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Finally! After months of keeping pretty quiet about its plans for a Walking Dead spinoff drama, AMC has at last dropped the bomb that they’re definitely moving beyond the pilot stage with the new series. But instead of just signing up for one season, the cable network is putting a bunch of its dead, rotted apples in one basket by initially putting in a two-season order. Double the gore! Double the shambling!
AMC announced that they’ll be mirroring their Walking Dead production plans by giving Season 1 a total of six episodes that will likely premiere this summer, presumably before the flagship series kicks off. Season 2 will have an unannounced number of episodes, and it’ll air next year.
Here’s what AMC president Charlie Collier had to say in a press release.
We take incredibly seriously the notion of building a satisfying companion series to the number one show on television. From the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, we’ve been asked questions about what was going on in other parts of the zombie apocalypse, and what it looked like as the world really did ‘turn.’ Through this new series, we’re going to find out…We respectfully follow the request of Monty Python as we bring out our Dead.
Though official details about where the new series is going are slight, the approach will reportedly be more invested in character development, and we know who the drama will be centered on. Kim Dickens (Gone Girl) will play single mother and former guidance counselor Nancy Tompkins, who is taking care of son Nick (Frank Dillane), a druggie with issues, and daughter Ashley (Alycia Debnam-Carey), who is interested in breaking away from her upbringing. Cliff Curtis (Gang Related) will play former teacher Sean Cabrera, who gets involved with the Tompkins family in some way, probably with the help of his own troubled son.
The show, which seems to have finally left the Cobalt placeholder name behind, is gearing itself as more of a tight-knit family thriller, rather than one with a revolving door of characters like The Walking Dead. That’ll be an interesting dynamic, and would hopefully mean the show ekes tension and suspense out of situations that don’t always revolve around zombie death. Not that there’s anything wrong with the more morbid aspects of its predecessor.
AMC appears to like this whole two-season order process, as that’s how they brought the fantastic spinoff Better Call Saul into its schedule. And if this new horror series manages to draw the same kind of ratings as The Walking Dead, I see no reason why Robert Kirkman wouldn’t develop an endless amount of spinoffs tracking different characters all over the world.
Written by Kirkman and showrunner Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy), the Walking Dead spinoff will help you beat the heat this summer on AMC.