War II in San Bernardino, Calif. Though the network is still in the process of completing the script, viewers can expect the show to have a dark and edgy tone. As THR describes, the developing show will have “shades of There Will Be Blood and early Tim Burton-esque Americana.”
Fast Boys hails from the mind of newcomer Anthony Pucillo. In addition to creating the show, Pucillo will also produce the entry, alongside his management company Black Box.
The move comes after AMC recently reiterated its interest in experimenting with other genres beyond drama. Though the network has been looking to add more comedy to its slate for quite some time, it has had trouble finding the right project to fit the bill. The upcoming Breaking Bad prequel, Better Call Saul, was reportedly envisioned as a half-hour comedy at some point during development, but the format was abandoned early in the process. Late last year, AMC also decided not to move forward with the pilot for another satirical period comedy, We Hate Paul Revere, which was set to star Ron Livingston.
The exploration of the beginnings of fast food chains looks like it’ll be a popular story to tell in Hollywood in the near future. The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks director John Lee Hancock is currently developing a similar project to Fast Boys for the big screen entitled The Founder. The movie will also chronicle the dark and true story of the rise of the McDonald’s empire. It will reportedly center on Ray Kroc, a salesman who sweet-talks two brothers from San Bernardino, Mac and Dick McDonald, into franchising their successful hamburger stand. Weirdly enough, the biopic is also described as employing a similar tone to that of There Will Be Blood. Michael Keaton is reportedly already in talks to take on the role of Kroc as one of his early post-Birdman projects.
For AMC, Fast Boys would mark its second period series to examine the beginnings of a rising industry. The network also has the drama, Halt and Catch Fire, which is set in the Silicon Prairie of Texas in 1983 and depicts a fictionalized insider’s view of the personal computer revolution. The show was renewed for a second season this past summer.
Per THR, Fast Boys is likely to be one of the new entries in contention for a pilot pickup at the network later this spring. Whether it will make it to air and mark one of AMC’s first big moves into original scripted comedies remains to be seen.
In the meantime, the network is also working on pilots for its Walking Dead companion series and the Afghanistan drama White City. An adaptation of the comic Preacher is also in development, but has not yet been ordered to pilot. As for new upcoming shows, the network has Better Call Saul premiering early this month and martial arts drama Badlands (which was given a straight-to-series order last year), expected to air in late 2015 or early 2016.