AMC Studios’ Valerie Cabrera Talks Bold & Inventive Stories

Valerie Cabrera, senior VP of worldwide content distribution at AMC Studios, talks to TV Drama about current and new series back in production.

AMC Studios came out of the gate strong with its first series, The Walking Dead, and has continued to produce critically acclaimed, award-winning and culturally distinct originals. It has also managed to tie up with top-flight creative talents, inking overall deals with Jim Barnes (The Walking Dead, Timeless), Peter Ocko (Lodge 49, Pushing Daisies) and J. David Shanks (61st Street), among others. AMC Studios has been strengthening its collaborations in the international market as well, partnering with Movistar+ for a new original series from Academy Award winner Alejandro Amenábar (The Others, The Sea Inside), La Fortuna.

Indeed, AMC Studios has been busy despite the challenges of the last year. “Our current and new series are back in production, and we’re thrilled to premiere several new series this year,” says Valerie Cabrera, senior VP of worldwide content distribution.

Premiering this summer on AMC is the hour-long dark comedy Kevin Can F**k Himself, starring Emmy Award winner Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek). “The series looks to break television convention and ask what the world looks like through the eyes of the American sitcom wife,” says Cabrera. “Alternating between single-camera realism and multi-camera comedy, the formats will inform one another as we imagine what happens when the sitcom wife escapes her confines and takes the lead in her own life.”

The stop-motion animated baby doll dramedy Ultra City Smiths, from creator Steve Conrad (Patriot, Perpetual Grace, LTD), is also premiering this year on AMC. On Shudder, the latest installment of the Slasher horror anthology, Slasher: Flesh & Blood, will make its debut, with AMC Studios handling international sales. The eight-episode season stars iconoclastic filmmaker David Cronenberg.

“Beyond looking forward to seeing and catching up with our partners in person again, our focus continues to be bringing entertaining and compelling content to our partners around the world,” Cabrera says of the plans for the year ahead. “We have several exciting drama series currently in production that are slated to premiere in 2022.”

She describes 61st Street as a “provocative” drama series from BAFTA winner Peter Moffat (Criminal Justice, The Night Of, Your Honor) and Michael B. Jordan and Alana Mayo of Outlier Society. It follows Moses Johnson, a promising, Black high school athlete who is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system. The series stars Emmy Award winner Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Law & Order) and Tosin Cole (Doctor Who, Star Wars: The Force Awakens).

A foray into a new genre, the animated prime-time drama Pantheon is based on a series of short stories by Ken Liu. The voice cast includes Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-O, Always Be My Maybe), Katie Chang (The Bling Ring), Paul Dano (Escape at Dannemora, Little Miss Sunshine), Rosemarie DeWitt (Little Fires Everywhere, Rachel Getting Married), Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight, Thank You For Smoking, Ambush), Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black), Ron Livingston (Loudermilk, A Million Little Things), Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog, Little Fires Everywhere) and more.

Outside of the drama genre, Cabrera teases: “We are also expanding our award-winning true-crime documentary series franchise—watch this space.”