Creator / AMC

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American Movie Classics, or AMC, is an American cable TV network that was established in 1984, originally as a movie channel. Most of the movies it showed in its first twenty years came from The Golden Age of Hollywood and the years immediately after, such as Marx Brothers comedies and film noirs. Starting in 1993, it began running the annual Film Preservation Festival, a multi-day marathon of rare, restored films that were previously lost, in order to raise money for film preservation. In 1997, AMC also started running Monsterfest, a weeklong marathon of horror movies that ran before Halloween; this was replaced in 2008 with Fearfest.

Starting in the late '90s, AMC began to undergo a famous case of Network Decay. In 1996, the network debuted its first scripted series, the dramedy Remember WENN, about people working at a 1930s-'40s radio station, and in 1999 it premiered the series The Lot. Around the same time, the network ended its long-standing policy of showing movies uninterrupted and began running commercials during movies. AMC also had a short-lived Panel Game, The Movie Masters, moderated by Gene Rayburn. The biggest change came in 2002, when AMC became a general movie channel, adding films from the last 30-40 years to its lineup and pushing pre-1970 films to late night, morning and late afternoon. It's been suggested that rival network Turner Classic Movies was responsible for this shift, as that network's establishment cut deeply into AMC's selection of classic films (the vast Turner, Warner Bros. and MGM libraries were now exclusive to that network), along with Fox taking their rights for the Fox Movie Channel, but the main reason for the shift was an effort to appeal to a younger demographic.

The final sign of AMC's decay and perhaps proof that Tropes Are Tools was the network's investment in original series late in the Oughts. In 2007, AMC debuted Mad Men, a critically acclaimed drama that entered the public consciousness and established the movie network as a purveyor of high-quality television shows. AMC would follow up with shows like Breaking Bad in 2008, The Walking Dead in 2010, and Hell on Wheels in 2011. AMC has also crafted several mini series: including the 2006 Western Broken Trail, and the 2009 remake of The Prisoner.

Today, AMC has become better known for their original programming, which many consider to be on par with premium networks like HBO or Showtime.

Not to be confused with automaker American Motor Company, movie theatre chain AMC Theatres, or All My Children, the long-running Soap Opera known by its AMC initials in Fan Speak.

List of AMC shows and mini series:


Tropes Associated with AMC as a whole

  • The Artifact: The only trace left of their past as a classic movie channel comes during the odd times they use episodes of The Three Stooges as filler. They would have about an hour of stooge shorts a day in The '90s.
  • Network Decay:
    • A case of Major Shifts That Fit, as the channel transitioned from an oldie time movie channel to a movie channel of larger variety. This did bring some good shows on the table, so perhaps Tropes Are Not Bad.
    • When Talking Dead became a success, it resulted in a new phase of reality shows. However, by 2014, AMC had all but ditched their entire unscripted slate. The only other show that survived was Comic Book Men, AMC wouldn't introduce any new unscripted shows until 2017.
    • Monsterfest originally featured more traditional monster movies (vampires, werewolves, the occasional Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever or Alien Invasion flick). As time went on, it shifted to slasher films and more recent movies, to the point where they renamed it Fearfest.
  • Sliding Scale of Continuity: Most of the various dramas fall into level 5 (Full Lockout).
  • Take That!: If the network airs an advertisement for one of their shows, it was followed by a short blurb highlighting the fact that AMC was not available on Dish Network during its parent company's five month dispute with Dish.
  • White Male Lead: The current original series on AMC feature a particular type of protagonist: The Strong White Man Who Dares To Be Badass. Some of AMC's promos are practically hanging a lampshade on this by drawing explicit comparisons between Don Draper, Walter White, Cullen Bohannon, and Rick Grimes. The Killing and Into the Badlands are currently the sole exceptions to the rule.

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