Welcome to the first 3 1/2 minutes of AMC’s companion series to The Walking Dead that premieres Sunday in the States. Frank Dillane stars along with Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens, and Alycia Debnam Carey in the AMC Studios series. Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alper executive producer alongside showrunner Dave Erickson, who co-created and co-wrote the pilot with Kirkman. Watch the beginnings of the zombie apocalypse unfold in Los Angeles below.
Only 4 weeks left… and counting…
AMC has announced that it has renewed flagship drama The Walking Dead for a fourth season. But Glen Mazzara, who had served as showrunner following the abrupt departure of creator/original showrunner Frank Darabont early into the second season, is leaving. Speculations about Mazzara’s future on the show started when AMC didn’t follow its regular routine of giving The Walking Dead an early pickup despite the record-breaking ratings performance of the show’s recent fall portion of Season 3. There had been rumors that Mazzara was not happy on the show and may follow the slew of other showrunners who have departed AMC series. Darabont tapped Glen Mazzara as an executive producer and his No. 2 heading into Season 2, after Mazzara wrote a freelance script in Season 2. Mazzara was quickly elevated to showrunner when Darabont left.
“Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways,” AMC and Mazzara said in a joint statement. “This decision is amicable and Glen will remain on for post-production on season 3B as showrunner and executive producer… AMC is grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success.” Here are individual statements from Mazzara and The Walking Dead executive producers Robert Kirkman, on whose comic the series is based, and Gale Anne Hurd:
My time as showrunner on The Walking Dead has been an amazing experience, but after I finish season 3, it’s time to move on. I have told the stories I wanted to tell and connected with our fans on a level that I never imagined. It doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey. – Glen Mazzara
I am in full support of both AMC and Glen Mazzara in the decision they have come to and believe the parties came to this decision in the best interest of the future of the show. I thank Glen for his hard work and appreciate his many contributions to The Walking Dead and look forward to working with him as we complete post production on Season 3. I am also excited to begin work on another spectacular season of this show that I know means so much to so many people. This show has always been the result of a wide range of extremely talented men and women working tirelessly to produce their best work collectively. I believe the future is bright for The Walking Dead. Thank you to the fans for your continued support. – Robert Kirkman
I am appreciative and grateful to Glen for his hard work on ‘The Walking Dead.’ I am supportive of AMC and Glen’s decision and know that the series is in great hands with one of the most talented and dedicated casts and crews in the business. I look forward to the show’s continued success. – Gale Anne Hurd
Check out this interesting interview with George Romero and his thoughts on The Walking Dead.
It would appear that all the behind-the-scenes turmoil did little to slow down The Walking Dead ratings behemoth, which opened its second season to staggering numbers of:
7.3 million total viewers for premiere and 11 million total viewers for the night
The 18-49 and 25-54 tallies broke basic cable’s previous records posted by the premiere of USA Network’s The Dead Zone in June 2002 (4.0 million in 18-49, 4.1 million in 25-54). Compared with Walking Dead‘s highly rated series premiere last year (5.2 million total viewers, 3.5 million in 18-49), the Season 2 opener was up a whopping 38% in total viewers, 36% in 18-49 and 35% in 25-54. With the 9 PM airing and the 10:30 PM and 12:30 AM encores, the Walking Dead premiere drew a total of 11 million viewers. “The Walking Dead is one of those rare television programs that reaches both a core genre fan as well as broad audiences simply looking for a great, character-based story,” said AMC president Charlie Collier. “That The Walking Dead is now the most-watched drama in the history of basic cable is staggering, just like our zombies.”
AMC’s talk show Talking Dead got off to a solid start at midnight, following the first rerun of the Walking Dead premiere. It averaged 1.2 million total viewers, 795,000 adults 18-49 and 735,000 adults 25-54.
AMC is launching Talking Dead, the network’s first live after-show that will discuss AMC’s series The Walking Dead. The half-hour program, produced by Michael Davies’ Embassy Row and hosted by Chris Hardwick, will premiere Oct. 16, immediately following the encore presentation of The Walking Dead. Then beginning on Friday, Nov. 4, the series premieres after The Walking Dead’s encore presentation at 11 PM. The project was originally piloted last month. “Fans of The Walking Deadare incredibly engaged with every aspect of the show. They tweet, blog, and post comments in very large numbers, and we wanted to give them an opportunity to interact with the show in a way that they don’t currently have — a kind of live water cooler,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s SVP original programming, production and digital content.
Talking Dead will feature Hardwick talking to fans, actors, producers and TV enthusiasts, recapping the most recent Dead episode and taking questions and comments from viewers. “As an enormous fan of both The Walking Dead comic and television show, I pretty much begged for this job,” Hardwick said. “Dissecting the moves of Rick Grimes and the remaining survivors after every episode is something I would be doing with my friends anyway, so the fact that AMC is actually paying me to do so is a bonus.”
Six weeks after suddenly exiting the show he created, executive produced and ran — AMC’s The Walking Dead — Frank Darabont is still in discussions to continue on with an unspecified role on the show. According to inside sources, Darabont will retain his executive producer title, but just what that will mean in terms of his creative input remains uncertain. Negotiations are ongoing, and it’s “in the hands of the lawyers” representing Darabont and AMC, the source said.
Asked this morning at a second-season premiere screening in Beverly Hills if Darabont would have a role on the AMC zombie hit going forward, writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman (who created the graphic novels on which the series is based) replied, “Not that I’m aware of.” AMC president Charlie Collier said at the same screening, “(Darabont’s) imprimatur is on the show in the second season.” At the screening, Kirkman tried to leave the impression that everything is going smoothly with production despite the sudden change at the top. “Everything has transitioned really well with Glen,” he said. Kirkman also addressed Darabont’s publicly expressed displeasure with the show’s reduced budget for Season 2. “Anyone who has concerns about how the budget will affect things will be reassured after they see the premiere. All of our production values (from Season 1) are the same if not bigger.” But at the same time, Kirkman admitted that everyone was caught off-guard by Darabont’s swift exit. “Oh sure, it was tough,” he acknowledged. “It happened. It is what it is. But the truth is Frank remains very much a part of the second season. He was there from early February through the time he left (in July) mapping things out. His stamp will be all over it. But that aside, the attitude is good. Everyone’s 100 percent invested in making the best TV show that we can.”
The Walking Dead is AMC’s highest-rated series. It debuted with 5.3 million viewers last Halloween and drew an audience of more than 6 million for its December finale. In the 18-49 demo, that capper generated the largest audience ever for any drama on basic cable. Season 2 of the show will kick off with a 90-minute premiere Oct. 16.
Two series of ‘The Walking Dead’ toys will be released by MacFarlane later this year.
There will be a series based on the graphic novels which will feature Rick Grimes, Michonne, Lurker Zombie and Roamer Zombie.
They look fantastic, priced at US$14.95 each or series sets at US$55.95. Ideal gifts for the kiddies!
Hilariously misplaced billboard advertisement in County Durham, North East England. See the following link for full report here
I’ve just finished watching the excellent AMC television series: ‘The Walking Dead’ and it got me thinking about which zombie flicks I should watch again (and again for one or two selections). Then I thought I should list the ones I’m going to watch and why they’re the best of their kind, no cheap schlock… haven’t seen ‘The Video Dead’ for ages. Firstly though, what constitutes a ‘Zombie Movie’..? Well, for this list zombies are strictly categorized as the dead returning to life. So that means no possessed bodies which unfortunately means no ‘Evil Dead’, work of genius that it is. This also negates the amazing ‘REC’ which is a dubious omission due to its religious iconography (there will be a full review of this modern classic soon). No scientific experiments gone wrong, unfortunately that means no ‘Re-Animator’ another fantastic movie… and also no rubbish CG dead from “I Am Legend’, a movie I had high hopes for when reading an Empire set visit report a few months before the release date.
Zombieland (2009). They are having a blast and it’s obvious that this was made by big zombie flick fans. Great fun, excellent zombie action and the best cameo of any movie EVER..!
Day of the Dead (1985). George Romero’s excellent follow up to ‘Dawn of the Dead’. Not as fully appreciated on its release, it has since become regarded as a classic in the genre.
Dawn of the Dead (2004). Now I was prepared to HATE this movie as I love the original so much. I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed it. Apart from the shopping mall setting it bears little resemblance to the original and has one of the best opening sequences that I can recall.
Zombie flesh Eaters (1979). Also known simply as ‘Zombi 2’ This is from Lucio Fulci, the Italian schlock master. Best remembered, and rightly so, for the splinter in the eye shot and a zombie vs. shark encounter. Classic.
Braindead (1992). Also known as ‘Dead Alive’ Before he became respectable and slim, Peter Jackson made a couple of fun, blood-splattered movies in the late 80’s and early 90’s. On this evidence he should do a ‘Sam Raimi’ and knock out another one for old times’ sake.
Shaun of the Dead (2004). Great zombie action, loads of gore and bloody hilarious. The film also has more in common with Romero’s early zombie work than any other with its smart look at modern city life before and after the arrival of the dead.
Return of the living Dead (1985). Featuring the first fast moving zombies, plenty of gore, nudity and some hilarious interaction between the humans make this a perfect beer and pizza night-in movie… “Braaaaiinnsss”
Night of the living Dead (1968). George Romero’s original zombie classic. Don’t watch the updated extended version as the new bits are crap. Also stay clear of the remakes and colourised versions. Why would you watch them when you can put this on..?
28 Days Later (2002). Well I kinda have but haven’t really broken my aforementioned rules with this one. I know the dead have been infected by the ‘Rage virus’ but come on, it’s so fucking fantastic that to not have it on the list would render the list pointless. The sequel is okay but is never going to make it onto a top 10 list… unless it’s a sequels list… maybe.
Dawn of the Dead (1978). An all time classic. The only film on the list that would be in my greatest movies of all time list. A group of survivors hold out against the zombie hordes in a suburban shopping mall. Greatest zombie movie of all time.
So there you have it, it’s up for discussion. There are rabid fans out there who would fill the list with cheap Italian zombie knock-offs like ‘City of the living Dead’, ‘Burial Ground’ and ‘The Beyond’… and they’re fun. Some swear by classic chillers like ‘I Walked with A Zombie’ but this list is for those who want to have a good night in, quality zombie action with a pizza nad beers.
I’ll be posting a huge review of the series soon, complete with comparisons between the amazing graphic novel by Robert Kirkman and Frank Darabont’s take on it… I just want to watch it again first.