How The Walking Dead's Upcoming Anthology Show Will Try To 'Surprise People' Each Week

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(Image credit: AMC)

Big changes are on the way to the zombie apocalypse universe on AMC, and not just because The Walking Dead is officially going to end after Season 11. Another spinoff of sorts is on the way in the form of an anthology series, called Tales of the Walking Dead. While details about the new project are relatively scarce, The Walking Dead universe chief content officer Scott Gimple has revealed that fans should expect the unexpected. Surprises are in store.

During the September 27 preview special for the Walking Dead universe on AMC, Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick read a statement from chief Walking Dead content officer Scott Gimple, saying:

We've been playing with the Tales of… format for nearly three years now, tweaking in all sorts of directions. It's been an incredible, fun challenge. Yes, there are going to be stories told with old favorites, there are also going to be stories with brand new characters. These stories are from all over The Walking Dead timeline, and all over The Walking Dead universe. We may be doing different formats that possibly utilize animation, music, different mediums. And we want to surprise people every week with what they will be getting.

While there are some obvious choices for characters who could anchor their own anthology episode or arc, such as the infamous Negan, Scott Gimple has promised more than just old favorites at the center of the action. All things considered, it sounds like there isn't a whole lot that Tales of the Walking Dead won't be able to do, if jumping around the Walking Dead timeline and universe is going to be an option!

I for one doubt that Scott Gimple's tease of music as one of the "different formats" for the anthology means that a musical episode is on the way, but his mention of animation is interesting, especially in light of what some other shows have produced due to production shutdowns in 2020. The Blacklist on NBC proved that a combination of live-action and animation can work, and The Walking Dead's own Greg Nicotero produced an animated Halloween special for Shudder while Creepshow Season 2 production was on hold.

The promise of the anthology series also indicates that AMC is up to continue the main Walking Dead action, if in a different form than the eleven seasons of the parent series. There is no shortage of existing Walking Dead characters whose backstories haven't been revealed, or were only revealed via exposition rather than shown on screen. For example, viewers got some heartbreaking flashbacks to Abraham's early days in the zombie apocalypse, but that's not the case for most of the major characters.

All of this said, Tales of the Walking Dead might not hit the airwaves to surprise viewers any time too soon. AMC already has a super-sized Season 11 of The Walking Dead that isn't expected to finish airing until late 2022, and the spinoff centered on Daryl and Carol is expected in 2023. Throw in Fear the Walking Dead and new spinoff The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and there should be no shortage of zombies on AMC even if Tales of the Walking Dead might be a ways off.

The long-awaited Season 10 finale of The Walking Dead will air on Sunday, October 4 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC, immediately followed by the series premiere of The Walking Dead: World Beyond at 10 p.m. ET. Fear the Walking Dead with a seemingly changed Morgan will take The Walking Dead's 9 p.m. ET Sunday time slot starting on October 11. For some viewing options that don't involve zombies in the not-too-distant future, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.