AMC announced today that it has given the green light to National Anthem, an eight-episode anthology series created by writer/director Scott Z. Burns (The Report, Contagion) and executive produced by Oscar and Emmy Award-winner Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Rectify, Rain Man, The Natural, Bugsy).
The musical dramedy is the first series greenlit under Johnson’s multi-year overall deal with AMC Studios, through which he will continue to develop new series for the company’s Entertainment Group as well as projects for potential sale to other content companies.
National Anthem is the tragically funny story of a middle class midwestern family tumbling down the ladder of American society; periodically bursting into song as they struggle to catch themselves. Award-winning musician T Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart, The Hunger Games) is attached as the series’ music producer with words and music by Craig Finn (The Hold Steady).
Johnson’s overall deal expands his existing relationship with AMC Networks and AMC Studios. He currently serves as an executive producer on AMC’s critically-acclaimed drama Better Call Saul, and previously executive produced the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning drama Breaking Bad, SundanceTV’s Peabody-winning Rectify, and the critically-acclaimed AMC original Halt and Catch Fire.
“National Anthem is a family drama with deep resonant things to say about the fragility of our country, our world and our planet. Plus… it’s a musical! In Scott’s genius hands this results in a hugely original, intense, funny and moving piece of writing,” said Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks’ Entertainment Group and AMC Studios.
“We’re so happy to work with Scott as he brings this unique story to life and absolutely delighted to continue our creative partnership with Mark, who we have been so lucky to work with on some of the most critically acclaimed series over the last decade.”
“Craig, T Bone and I are thrilled to be working with Mark and AMC. We are so grateful for the chance to write about this moment in time and surround our characters with songs,” said Burns. “Sarah and Susie and everyone at AMC should be celebrated for their vision in saying ‘yes’ to this.”
“I still can’t believe that AMC and I have been able to assemble this dream team of storytellers,” said Johnson. “We are poised to create something both singular and entertaining, told with moments, dialogue and song.”