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Max Headroom is returning to the small screen

Matt Frewer is returning to play the world’s first artificial intelligence TV personality and 80s icon, Max Headroom.

The character was created by George Stone, Annabel Jankel, and Rocky Morton.

Max Headroom first debuted in April, 1985 on Channel 4 in the British-made cyberpunk TV movie Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future, which provided an origin story.

In the movie, Edison Carter (portrayed by Frewer) is a journalist fleeing enemies in a parking garage when he is forced into a motorcycle crash, causing him to break through an entrance barrier reading “Max. Headroom 2.3 metres” (at the time, UK clearance height signs used the phrase “Max. Headroom” as opposed to “Max. Height”). While Carter is unconscious, an AI program based on his mind is created. Developing its own personality, the AI identifies as “Max Headroom” and becomes a TV host who exists only on broadcast signals and computer systems. Like Carter, Max openly challenges the corporations that run his world, but through commentary and sarcastic wit rather than journalism.

Two days after the TV-movie was broadcast, Max appeared as the host of Channel 4’s The Max Headroom Show, a TV program where he introduced music videos, commented on various topics, and eventually interviewed guests before a live studio audience.

AMC Networks is developing the new series, according to Deadline. Halt and Catch Fire co-creator Christopher Cantwell will write the new show and also be the showrunner. It is being produced by Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah’s SpectreVision and All3Media.

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