This morning, AMC Networks — the corporate umbrella that controls AMC (home to your favorite shows Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and The Walking Dead, plus Rubicon and The Killing) as well as cable siblings IFC, WeTV, and Sundance — entered a new phase in its recently lauded existence: it became a publicly traded company. While analysts were bullish, the immediate response was bearish. To help sort things out, we at Grantland looked into our financial crystal ball (which we picked up at a CNBC tag sale) to predict AMC’s year ahead on Wall Street. (Which is different from Wall Street’s year on AMC — it’ll still air every Tuesday at 3:30 a.m. and again on Saturday afternoons.)
July 18, 2011: ↓ 40.14
In a mix-up, AMC's marketing department accidentally includes real crystal meth in the press kit for Breaking Bad's fourth season. TV recapper Alan Sepinwall posts a 35,000-word rave for the premiere five minutes after it starts.
August 1, 2011: ↑ 42.62
On a conference call with investors, AMC president Charlie Collier announces stronger-than-expected sales for Rubicon's Season One DVD, which features a commentary track by the guy who played Kale, and 20 deleted scenes of James Badge Dale dismantling motorcycles in his living room.
September 18, 2011: ↑ 44.03
Overcoming his total ineligibility for a nomination, Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston wins his fourth consecutive Emmy for Best Drama Actor.
October 10, 2011: ↑ 46.83
To great critical fanfare, AMC debuts its newest program, Hell On Wheels, a gritty drama set during the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s.
October 17, 2011: ↓ 40.14
Aping the soporific pacing of recent AMC not-hits Rubicon and The Killing, the second episode of Hell On Wheels concerns itself with the laying of six railroad ties. In the third episode, Colm Meaney's "Doc" Durant spends until the second commercial stroking his chin and gazing into the distance. The hour ends with a cliffhanger as a disappointed Durant announces, "Nope, California is that way!" Viewership plummets.
October 31, 2011: ↑ 48.14
After firing all the writers from The Walking Dead last fall, creator Frank Darabont forgets to hire new ones. Nobody notices and the Season Two premiere triples AMC's all-time ratings record.
November 2, 2011: ↓ 45.59
Warren Buffett tells CNBC he recently caught up with Mad Men on DVD and thinks Megan the secretary is "all wrong" for Don Draper.
January 16, 2012: ↑ 50.74
Christina Hendricks suffers a wardrobe malfunction at the Golden Globes.
January 17, 2012: ↓ 39.59
Joel "Freddy Rumsen" Murray suffers a wardrobe malfunction on the golf course.
February 17, 2012: ↓ 37.59
As part of the promotional push for The Killing's second season, Veena Sud allows a reporter to observe her creative process, which involves blindfolding herself and "free-writing" for 35 minutes before pausing for a well-deserved round of self-congratulation.
April 11, 2012: ↑ 55.24
Sal's fabulous return to Mad Men in the Season Five premiere sparks rumors of a merger with Bravo.
May 15, 2012: ↑ 62.82
The market goes wild when an "On the next episode of Mad Men ..." teaser falsely implies that Betty Draper will be trampled to death at a civil rights demonstration.
July 15, 2012: ↓ 50.14
On The Killing's Season Two finale, Linden, Holder, Richmond, Gwen, Jamie, Drexler, Jack, Lt. Oakes, Mrs. Ahmed, Rosie's little brothers, and a half-dozen Wapi Eagle Casino blackjack dealers are cleared as murder suspects when a follow-up autopsy reveals that Rosie Larsen is actually still alive.