Hell on Wheels

AMC has given the green light to Hell on Wheels, the network announced Wednesday.

Set after the Civil War, the series focuses on a Confederate soldier whose quest to avenge his wife's death at the hands of Union soldiers takes him west to work on building the first transcontinental railroad. The drama will explore what immigrants go through and problems faced by newly emancipated blacks, all against the backdrop of the railroad's greed and corruption.

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Anson Mount (Conviction, Crossroads) stars as the Confederate soldier, Cullen Bohannan. The cast includes rapper Common (Date Night), Dominique McElligott (Leap of the Year), Colm Meaney (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Ben Esler (The Pacific), Philip Burke (Law & Order) and Eddie Spears (Into the West).

The series was created and written by Tony and Joe Gayton, who will also executive-produce the series.

"We are thrilled to bring Hell on Wheels to series," Joel Stillerman, AMC's senior vice president of original programming, said in a statement. "This show has some incredibly original twists and turns and a contemporary sensibility that we think will bring a very broad audience to our newest drama series."

Hell on Wheels joins AMC's slate of critically acclaimed original series including Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. The basic cable outlet picked up five Golden Globe nominations Tuesday, including two nominations for best drama series. The Walking Dead's first season finale earlier this month also became the most-watched drama series in basic cable history in the 18-to-49 demographic.