A popular cable television network, the American Movie Channel has risen in popularity over the years. Often referred to as just AMC, the channel launched in October of 1984.
History of the American Movie Channel
AMC initially aired classic movies in the afternoon similar to TMC. The channel was primarily commercial-free at that time and aimed to broadcast great films that time may have lost otherwise. It was also a premium channel (meaning that one had to specially order the channel from their cable provider in order to access it). The channel began to grow throughout the 1980's and became available as part of basic cable in 1987.
The channel's popularity had a role in the networks ability to branch out into other areas of interest. In 1993, the network began the Film Preservation Festival to create more awareness for film preservation. The marathon helped to solidify AMC's interest in preserving classic movies for new and growing audiences. The festival also allowed the network to restore films that had been previously lost. By 2003, the network's Film Preservation Festival (which had become an annual event) had raised more than two million dollars.
The network had, at its inception, often aired marathons of popular 1950's film makers. As the network grew into the 1990's and 2000's, the channel was able to have more marathons (such as Monsterfest, featuring scary movies) and Fear Fridays. The network also began original programming and more catered time slots. In 2002, the network expanded to show movies outside its original niche. Movies that were more recent were shown on the network and older films were pushed back to earlier in the day. The network cited as causes for this adaption a growing base of viewers and a changing idea of what constituted a classic American movie.
Over the years, the network has produced many original shows from Remember WENN (a show dedicated to the height of radio's success) and Breaking Bad (a drama about a teacher with an ill son). To date, Breaking Bad is still the most popular series the network has created.
Other series started by the network include:
- Broken Trail: An inspirational miniseries drama that followed a cowboy through a first-hand account of slavery.
- Hustle: A show that followed a group of cons specializing in different areas. Each episode of the show that is still in production as of June 2009 can be watched independent of the rest of the series.
- Mad Men: A show based around a 1960's executive
The American Movie Channel is primarily known for the movies that it broadcasts. However, one of the shows most popular series is the AMC Storymakers segments. The segments talk to some of the biggest names in film and television about their vision and process. The show aims to show an artist's talent while at the same time painting a story for the viewers. The story is one part the story of the star (such as the filmmaker) and another part the story of the filmmaker's stories. Viewers often state both an interest in the star and in the interactions the star has with other guests.
Previous guests on the show include Penelope Cruz, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Judd Apatow, and Nick Cassavetes.
American Cinematheque is a broadcast from AMC that awards an artist for the work they have done in motion pictures. Previous honorees have included Steven Spielberg, Samuel L Jackson, Al Pacino, Nicole Kidman, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsee, Sean Connery and Ron Howard. The organization behind the award seeks to honor those whom the motion picture industry would miss if they were without. The organization also tries to balance actors with filmmakers.
The network is affiliated with Rainbow, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE, IFC Entertainment and Voom. The channel also has a strong relationship with the Screen Actors Guild.