Just a few short months ago, 'Hell on Wheels' fans were dismayed to learn that the period drama's season 3 renewal was placed on hold after showrunner Josh Shiban and co-creators/executive producers Joe and Tony Gayton were announced to depart the series. Now under new show-runner John Wirth, the third season of AMC's transcontinental railroad drama has been given a premiere of August 3, curiously leading a new block of programming on Saturday nights.

AMC has conducted a few experiments with their brand before, but the latest might be off the rails entirely. The network reports that its occasionally-troubled period drama 'Hell on wheels' will return for its third season on August 3, marking the first AMC attempt at creating a programming block on Saturdays. The premiere will follow a day of Western-themed content, including airings of 'El Dorado,' 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,' 'The Shootist,' 'Hondo,' 'McLintock!, 'Hang ‘Em High' and 'High Plains Drifter.'

“A new episode of Hell on Wheels on Saturday night after a full day of western fan favorites is going to be like the saddle on top of the horse,” said AMC head Charlie Collier. “This is a programmer’s dream – to have a genre specific, 14-hour lead-in to one of your highest rated originals.”

Little has been revealed of the third season of 'Hell on Wheels,' other than a meaty new role for 'The Following' star Jennifer Ferrin, and the face that Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount will leave behind his mission of revenge to focus on the railroad expansion.

What say you? Would you tune in for Saturday airings of 'Hell on Wheels' season 3 when it begins August 3?