AMC is giving its TV drama Halt and Catch Fire another chance to find an audience. The first season attracted only 1.3 million viewers. It’s a timepiece series, set in the Texas computer industry — “the Silicon Prairie of Texas” in the 1980s. The main characters are trying to replicate IBM computer technology. Producers Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers promise to “take the rich characters our audience has come to love in new and surprising directions.”
While the show’s title is clever – it refers to the machine code instruction Halt and Catch Fire that causes a computer to cease functioning – it’s doesn’t do justice to the excitement of the show itself, which really should catch fire rather than halt. Halt and Catch Fire has a great visual style, similar to AMC’s cinematic Breaking Bad and elegant Mad Men. But how to get people to tune in and find out? A more exciting title might help. How about Coding Bad? Or just Catch Fire?