It's not that AMC hasn't enjoyed success lately with their originals. Last year's Broken Trail mini starring Robert Duvall was cable's second most-watched movie since 1995 and the network's ratings leader with a 7.7 household mark and total viewership of 9.7 million.
The fourth season of Hustle, a BBC co-production featuring the iconic Robert Vaughn, got underway last April.
In spite of the impressive successes, the network so far lacks a breakout original series (a la Nip/Tuck) that anchors its identity in the minds of viewers and critics. (According to Multichannel's Mike Reynolds, the network is in the midst of a rebranding initiative.)
The sizzle of AMC's initiative will be evident on Thursday, July 19 at 10p when AMC's new original series, Mad Men, is set to launch. This is a show that could catapult the network into the buzzsphere.