Hell on Wheels is an American western period drama television series created and produced by Joe and Tony Gayton and set in 1865, which centers on the settlement that accompanied the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, referred to as "Hell on Wheels" by the company men, surveyors, support workers, labourers, prostitutes, mercenaries and others who make the mobile encampment their home.
The series stars Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier who works as a foreman on the railroad as he tries to track down the Union soldiers who murdered his wife.
Developed by Endemol USA and produced by Entertainment One (eOne) and Nomadic Pictures, Hell on Wheels is created, written, and executive-produced by Joe and Tony Gayton (Faster, Uncommon Valor, The Salton Sea, Bulletproof).
In addition to Mount, Hell on Wheels stars musician-actor Common as Elam, Dominique McElligott as Lily Bell, Colm Meaney as Durant, Ben Esler as Sean, Phil Burke as Mickey, and Eddie Spears as Joseph.
Hell on Wheels tells the epic story of post-Civil War America, focusing on a Confederate soldier (Mount) who sets out to exact revenge on the Union soldiers who have killed his wife.
His journey takes him west to Hell on Wheels, a dangerous, raucous, lawless melting pot of a town that travels with and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, an engineering feat unprecedented for its time.
The series documents the railroad's engineering and construction as well as institutionalized greed and corruption, the immigrant experience, and the plight of newly emancipated African-Americans during Reconstruction.
Hell on Wheels chronicles this potent turning point in America's history and how uncivilized the business of civilization can be.
Joining the Gaytons as executive producers are Jeremy Gold, Endemol's SVP of scripted programming, and John Shiban and David Von Ancken, who directed the series pilot.
eOne's CEO, John Morayniss, and SVP of creative affairs, Michael Rosenberg, oversee production in partnership with producers Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes at Nomadic Pictures.
The first four seasons aired in South Africa exclusively on FX. The show moved to FOX Africa for the fifth and final season, after which Season 4 was aired on the channel. This means that Season 5 aired before Season 4 on FOX.