The Walking Dead That Could Have Been: Frank Darabont’s Awesome Season 2 Premiere Concept

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This story is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it’s so interesting and cool to hear about what ex-Walking Dead show runner Frank Darabont wanted to do with the season 2 premiere back before he got canned. The other side though is that it’s frustrating that AMC squeezed him out and we never got to see what he really wanted to do with the series he birthed. So as neat as this new info is, it does a lot to reignite the fires of hatred we Walking Dead lovers have for AMC and Mad Men show runner Matt Weiner for taking 35% of WD’s already tiny budget.

Being Human’s Sam Witwer recently did an interview for Paranormal Pop Culture in which he slams AMC for their penny pinchery and reveals Frank Darabont’s really excellent idea for season 2’s premiere. Remember back in the pilot when Rick finds himself stuck under a tank surrounded by zombies about a millisecond away from pulling the trigger on himself? We do to. Rick climbs into the open under hatch of the tank and is saved, left only with one zombified army soldier who is swiftly dispatched much to the dismay of Rick’s ears.

Darabont wanted to tell the story of that soldier. How he got there, what his mission was, who he meets on his trek, etc. Witwer was set to play him in the season 2 opener, and in fact played the zombie in the pilot in an uncredited appearance used to set up Darabont’s idea for season 2. Here’s the interview with Witwer (who you video game nerds might recognize as Starkiller from the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed franchise) giving his thoughts on the series…


After The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale, Why Every Decision Shane Makes Is Right

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The Walking Dead season finale ended with everyone coming down on Shane Walsh, the survivalist deputy who thinks the group is headed for trouble if they don’t find a way to adjust to their new post-apocalyptic world. It’s something that’s been building ever since Rick joined the group and took over leadership from Shane back in Season 1. Almost everyone it seems, is on Rick’s side, and odds are they’ll be even more on his side after the events at the end of the mid-season 2 finale. Except, well, they’re wrong. Shane is right. Shane is right about everything. Every single decision Shane has made, pushed for, or even thought about on The Walking Dead has been absolutely right. And since it’s those same decisions that have him on the outs with our group of surviving heroes, I think someone needs to stand up and give him credit. Shane’s right. Shane’s always right.

Here’s a logical explanation of why his most controversial decisions have been the right move, each and every time.

WARNING: Spoilers for The Walking Dead follow. Don’t read if you haven’t already watched the mid-season 2 finale…


The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale Scored Big

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The Walking Dead went out in a big way this past weekend. The series scored an epic 6.6 million viewers on Sunday for AMC. Just to put that in perspective, most regular network shows don’t even do that well. NBC’s Community is struggling along with a depressing 3.8 million or so, for instance.

The Walking Dead is now without question the most watched television series on basic cable. It’s kept it’s numbers up after the shows 7.3 million viewer second season debut too. That’s especially significant, in light of angst being expressed by fans over the slow pace of the second season. Everything paid off in the end, during the mid-season finale, and those who found the never-ending “hey let’s find Sofia” plot of this season’s episodes were rewarded for hanging in there.

By comparison, the first season finale of The Walking Dead only pulled in 5.2 million viewers.


Why The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes Gets No Response On His Walkie Talkie

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It’s been more than a year now, but way back in The Walking Dead pilot, Sheriff Rick Grimes befriended a man named Morgan. They exchanged walkie talkies and promised to communicate with each other regularly. We haven’t heard anything from Morgan since, but Rick talking into his walkie talkie has become a sort of narrative device for the show. Sort of like Captain Kirk’s “Captains Logs”, every now and then Rick fires his walkie talkie up to tell Morgan what’s going on, in the hopes that he’s listening.

Well, now we know why Morgan never responds, thanks to this puppet simulation of what’s happening on the other end of Rick’s communications.


The Walking Dead Gets A Third Season

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Despite a kind of lackluster second episode in which nothing happened (summary: they walked to a farm house) ratings for the second season of The Walking Dead have been good. Really good. So they’re getting a third season.

AMC announced that they’ve renewed the show for another year earlier today. The second season premiere shattered cable records with its debut and things stayed steady for the second episode, only slipping a little to earn 7.3 million total viewers. It seems clear that the audience is sticking around for their zombie show, and a third season is much deserved.

Now how about bringing back Frank Darabont and giving the show a decent budget AMC? Just a thought.


Walking Dead Season 2 Premieres To Record Breaking Ratings

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Last night season two of The Walking Dead had a lot to prove to the audience and the network. Fans of season one were rightfully worried with the behind the scenes machinations, which as of late have had problems. Frank Darabont was fired partway through producing season 2, but his absence has not been felt yet. How many loyal fans would remain steadfast in the wake of Darabont’s firing? 7.3 million, or thereabouts, it would seem. That’s the total number of viewers the season two premiere received according to Nielsen.

The only episodic piece of television on cable that is bigger remains Monk’s series finale, which garnered over 9 million viewers. Still, that has to be a relief to everyone working on The Walking Dead. I could have assured anyone worried about the ratings by mentioning what I saw at Comic-Con earlier this year, which was a veritable throng of thousands trying to get into Ballroom 20 for the panel.

AMC has a twofold reputation in the TV world: it’s known as the distributer of some of TV’s most intense and intelligent stories; and they like to cut budgets. The network has a policy of generally leaving the creators alone, but in this they’re faltering with public battles with showrunners like Darabont and Breaking Bad’s Vince Gilligan.