AMC Networks has ordered more mysteries, renewing the breakout western noir thriller Dark Winds for a second season on AMC and its streamer AMC+. Leading man Zahn McClarnon is returning to the Navajo outpost near Monument Valley for another six-episode outing after a successful launch just over a week ago on June 12. It quickly became AMC+‘s best series launch ever, garnering draw 2.2 million viewers on AMC in its debut in live+3 ratings and becoming the number five drama premiere on cable for the season. A new season is expected to arrive next year.
Dark Winds only has two episodes out, though it’s already made an impression with critics and audiences alike, earning a 100% and 89% rating respectively. Set in 1971, the series follows Joe Leaphorn (McClarnon) and his trusty partner Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon), two Navajo police officers working at a remote outpost that stumble across a series of seemingly unrelated crimes. As they dig deeper into the mysteries, their spiritual beliefs are shaken to their core, and they must confront their own personal demons. Thetwo are joined in the series by Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison, Rainn Wilson, Elva Guerra, Jeremiah Bitsui, Eugene Brave Rock, and Noah Emmerich.
An all-star group of creatives came together to finally make Dark Winds a reality after 35 years in the works. Graham Roland, who also created Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, created and executive produced the series alongside Robert Redford, George R.R. Martin, Anne Hillerman, Chris Eyre, Vince Calandra, Vince Gerardis, Tina Elmo, and McClarnon. Redford had previously produced one film based on Tony Hillerman‘s books titled The Dark Wind and had the catalog optioned for over three decades. Season 1 of Dark Winds mostly pulls from The Listening Woman with some aspects included from People of Darkness.
The biggest part of Dark Winds‘ success lies with its creative team, which worked hard not just to properly adapt the Leaphorn & Chee books the series is based on, but also to depict the Navajo Nation as accurately as possible, working closely with the Navajo people in the process. Dan McDermott, the president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, had especially high praise for the team behind the series, saying in a statement:
This once-in-a-lifetime creative team and cast have delivered something truly special with Dark Winds. 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.
In a further showing of the series’ connection to the Navajo Nation, all the filming occurred on tribal lands with production being split between Tesuque Pueblo and Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico. The crew utilized the Camel Rock Studios facility while on location at Tesuque Pueblo.
Season 1 of Dark Winds is currently ongoing on AMC and AMC+ with new episodes dropping every Sunday. Season 2 will come next year with more information sure to come out after the first season wraps up in the coming weeks.