What's the Better Channel: AMC or FX?


By the slimmest (and snarkiest) of margins, a financial news network unseated the top-rated cable news channel in the nation!

You guys are hilarious. Moving on...

 


That's right! The result of an early, feeble attempt at grouping networks into similar classes means that two of the TV's most beloved channels are somehow facing off in the Sweet 16! (The winner will face USA for what will almost certainly be a slot in the finals). In the meantime, let's take care of business!

Background: Though AMC is now known for its prestige drama programming, it went through a period of bad buzz when it converted from an outlet for "american movie classics" to an outlet for "american garbage classics." Founded in the early-'80s as a premium channel, it mostly played commercial-free black and white films. It changed to basic cable in 1987 and continued as a relatively low-rated competitor for Turner Classic Movies, but in 1998 it began to include commercial breaks and in 2002 the channel made itself over entirely by opting to play contemporary movies of varying quality. AMC finally entered the modern age of high-rated watercooler television in 2007 when it debuted Mad Men, then Breaking Bad in 2008, both of which have gone on to win numerous Emmys.

Original Programming: AMC's original programming is a short history. In addition to flagship shows Mad Men and Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead brings in huge numbers, while The Killing, Hell on Wheels, Rubicon, and a remake of The Prisoner all made high profile debuts. Recently the network has experimented with low-budget reality show tie-ins to their dramas, including Talking Dead and Comic Book Men as well as the upcoming The Pitch.

Reruns: In addition to marathon airings of its original dramas, AMC continues filling out its schedule with movies, lots of movies. While contemporary classics like The Godfather are still a big part of what they do, you're just as likely to encounter random airings of non-classics like Halloween 4.

Why It's The Best: AMC's experimentations with original programming are as bold, challenging, and rewarding as HBO's.

Why It's The Worst: Some behind-the-scenes budget squabbles (and unceremonious firings) have made AMC seem a lot less creator-friendly than other networks.

 

Background: FX has one of the weirdest beginnings of any corporate-owned network. Back in 1994 it began broadcasting from a single apartment in New York as basically a cable-access style network full of live programming and internet-fueled viewer feedback (think G4 meets Reality Bites). Much of the broadcast day was full of in-house talk shows hosted by people like Jeff Probst, Orlando Jones or Phil Keoghan and the rest of the schedule consisted of reruns of Fox shows. When that format didn't work out, the channel was relaunched with more of a Spike-like dude feel, including securing broadcast rights to NASCAR and tons of MLB coverage. But FX truly began to come into its own around 2002 when it debuted The Shield and later Nip/Tuck, making it the go-to cable network for high quality, edgy scripted programming.

Original Programming: In addition to stalwarts It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and the recently ended Rescue Me, FX's newer hits include animated comedy Archer, live action comedies Louie, Wilfred and The League, plus huge hits Justified and Sons of Anarchy. And Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story was as close to water-cooler television as FX has had in a while.

Reruns: Too bad FX's reruns aren't nearly so hot. Unless you like That '70s Show (which also airs on every other channel) or you already crave the Charlie Sheen days of Two and a Half Men. For folks with slightly better taste, you're also bound to catch reruns of '90s semi-classics The Practice or Spin City (Hi, Connie Britton!).

Why It's the Best: For a network that could have gone the crass and inessential Spike route, it's amazing that FX now rivals HBO for quality entertainment.

Why It's the Worst: FX can sometimes get a little cancel-happy on shows that probably didn't deserve it (RIP Terriers and Lights Out)!



Official TV.com Verdict
I truly adore shows on each channel, but going by sheer quantity of excellent programming, I think FX might have the edge here.


But now it's your turn! COMMENT BELOW and tell us your verdict: AMC or FX? And make your case! What do you love or hate about each channel?


Click below to see the full tournament bracket:


Note: Because we started with an odd number of channels, we gave some of the bigger channels a first-round bye.


Want to catch up on past battles? Head over to the America's Got Cable archives.

Comments (172)
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neither! they both suck...AMC is supposed to be a "movie channel" instead they broke off on this tangent of making night time soaps disguised as made for TV drama series... Bite me!...only morons with no life watch that crap...If I wanted to watch soaps, I'd watch disgusting daytime network TV. IMO AMC's producers suck big time! and FX sucks just a little less.
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I like FX because of American Horror Story (my personal favorite) and The Americans. I like AMC too, but only for Breaking Bad. Those three shows are the best shows I've ever seen. But since FX has American Horror Story, I choose FX over AMC
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FX for sure . Too much good shows on FX like Nip Tuck, The Shield , Rescue Me, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, American Horror Story, The American. AMC only has Breaking Bad, The Killing and Walking the Dead but still came 2nd in my book.
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AMC all day. FX has some great programs, but if I miss an episode on many of those shows it's not the end of the world (with the exception of SOA). AMC though, Breaking Bad, The Killing, Mad Men, The Walking Dead - can't miss an episode on any of these.



@Price Peterson you don't say a large piece of 12oz sirloin is better than an 8oz filet because it has more meat. The filet is better because of the flavor and every bite is a pleasure (this is coming from a hefty guy that loves his steak).



Can we get a tally of the AMC vs FX votes in the comments section?

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FX for sure. I dont even watch amc, never did. Not even for the movies. Thats where TCM comes in for classic movies. Although I think if FX were up against USA, then we'd have a bigger issue...
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Wow, now that is a hard choice! AMC is my go-to for original programming. Breaking Bad is the best show on television (and my personal favorite ever), Mad Men was a TV game-changer and I love The Killing and The Walking Dead. However, ever since those nasty contract negotiations came to light, like Price said, I really wonder if they do have the best interest of their shows in mind, it certainly didn't inspire a lot of confidence that they wouldn't hamper the creators and writers over money. But networks do have to make money or we would never get our lovely TV shows made, so I try to just look at it as the ugly side of the TV business, even though I can't think of AMC in the same rosey way anymore. Let's hope they learned their lesson, yes?



But FX has quickly become my next go-to channel. With Justified, Wilfred, Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story to name a few that keep me coming back. I like the edge and variety of their shows, and I feel like they are willing to let the shows and their writers take major risks. I doubt any other network would have taken a chance on Nip/Tuck, or let it progress into the craziness that it became. Plus, their movie selection is actually not too shabby and I love the On-Demand content they shuffle over to Xfinity, the good free content is always from FX.



Man, this is a hard choice. I'm going with AMC right now. But I'd bet if you asked again a year from now aka after Breaking Bad ends, I might vote FX instead.
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AMC... everything they make is Gold... including the onces they have cancelled
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Almost an impossible choice, four of the best television seireses to ever air are evenly split. The Shield and Sons of Anarchy vs. The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.....However, I believe FX's recent decision to not just renew SOA for a single season, but rather for 3 gives them the edge. I mean, that's what TV needs more of, it gives the writers so much more freedom for intricate and engrossing storylines. But someone else said it best, we should just be grateful for what they're producing.....and also, Why was Rubicon ever cancelled???
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The Walking Dead gives AMC the winning hand!

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FX - Definitely. Always Sunny is fantastic! I think it sucks one of these has to go though - AMC is a very close second!!

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Are you kidding? Its AMC hands down for giving us The Killing and The Walking Dead .
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This should be a finals match-up. I love both of these networks original programming so much. No mention of Archer?? FX wins by a nose, for their longevity and mix of great comedy and drama.
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if damages were still on fx, it would be tough, but since it went to 101/audience, i vote for amc (BrBa fan).
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Definitely AMC for me. Though their multitude of commercials are way too disruptive (the same as most cable channels), I'll love AMC forever for creating a show as brilliant as Breaking Bad -- maybe the best TV series I've ever seen. Kudos as well to Mad Men (of course), and The Living Dead. (Who'd have believed the zombie genre could produce something so fresh). I still haven't forgiven them for zapping that labyrinthine marvel Rubicon, and I find The Killing a dullard in plot, direction and performance. Even so, not a single series on FX has grabbed me the way the AMC's creme dela creme have. AMC -- WINNER BY A KNOCKOUT!
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Better, smetter. Let's just give thanks that there are two cable channels producing such wonderful programs!
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FX!!!!
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Definitely FX. Its Always Sunny, The League, and Justified are all great
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FX. In those times where I lose the remote and give up on changing the channel manually I'm perfectly okay if it's stuck on FX for a few hours.
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I love AMC's The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. Dont like at all Mad Men nor any of the others mentioned above although I did try to like them, no go. I dearly love Justified, Sons of Anarchy I can watch American Horror Story although it isnt close to any of the other program that I have mentioned. For me its hard to choose between the 2, but I guess if I had to pick only one it would have to be FX. Both are far better than the networks which seem only to want to please reality watchers of which I am not one!! I like either one of these cable channels better than HBO! For me all HBO has now is Game of Thrones since cancelling Deadwood I did not try HBO untill True Blood but it went to crap and now all they have thats worth watching is Game of Thrones all the other programming they have are old reruns all month long. Sorry I wont get started on HBO for cancelling Deadwood I could go on all night about that one!!! Yes I have to go with FX for the 2 shows I mentioned above which are my favorites from any network or cable programming. Keep up the great work both AMC and FX I will continue to watch and love both.



Walk
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I only watch Justified on FX, but I watch almost all of AMC's original programming, so they get my vote.
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Best two channels in the whole bracket. That's some messed up seeding.



Vote: AMC.
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AMC.
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The Shield.
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No mention of DAMAGES? :(



But yeah, I suppose FX BARELY edges out AMC...I think maybe Breaking Bad and Mad Men alone could get my vote, though. Justified and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia have been favorites for years now.
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Tough call, my personal preferences go towards FX but I can acknowledge that AMC might have some higher quality works.



I watch more FX due to Justified / Archer / It's Always Sunny / Wilfred / American Horror Story



As for AMC: Mad Men was neat and high caliber, but it didn't hold my interest. I hate the zombie genre so the Walking Dead is a bust for me. The Prisoner remake was so-so. Breaking Bad is neat, and the Killing is alright.
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AMC has created more critically acclaimed and hit shows in the last 10 years than NBC. And if something is good, they don't cancel it! What a concept!
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The only other cable that is better at drama than AMC is HBO, FX has some quality but the genius of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Walking Dead is just too colossal.
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Boy that is a tough one there. Gonna have to go with AMC though. Breaking Bad, Mad men, and The Walking Dead are simply some of the best television there is out there. I feel almost guilty though. I really do enjoy Justified, American Horror Story, and SOA. Still, AMC tops them in my book.
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AMC - nothing comes close to Vince Gilligan's total genius in Breaking Bad.
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FX :)
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Oh man, my very own Sophie's Choice... FX is my comedy fix and I straight up LOVE Justified too, while AMC is home of my favorite dramas and almost nothing on TV gets me as psyched as The Walking Dead! And I love me some Breaking Bad, The Killing, and Mad Men as well.



AMC wins because 95% of what they produce is effing unbelievable!!!
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Although I LOVE The Walking Dead, any network that would give Sunny a chance,and then HELP THEM BE BETTER will win in my book. Sunny Always! FX FTW!!
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FX because they don't blow my ear drums out at every commercial break.
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Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead ar enough to destroys anything on FX (and by the way I'm a huge Archer, justified fan).



AMC by a landslide!!!!!!!!!
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FX for sure. SOA, Nip/Tuck, Justified.
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FX. I love Sunny and Wilfred, and all the reruns on FX, the only thing I watch on AMC is The Walking Dead.
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You should try watching Breaking Bad, a far superior show.
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AMC? Sorry can't hear you over the sound of how AWESOME I am...FX all the way.



For me Archer is enough, but with Justified swell it is a non-contest
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I honestly do not watch much TV or wait for weekly episodes; however, I worked hard to watch "Hell on Wheels" and "The Walking Dead"...so, I would have to go with AMC. In reference to intermittently shown random movies, I probably spend more time on AMC as well...between the God Father, Rocky and Clint Eastwood movies.
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I have to use the numbers for this one, there is no way I can decide without some form of tally.



AMC: +10 each for Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, +5 each for Mad Men, The Talking Dead, Hell on Wheels, Rubicon, +15 for some great movies but - 5 for some really poor movies. = 50



FX: +10 for Archer, +5 each for Sons of Anarchy, Justified, American Horror Story, The League, Wilfred, Louie, Unsupervised, +30 for past programming, +15 for syndicated programming = 90



FX wins. Both channels have some fantastic shows, but the sheer weight of great original programming from FX just pushes it into the lead. In a couple of years though, who knows how this one would play out, AMC are making a very good name for themselves. This should have been a semi-final at the very least, there is no way that CNN or CNBC should be getting further than either of these great channels.
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This may be the most epic tv showdown yet, AMC vs. FX!



I could probably debate this for hours, but I think I'm gonna side with FX here.

Even though AMC has the incomparable Breaking Bad and of course zombies, I think FX has a bit more variety, with the addition of Archer and It's Always Sunny. And I really enjoy watching FX's DVD on TV, you get some background secrets of how some of the coolest action movies are made. FX and it's awesome cowboy hat takes the cake.
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FX USED to be good years ago. Now, with "Walking Dead", I have to give it to AMC.
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Am I allowed to stay on the fence on this?! I love Breaking Bad and Justified equally. But there's Walking Dead. Oh I dunno....
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FX: Sons of Anarchy, Always Sunny, The Shield, Nip/Tuck, American Horror Story

AMC: Breaking Bad, Rubicon, Mad Men, The Walking Dead and I hate The Killing so....

......AMC it is. Breaking Bad is worth 5 awesome shows.
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FX for me.



Even though Breaking Bad is one of my favourite shows, I can't just give it to AMC for having one of the best shows in the history of television. I also watch The Walking Dead and even though it has been floundering around for 2 seasons, I have great anticipation for season 3.



There's too much I look forward to on FX. With the likes of Justified, It's Always Sunny, The League, Archer, Louie and Wilfred on my list. FX is a more diverse channel than AMC, with heavy hitting dramas and great original comedies.



I'm still MAD that they got rid of Lights Out and Terriers, but I have gotta go with the network that brought me THE SHIELD, FX it is.



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yes amc
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Really tough choice. But The Walking Dead and Mad Men are both in my top 10, so I vote AMC.
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Br + Ba = AMC!
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Breaking Bad alone destroys anything on FX (and I'm a huge Archer fan).



AMC!
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FX, Louis alone destroys anything on AMC. AMC only really has 3 shows worth a s--t. FX on the other hand has Archer, The League, Sunny, American Horror Story, Justified and Sons of Anarchy? Why are we even having this discussion. AMC has only been recently good. You people are blinded by 3 shows on AMC.
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110%

AMC
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