In Depth

Collier Thrilled to See AMC's Talent Rewarded by TV Academy

AMC, not so long ago a humble cable channel running classic movies, racked up the most Emmy nominations of any ad-supported cable network with 20. The nominations came not only for the already widely acclaimed “Mad Men,” but for Bryan Cranston and “Breaking Bad” as well, making the network two for two with its most recent original scripted series.

“We wanted to create a place that was artist-friendly, that really would allow the best talent of not just television, but television and movies, to come and have a place where they do their best work and create their passion projects,” said a jubilant Charlie Collier, executive VP and general manager of AMC. “When you see ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad,’ after [award-winning and ratings record-setting miniseries] ‘Broken Trail,’ get recognized the way they are, it’s just incredibly validating of that strategy.”

“Mad Men” was nominated for drama, and both Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” and Mr. Cranston of “Breaking Bad” were nominated for lead actor in a drama.

Mr. Cranston had earned high marks for comedy as the dad on Fox's “Malcolm in the Middle,” Mr. Collier noted. “Now he’s being recognized for drama,” he said. “The guy is a salt-of-the-earth good guy and so deserving of the award.”

“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner was nominated twice for writing a drama series.

When “Mad Men” won Golden Globes for drama and lead actor in a drama, there was no ceremony because of the Writers Guild of America Strike.

“We threw a big party on the deck at the Chateau Marmont in L.A. and we watched the announcements together,” Mr. Collier said. “It was great to have everyone who touched the product there, as opposed to just 10 people in their monkey suits. It was really casual and wonderful and the press came to us, which was great.”

This time the shows—and the network—will get their big prime-time network awards exposure.

Following up on its award winners, AMC recently announced plans to produce a miniseries remake of “The Prisoner,” with a cast headed by Oscar nominee Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel.

“We’ve got the best of Hollywood coming to our network,” Mr. Collier said.