Critically acclaimed drama starring Zahn McClarnon will return next year with six new episodes on AMC+ and AMC.
AMC Networks today announced that it has ordered a second season of the Western noir crime thriller Dark Winds. Produced by AMC Studios, the six-episode second season will arrive on AMC+ and AMC next year. The season one premiere on June 12 attracted an audience of 2.2 million viewers on AMC in Nielsen live+3 ratings, becoming the #5 cable drama premiere of the current broadcast TV season. Dark Winds is also the #1 new series launch in AMC+ history. The series has a 100-point score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Set in 1971 on a remote outpost of the Navajo Nation near Monument Valley, Dark Winds follows Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Tribal Police as he is besieged by a series of seemingly unrelated crimes. The closer he digs to the truth, the more he exposes the wounds of his past. He is joined on this journey by his new deputy, Jim Chee. Chee, too, has old scores to settle from his youth on the reservation. Together, the two men battle the forces of evil, each other and their own personal demons on the path to salvation. The series is based on the iconic Leaphorn & Chee book series by Tony Hillerman.
“This once-in-a-lifetime creative team and cast have delivered something truly special with Dark Winds,” said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “We can’t wait to share the rest of this thrill ride of a first season with the fans and follow Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee into a second season on AMC and AMC+ next year. Overwhelming gratitude to our entire production team and a special thanks to executive producers Robert Redford, George R.R. Martin, Chris Eyre and of course Zahn McClarnon, who also leads the cast and brings humanity, authority and the wisdom of richly lived experiences to everything he does.”
Created and executive produced by Graham Roland (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Returned, Almost Human, Fringe), the series stars McClarnon (The Son, Westworld, Fargo), who is also an executive producer, Kiowa Gordon (The Red Road, Roswell, New Mexico) and Jessica Matten (Tribal, The Empty Man, Frontier). Executive producers are Robert Redford, George R.R. Martin, Anne Hillerman, Chris Eyre, Vince Calandra, Vince Gerardis and Tina Elmo.
Dark Winds as a television series has been a project 35 years in the making. Robert Redford optioned Hillerman’s book collection more than three decades ago, and the series, whose first season focuses primarily on the book The Listening Woman, with elements of People of Darkness, found a home on AMC+ and AMC. The production worked closely with the Navajo Nation. With special permission, 70% of Dark Winds was filmed on tribal lands at Tesuque Pueblo in New Mexico, using their facility Camel Rock Studios. Another 30% of the series was filmed on tribal lands at Cochiti Pueblo, also in New Mexico.
“Perhaps the most ambitious Native-led TV show ever made.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“The visual evocation of the Southwestern landscape and reservation life — Chris Eyre (“Smoke Signals”) directed four of the six episodes — is striking, and the show steadily builds a genuine sense of an embattled, deeply intertwined community.” – The New York Times
“Dark Winds has an admirable directness of approach: It doesn’t slow down to explain itself to viewers, trusting that its milieu will come through loud and clear. In the wake of the very different, low-key comedy “Reservation Dogs” last year, “Dark Winds” provides yet more proof of the power of high-quality representation, allowing Native people to lend their perspective and history to the types of stories that are fundamental to American entertainment.” – Variety
“McClarnon has always been an incredible camera subject, his face all lines and angles, his eyes so big and expressive. But as Joe Leaphorn, he gets to display far more than that striking screen presence. He gets to play a three-dimensional lead character who is defined in part by his cultural background. …Dark Winds looks and feels like no other crime story on television…a terrific first season.” – Rolling Stone