Given the popularity of the flag-ship franchise, this should come as no surprise, but AMC has officially ordered a pilot for the long-gestating spinoff of their hit zombie drama The Walking Dead. The pilot is scheduled to begin production sometime later this year, but aside from that there’s no word on locations or casting or any of the usual stuff that might give us an idea about the plot.
Since its beginnings in 2010, The Walking Dead has been a huge hit, and has been the number one television show for the coveted 18-49-year-old bracket for the last two years, and it’s already stunning popularity is only increasing. It still maintain that this was as much of a surprise to the network as it was for the rest of us, otherwise why did they only order six episodes for the first season.
The new series has been in the works for a while, and shares some of the same producers as the primary show. Robert Kirkman, who also created the comics that the whole shebang is based on, Gale Anne Hurd, and David Alpert are all in line to executive produce the new project for AMC Studios. Kirkman also co-created the show and co-wrote the pilot with Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy) and will serve as showrunner.
From what we know, the entire world is overrun with zombies, but The Walking Dead only shows a small sliver of this. There’s a ton of other stories going on out there, and this new series plans to expose some of them. AMC President Charlie Collier says:
Almost from the beginning of ‘The Walking Dead’ on AMC, fans have been curious about what is going on in the zombie apocalypse in other parts of the world. In fact, beyond requests for zombie cameos, it’s the question I get asked the most…Obviously, we all take our stewardship of the original franchise incredibly seriously and we, along with Robert, Gale, David and now Dave, are all proceeding with extreme care in order to ensure that we are offering fans something truly compelling, engaging and distinct. We’re thrilled to be taking this next step with these remarkable partners.
Kirkman himself chimed in with:
There are many corners of ‘The Walking Dead’ universe that remain unseen in the shadows. Being given the opportunity to shine a light into those corners and see what lurks out there is an absolute thrill. I know the fans are anxious to hear what Dave and I have been cooking up for this new universe of ‘The Walking Dead,’ and I’m happy to be one step closer to sharing it with them.
Unless it totally sucks, you have to imagine that this pilot is more or less a sure thing, but like I said, there isn’t much in the way of specific detail. There are a ton of ways this could potentially go. It could follow the pattern of the already extant series and keep up a group of survivors through their trials and tribulations, though maybe in a different part of the world. This would provide the opportunity to show what is going on somewhere other than Georgia. No offense to the Peach Tree State, but we wouldn’t mind seeing another side of the story. Perhaps the spinoff will be set in a more static location. Who the hell knows at this point.
Building on what is easily the best season in franchise history, The Walking Dead returns for season 5 on Sunday, October 12. As for the spinoff, we’ll keep you updated as we learn more. What would you like to see out of this series?