The Walking Dead is the definition of "money," or at least Vince Vaughn's definition of it from Swingers. Unlike Jon Favreau, though, it knows it. They're so money that, I kid you not, they're about to launch a spin-off into a spin-off series. That's right, Chris Hardwick will be on AMC programming regardless if a hit zombie show precedes him in a newly announced AMC series Talking With Chris Hardwick.
AMC is hoping to recreate the success of television's #1 talk show Talking Dead by taking the formula and tweaking it into Talking With Chris Hardwick. The series will premiere April 9th at 11 p.m. ET the week following the Season 7 finale of The Walking Dead and will run every Sunday following until Fear The Walking Dead returns, which will then bring back Talking Dead. Ultimately, the series is set to air every Sunday when either walker-oriented show is not currently airing, which kind of makes you wonder when the guy stops working! Most people would not be thrilled to secure a long-term gig shortly before midnight on Sundays, but most people aren't Chris Hardwick.
While Talking Dead tends to focus solely on the series it was created for, Talking With Chris Hardwick is going to be more about the guest and very similar to the format Hardwick uses in his podcast. This means a celebrity could be on to discuss their new series, but ten minutes later they could be talking about past work or personal stories. Hardwick himself has described the series as the shell of Talking Dead combined with the soul of his Nerdist podcast with his Comic-Con panels serving as the guts. While the series description sounds closer to his podcast, AMC has mentioned that the series will retain its live audience and offer the similar at-home interactivity the Talking Dead has thrived on.
It's only fitting that as the pioneer of "after" show talk shows, Chris Hardwick is set to break free into something almost entirely new. His success with Talking Dead inspired several other after shows on other networks, none of which have come near the level of success AMC and Hardwick have achieved. For a while, it seemed AMC was keen on keeping the live after show format running with Hardwick transitioning briefly to a Better Call Saul aftershow, Talking Saul. That only lasted for a couple of episodes, but presumably the regular Talking could work for guests promoting other AMC shows.
So while The Walking Dead is indeed money, looks like AMC is setting up Chris Hardwick with a shot to be the same. It will definitely be interesting to see if fans still tune in when both The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead are out of season, but given Hardwick's mainstream appeal I don't see him losing a large audience. Talking With Chris Hardwick premieres April 9th, otherwise known as the week following The Walking Dead Season 7 finale. Keep a mental note of it, or just bookmark our midseason premiere guide so you can keep track of all your new shows to watch.