There are popular TV shows, and then there are behemoth megahits which come around once every few years. One of these outstandingly successful shows is AMC's apocalyptic drama The Walking Dead, which consistently rakes in millions of viewers every week. Part of what makes The Walking Dead such great television is the balance between the constant threat of zombies and the even more dangerous human survivors. Well now it appears that one half of that threat was originally not going to be in the show much. And it ain't the humans.
The Walking Dead producer Gale Ann Hurd recently opened up to Variety regarding the various networks that the series attempted to get the green light from. One of these is none other than the peacock network itself, NBC. The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont had an overall deal with NBC while the series was being developed, and therefore he went straight to NBC when the show was being shopped around. Unfortunately, the network tried to make some serious changes, specifically to cut out the majority of the zombies. The massive number of undead in TWD presumably spelled out big budgets and a possible advertising struggle, so they apparently didn't want the actual dead part of The Walking Dead.
In fact, Gale Ann Hurd went on to say that NBC had even more ridiculous ideas for The Walking Dead. Rather than the character driven drama we're used to tuning into every Sunday, the network preferred more of a procedural show. Hurd revealed that NBC wanted a series where two protagonists "solve a zombie crime of the week", making it a glorified cop show- but with a zombie here and there. We can presume the lead characters in this abomination of a series would be Rick and Shane, who would undoubtedly get into shenanigans as they attempted to solve zombie crimes. Whatever the fuck those are.
I think we can all be thankful that the producers behind The Walking Dead kept their options open, and would find a home with AMC. Cable networks can generally get away with more violence, sex, and profanity than network TV, and I can't imagine The Walking Dead without it. Could you imagine NBC allowing Noah to get his face ripped off, or Hershel to be decapitated? It just doesn't work.
The Walking Dead is gearing up to return to AMC in a few short months, much to the joy of fans everywhere who have been wondering who Negan killed with Lucille. That opening scene is supposed to be absolutely devastating for both the audience and the show's characters, and we can assume the violence shown will be pretty damn disturbing. And with a villain whose comic book persona swears like a sailor, it's a good thing that NBC has nothing to do with the series.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 23, 2016.