'Hell On Wheels' Season 3 pickup 'on hold' as showrunner exits

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hell-on-wheels-common-amc-325.jpgAMC may have jumped the gun on their official pickup of "Hell On Wheels" third season. As we reported last week, the network picked up the series for a ten-episode Season 3, though the creators and executive producers Joe and Tony Gayton were leaving their posts.

Now, showrunner John Shiban has also left the show, choosing not to renew his contract with the series. "I'm very proud of our work on 'Hell On Wheels' and was thrilled to hear the show would have a Season Three," Shiban says in a statement to Deadline. "I have since made the difficult decision that the time has come for me to leave. I care deeply about the series and will do whatever I can to aid in the transition to ensure the continued success of the show.  I truly value all the time I have spent with this wonderful group of very talented people."

In response to Shiban's exit, AMC has reneged on its decision to pick up Season 3 -- at least, temporarily. The network's decision to pick up the show is now contingent on them approving the replacement showrunner, as evidenced by AMC's statement below.

"John Shiban has informed AMC, Entertainment One and Endemol that while he was fully on board when the network informed him about their intent to pick-up Hell on Wheels, he has since made the personal decision that he will be unable to return as showrunner. He has asked the production partners to seek a replacement showrunner. Like all of our shows, network pick-ups are always conditioned on an approved showrunner. We are confident that eOne and Endemol will  satisfy that obligation in the near future."
Photo/Video credit: AMC