Zombies Set To Invade AMC With Series “The Walking Dead”

4/05/2010 Posted by Admin

Television News

Zombies Set To Invade AMC With Series “The Walking Dead”

By our guest blogger, Alexandra Cervenak


Now that warmer weather seems as if it’s here to stay, the furthest ahead most of us are thinking is perhaps where we stashed our swimsuits should we need them come July. But AMC has its sights set on when we’ll be rummaging around not for shorts and sandals, but for our Halloween costumes.  They recently announced that it has greenlighted the six episode series “The Walking Dead” to air during its annual “FearFest” in October.

The hour-long episodes will be based on the comic book series of the same name, written by Robert Kirkman, who will also be an executive producer. According to AMC, “'The Walking Dead' tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home.” The monthly book series began in 2003, and has since garnered critical praise – Gale Ann Hurd (“The Terminator,” “Aliens”), who also serves as executive producer for the AMC series, calls it “the preeminent graphic novel series about zombies.”

But Hurd tells the New York Times that while Kirkman’s books are the inspiration for the show, it won’t “hew to them panel-for-panel.” Instead, she claims “The Walking Dead” will take cues from AMC’s other series, but particularly “Breaking Bad,” as a model of how to handle “character stories in a violent world.” And since the show takes place in “a world in which the zombies outnumber the humans,” that includes writing character arcs for the living as well as the (un)dead.

Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Green Mile”) originally developed the project several years ago for NBC, but after a bidding war it landed at AMC, and he is now on board to produce, write and direct the series. As for casting, Jon Bernthal, who most recently appeared in HBO’s “The Pacific” has been tapped to play the character Shane, but the male and female leads are still open. Production begins in June in Atlanta, where the comic books and show itself is set.

AMC plans to air “The Walking Dead” in October during Fearfest (formerly “MonsterFest”), its yearly marathon of thriller and horror films leading up to Halloween, which will be celebrating its 14th year. To commemorate the anniversary, in addition to “The Walking Dead,” the network will air 14 consecutive days of “themed programming,” which includes more than 50 movies. However, AMC is referring to this six episode run of “The Walking Dead” as “season one,” so it too might become a yearly tradition.

Zombies and horror flicks have never been my cup of tea, but since “The Walking Dead” is airing on AMC, I might have to check it out. The network has a pretty good knack for picking up quality programming - with its first original series, “Mad Men,” AMC became the only network in the history of television to win Golden Globes for best dramatic series for three consecutive years (2008, 2009, 2010). And Bryan Cranston, of AMC’s second original offering “Breaking Bad,” was awarded an outstanding lead actor Emmy in 2008 and 2009.

And I like that the series is focusing more on character development than on guts, gore and zombies chomping people’s brains. As Joel Stillerman, AMC’s Senior Vice President of Programming, Production and Digital Content says on the network’s official website, "Kirkman's series brilliantly captures the social commentary and ongoing human drama of the zombie apocalypse; and let's us kick a little zombie you-know-what from time to time." So it seems as if “The Walking Dead” won’t just be another bloody cheap thrill B-movie of the week, it will actually be good television.

Though the premiere date of “The Walking Date” hasn’t been announced, if unlike me, you are a horror aficionado, be sure to watch out for it on AMC sometime this October.

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2 comments:

  1. Heidi V said...

    I just finished #10 of the Graphic Novel series it is a decent series I can't wait to see it on AMC.

  2. Chris said...

    I love this series, so glad its coming to television it will work best in this medium. If the series stays true to the graphic novels (which sounds like it will - a character led drama more than a "Zombie Flick") it should be great. For another great graphic novel series check out "Preacher."