Highlights from the 2022 AMC Networks Summit 

Colman Domingo, MC Lyte, Harry Hamlin, Da Brat, Scott Gimple, Angela Simmons, Okieriete Onaodowan, Sam Reid, Jacob Anderson, Chris Hardwick, and More Attended AMC Networks Summit 

By Tammy Reese

Tammy Reese at AMC Networks Summit 2022. (Photo Credit:LaKisa Renee)


The AMC Networks Summit held at 74Wythe in Brooklyn, NY on September 28, 2022 brought together talent and network executives for moderated discussions centered around the company’s content and legacy from the past, present, and future — and to dissect the new and epic worlds coming to AMCN’s platforms, and introduce the next seminal characters that will capture the hearts and minds of viewers.

Cast and creatives from across AMC brands — AMC, AMC+, Acorn TV, BBC America, Shudder, WE tv and ALLBLK — joined AMC Networks’ President of Entertainment and AMC Studios, Dan McDermott, who hosted the event and who kicked off the morning by announcing the renewal of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire for a second season, ahead of the new series’ anticipated debut on AMC and AMC+ on Sunday, October 2.

And referencing the “Above and Beyond” theme of the day, McDermott said, “We challenge ourselves to constantly innovate and evolve, to expand the frontiers of authentic storytelling, and truly reflect the great diversity of the lived experiences in our society. We go above… and beyond… to bring our audiences a full slate of unique, high quality, beautifully crafted stories.”


Tammy Reese, Dan McDermott, and LaKisa Renee at AMC Networks Summit 2022. (Photo Credit: Julian Cannon)


The following are highlights from the panels:

Chris Hardwick and Scott Gimple

PANEL 1: The World is a Dumpster Fire — Let’s Build New Ones

Panelists aim to uncover what makes escapism so appealing to audiences and discuss how they bring these epic worlds to the screen.

Moderator: Chris Hardwick (Talking Dead)
Scott Gimple (The Walking Dead Universe), Esta Spalding (Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches), Mark Johnson (Anne Rice Universe including Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire), Anna Fishko (Orphan Black: Echoes), and Peter Ocko (Moonhaven)

Scott Gimple on escapism in The Walking Dead universe:

“With The Walking Dead… it’s a strange fantasy for the audience, that everything stops. That all of the things of society fall away and it’s just us with each other and we’re tested. We find out who we are. I think that was a weird fantasy that people dove into, to be tested that way and to look beyond this life. And I think they liked having those questions every week and they still do which is like ‘what would I do.’ That certainly pulls you away from your everyday life.”

Scott Gimple on Rick and Michonne spin-off series:

“Rick and Michonne, they’re going to be in a world unlike we’ve ever seen in The Walking Dead. And their story, in and of itself, is an epic love story.”

Chris Hardwick on the evolution of genre television:

“You have to understand that 20 years ago if you said the word ‘genre,’ television executives would be like ‘it’s too niche, we can’t do it’ and now… everyone wants to do genre programming.”

Scott Gimple on digital advancement in production:

“Digital has been with us for a while. It’s only gotten better and better. It’s a huge part of production design, it’s a huge part of making that world.”


PANEL 2: Fireside Chat with Dan McDermott

Moderator: Jason Lynch (Adweek)

On the final seasons this year of three of AMCN’s popular TV franchises: The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, and Killing Eve:

“Every great show, every great experience at some point comes to an end… We’re so grateful to have had these shows on our platforms. They helped define AMC as a home for premium content.”

On how he would define the AMC Networks of 2022:

“A tech-forward, progressive series of platforms with real growth in streaming, but one that is also maintaining a vibrant linear platform.”

On how AMC Networks can continue to win in such a competitive ecosystem:

“We swim in this one lane only” [referencing premium content for adults]. “We’re small, we’re not overburdened with bureaucracy. I’m very reachable.” And although there are A-listers who still love “to get the big payday,” he added “they want to produce great content.” He added that creatives (writers, directors, producers) can find it “very difficult to get traction” at larger companies.


PANEL 3: Love and Connection in the Black Community

From family love, to romantic love, to community love — Black people often depend on love and connection to overcome institutional adversity. We dig into the importance of how Black love, in all its forms, is depicted on screen to inspire the audience to expand their view of love and relationships.

Moderator: Mekishana Pierre (ET Online)
Panelists: MC Lyte (Partners in Rhyme), Da Brat (Brat Loves Judy), David Shanks (61st St), Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead, West Philly Baby), Angela Simmons (Growing Up Hip Hop), Diallo Riddle (Sherman’s Showcase), Nikki Love (SVP, Development & Production, ALLBLK)

Colman Domingo on why love in the Black community is special and why it’s important to highlight in TV and films:

“Because the world would usually like to deny that part of ourselves, actually. So we need more love — we need to show accurate depictions and complex depictions of our families. It is our job as creators, as people who perform these roles, I think — it’s a responsibility we didn’t ask for but we have it.”

Angela Simmons on what TV show made her feel seen growing up:

“I would say mine’s a little different of a view. [It] is Run’s House, because I grew up on the show and I know a lot of people tell me that they looked to my family for love. But actually being on TV and being on the platform and dealing with things on the forefronts so I would say my father gave us a great example of what Black love looks like.”

Da Brat on what the next generation of Black queer content for community and love looks like:

“I think you have to be creative and I don’t know what that is —I mean, maybe it’s me and my wife having a baby. Whatever it is, I’m willing to show it so people can relate to it and understand what it’s about.”

MC Lyte on avoiding Black stereotypes:

“What we have here is a cast of people who are willing to do what’s right over what’s ‘sellable’ or ‘satiable.’”


PANEL 4: Horror as a Safe Space

Horror as a genre has long been othered — not taken seriously by most critics and awards voters, relegated by mainstreamers to one month out of the year. Because of this, it can be a haven for creators of color and LGBTQ-identifying storytellers.

Moderator: Chris Witherspoon (PopViewers)
 Kimberly Peirce (Queer for Fear), Hannah Barlow (Sissy), Rebekah McKendry (Glorious), Babalwa Baartman (Good Madam), Tananarive Due (Horror Noire), Chloe Okuno (Watcher), Sam Zimmerman (VP, Programming, Shudder)

Kimberly Peirce on why horror is resonating now more than ever:

“I think it’s the only way to really deal with the horror and the unraveling of our world. So I think when the world keeps breaking the boundaries of what we can count on and what we have relied on and what’s safe, then you go to entertainment in order to deal with the overflow of that. So when the entertainment is really extreme but it’s giving you a container, you’re like ‘oh great, it’s worse there than it is here,’ whereas without the horror you’re kinda like ‘oh shit, it’s worse here.’”


PANEL 5: AMCN’s Next Legacy Lineup

From Don Draper to Walter White and Saul Goodman, Rick and Michonne to Eve and Villanelle — AMC Networks is known for characters that permeate cultural conversation. These will be the most buzzed-about characters in the zeitgeist in 2023.

Moderator: Damian Holbrook (TV Guide)
Jacob Anderson (Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire), Sam Reid (Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire), Okieriete Onaodowan (Demascus), Zahn McClarnon (Dark Winds), Emma McDonald (Moonhaven), Harry Hamlin (Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches)


Quotes from AMCN’s Next Legacy Lineup Panel

Sam Reid (“Lestat”) on how the Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire series reflects its source material:

“All the writers on the show have done this extraordinary…magic trick, where every line that you say is referenced to the whole backstory of every character, so you can have a very sort of flippant line that means nothing…like, ‘oh, this, this belongs to a marquis who I once knew,’ then it’s actually talking about a specific character for that character. It’s an amazing trick so for fans of the whole Anne Rice book series, they’ll be able to see that and jump up at it and I think it’s really lovely to be able to nod to those people who know those books as well as introducing them to whole new audiences.”

Emma McDonald on why she relates to her character “Bella” in Moonhaven:

“I have a dog energy and Bella’s very sort of laid back, casual, kid in the back of the classroom vibes,” she continues, “She’s very physical. I’m quite a physical person. I like to be in my body. She fights quite a lot, which I don’t, but I really liked having permission to do that. Like to casually headbutt someone is kind of cool.”


Okieriete Onaodowan on seeing a new side of Martin Lawrence in Demascus:

“I will not talk about his characters, because I want you to see and experience it for the first time. But it’s awesome. I will tell you that for sure. He’s doing things and…when he came in, not to speak for him, but he told me he really wanted to dive into a character and present himself in a way that the world has not known him, something different from his repertoire. And he’s really doing the sh-t out of that.”

Harry Hamlin on playing Cortland Mayfair in Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches:

“I’m having the time of my life with this character. I’m kind of a character actor stamped into a leading man’s body and so to be able to play a character and you know, for many years after L.A. Law, I always say that you know, L.A. Law, is great I love doing that show, but it’s kind of beiged what I was doing and I’ve done a lot of interesting characters before that so get to get to go back and be this guy who’s like, kind of insane…”

On how panelists would define a legacy character:

Zahn McClarnon:

“Multidimensional, nuanced, vulnerability.”

Okieriete Onaodowan:

“I almost feel like sometimes, for me at least, a legacy character, even if you’re watch it again, a part of you thinks they may make a different choice. I think that’s really engaging that every time you watch them, they actually might do it differently. And I think that’s what makes a legacy character —that’s hard to accomplish and keep it until the very end like hold out until the very end.”

Emma McDonald:

“Dangerous maybe… Someone you probably want to hang around with but in short bursts and also keep a distance from them. Because they can unleash fury at any moment. Someone that treads the line between good and evil and you’re not quite sure which side they’re going to fall on.”

Jacob Anderson:

“I guess this is kind of a personal thing to each individual — somebody that you see a bit of yourself in that you can relate to in a way, but not necessarily all of their decisions.”


Tammy Reese of NYWIFT chats with Actors Jacob Anderson and Sam Reid at AMC Networks Summit 2022:


Learn more about AMC’s programming by visiting https://www.amcnetworks.com/


(Additional Photo Credits: Official AMC Networks Summit Photographers: Craig Barritt for Getty Images and Evan Agostini/Invision for AMC Networks/AP Images)


Tammy Reese

Tammy Reese Tammy Reese is CEO of Visionary Minds PR & Media, and a New York award winning Actress, Writer, and Journalist.

View all posts by Tammy Reese

Comments are closed

Related Posts

Meet the New NYWIFT Member: China L. Colston

Welcome to NYWIFT, China L. Colston! China is a SAG-AFTRA actress and award-winning filmmaker. As an actress, she has embodied emotional women, from the guilt-ridden mother in Strings Attached to the dealer in Sweet Thang. China’s unwavering dedication as the star, writer, director, and producer of Dark Seed led the film to acclaim from the Validate Yourself Film Festival, African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, and the Dramatist’s Guild Success In The Arts Award aka SITA. She is the recipient of a 2021 NYFA grant for her script To Cook or Not to Cook, which follows a chef in Harlem repairing his relationship with his family through food. She is the recipient of a 2021 NYFA grant for her script To Cook or Not to Cook, which follows a chef in Harlem repairing his relationship with his family through food. China brings us through her incredible journey as a creator here!


Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Derya Celikkol

Welcome to NYWIFT, Derya Celikkol! A proud graduate of the Experimental Theatre Wing at Tisch Schools of the Arts, Derya Celikkol is a Turkish filmmaker who lives in New York City and has contributed her extraordinary artistry to numerous projects. In addition to acting and production designing, Celikkol has directed and produced films, some of which have been showcased and won awards at film festivals worldwide.  


Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Isi Laborde

We are thrilled to welcome new NYWIFT member Isi Laborde! Isi is a Brooklyn-based actor (AEA, SAG/AFTRA). Her film roles include Return to Montauk, directed by Academy Award-winner Volker Schlöndorff, and Jay-Z’s music video “Smile,” directed by Grammy-winner Miles Jay. She has had TV appearances in Facebook TV's Strangers and Paramount's Younger. Theater credits include The Bacchae at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and Skip to My Lou at Theater for the New City. Isi spoke to us about her craft, how she kept up her creativity during COVID, and her dream role!


NYWIFT Black History Month Spotlight: Brianna Seagraves

Happy Black History Month! At NYWIFT we are celebrating the Black creators and artists in our membership, while honoring Black culture & cinema throughout history. Today’s spotlight is on our member Brianna Seagraves, an actress, writer, and award-winning producer. Brianna shares her acting inspirations and her directorial debut at the Billie Holiday Theater.