HBO may have ushered in the golden age of television, but Charlie Collier helped open the floodgates for basic cable to enter the prestige game. Following up John Landgraf's success at FX with The Shield, Collier and company decided to make a similar move to cement AMC's identity as a narrative player.
After the dual success of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, it seems that every media company, even some not in the TV business, wants to make narrative programming. Despite recent missteps by network—excessive penny-pinching, a recent development slate that produced The Killing and Hell on Wheels, and the revolving-door showrunning of The Walking Dead—AMC continues to find critical and commercial success. Regardless of how AMC deals with these challenges, Collier will be remembered for precipitating a tipping point that resulted in a lot of great television.