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AMC’s The Prisoner Marred by Bad Reviews



AMC’ssg_prisoner miniseries remake of the classic U.K. series The Prisoner got off to a solid start with 2.2 million viewers (1.7 household rating) during its two-hour debut Sunday evening. The number is only slightly off the season-average pace of AMC’s signature series, the Emmy-winning Mad Men, which averaged 2.3 million viewers. Yet before AMC could break out the champagne, the series took a sever dip to less than 1 million viewers for its second night. That’s a 56% drop.

Starring James Caviezel and Ian McKellen, The Prisoner represents the first series gestated under AMC’s new creative team, which is headed by Joel Stillerman.

The show has been a critical disaster for the cable channel whose shows are known to showcase high quality shows including Breaking Bad. If there were hopes of turning the mini-series into a weekly drama, those chances are now nonexistent.

The Prisoner, a remake of the 1960’s sci-fi series of the same name, features a man (Jim Caviezel) who quits his job and soon wakes up in a village with no memory of his previous life. He is designated the number 6 as his only form of identity. Though he refuses to believe that the Village is all there is (as everyone seems to believe), he is forced into a battle of the wills with 2 (Sir Ian McKellan), who seems to be hiding a secret about the village. As 6 tries to escape, he finds himself in more and more bizarre circumstances, such as being chased in the desert by a large white balloon known in the original series as Rover that will suffocate him if it catches him. Yeah, the show’s a bit of a head trip.

“The original [Prisoner series] was preoccupied with Cold War attitudes toward the Soviet Union and Big Brother and that sort of thing,” McKellen said. “We have a different Big Brother now, coming as much from big corporations as from big government,” in an era in which surveillance and security are taken for granted. “We’ve sort of accepted it.”

Also The Prisoner is currently topping the iTunes chart. AMC will be running encores of the show starting on Sunday Nov. 22.

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